Apple has put one of its key manufacturing partners – Pegatron – on probation after discovering that the company violated the labor code covering student workers. Apple has temporarily halted all business with Pegatron until the Taiwanese company completes a set of corrective actions to get things in order, reports Reuters. The company is said to have violated Apple’s code of conduct for workers by making student employees work overtime and toil during night shifts.
“Several weeks ago, we discovered Pegatron – one of Apple’s suppliers in China – violated Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct in its administration of a student work study programme,” Apple was quoted as saying in a statement. “Apple has placed Pegatron on probation and Pegatron will not receive any new business from Apple until they complete all of the corrective actions required,” the company added, but the probationary terms have not been revealed publicly yet.
It is being reported that the parties responsible for this act went to “extraordinary lengths” to hide the tracks of their labor code violations and avoiding Apple’s oversight mechanisms. Some of these tactics involved falsifying paperwork and deliberately misclassifying students who are a part of the work-study program. Additionally, the students were made to do jobs that were unrelated to their program at Pegatron’s facility.
Apple says that Pegatron won’t receive any new business orders from the company until all the corrective steps have been accomplished. However, no evidence of underage or forced labor was unearthed during Apple’s investigation. Following the controversy, Pegatron says it has removed the student workers from the assembly line and has also given them proper compensation.
However, this isn’t the first time that Pegatron has been accused of labor code violations. Back in 2014, a BBC investigation highlighted the miserable conditions of workers at Pegatron’s facilities where they were forced to toil up to 18 hours a day on assembly lines, attend unpaid meetings, and live in cramped rooms.