BY ALEXANDRE LETTE
Three Chinese manufacturers sub-contracting for the American technology giant Apple are reported to be hiring underage workers and forcing them to work extra hours.
The accusation comes from the NGO China Labor Watch. In a press release published this Monday, the organization has named the company Pegatron, the company in charge of putting together the iPhone 5C which is to come out in September.
It is said that Pegatron does not respect the rules that have been determined by Apple. According to the organization defending the workers’ rights, over 70,000 employees in 3 production sites in China work hours averaging 66-69 hours per week, with required extra hours. To make matters worse, the Asian company threatens its employees by confiscating their identification papers or their bank cards. To top it all, several of the workers on the sites are less than 18 years old.
Such practices go against the work legislation established in China and go against the premises defined by the American firm. Pegatron announced on Tuesday that there will be an investigation on these allegations.
Apple has stated on its website that it has requested from its Chinese collaborators a maximum of 60 hours a week as well as optional extra hours.
This is not the first time that smartphone and tablet manufacturers face such allegations but in a time when the competition becomes tougher as purchase decisions are made on the smallest details, Apple clearly could have done without this scandal…