Apple today, Monday, halted new contracts with its main supplier (Pegatron) after revelations about student labor violations at some of the Taiwanese manufacturer’s facilities in China.
And Bloomberg reports that Apple has found Pegatron forging paperwork in order to cover up violations of Apple’s supplier code of conduct.
Pegatron is one of Apple’s major supply chain companies, making a multitude of products, including some of the latest iPhone 12 models.
The company is now said to be in monitoring mode, and it will not be able to win any new business from Apple until the issue is resolved.
Apple said in a statement: We have a strict review and approval process for any student work program, which ensures that the intern’s work is linked to his major and prohibits overtime or night shifts.
Apple indicated that Pegatron had fired the program director, and said: Pegatron misclassified the students working on its program and falsified paperwork to hide violations of our rules, including allowing students to work at night or overtime and in some cases to perform work unrelated to their major.
She added that Apple’s investigations have not found any evidence of forced or underage labor, adding that Pegatron has now fired the executive with direct oversight of the program.
Apple said: The individuals responsible for the violations at Pegatron have made extraordinary efforts to evade our oversight mechanisms.
Pegatron said: On discovering this incompatible activity, we removed working students from production lines and worked with our clients and outside-party experts to make appropriate arrangements for them to return to their homes or schools with adequate compensation along with all necessary support and care.
This is not the first time that the Pegatron Program has been brought to light for working students, as China Labor Watch released a report in 2013 alleging cases of unpaid overtime and underpaid students working at the Pegatron plant in Shanghai.
Apple and its suppliers have been accused of bad labor practices in the past, but the US tech giant is trying to control such problems by issuing annual reviews of the iPhone supply chain.