Apple Fires Back Against BBC Story Claiming Harsh Working Conditions in Supply Chain

Pegatron workers

Apple’s long-term supplier Pegatron is once again in the spotlight of the press: an undercover BBC Panorama investigation discovered that Apple has failed to fulfil its promises, because Pegatron workers’ rights are still violated day by day.

The undercover journalists have found that the standards for worker hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings, and juvenile workers were being breached at the Pegatron facilities. Apple’s position: it strongly disagrees with BBC Panorama’s findings.

BBC reporters filmed exhausted workers falling asleep on their 12-hour shifts — which, by the way, Apple will investigate. An undercover reporter was forced to work 18 days in a row, despite asking for a day off.

Apple didn’t appear in the BBC programme but sent a statement to the news outlet saying: “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions. We work with suppliers to address shortfalls, and we see continuous and significant improvement, but we know our work is never done.”

The working conditions at Apple’s suppliers are always a hot topic, and they will make headlines for years to come until every single company participating in the supply chain finally complies with the standards imposed by the iPhone maker. Apple currently monitors more than a million workers.

Pegatron made headlines last year as the China Labour Watch found the company violating workers’ rights, and later that year a child worker died from pneumonia.

Panorama also travelled to the Indonesian island of Bangka, where Apple says it obtains minerals. The programme found evidence of illegal mines entering the supply chain and multiple irregularities.

Apple, on the other hand, says the Bangka situation is pretty complex, as tens of thousands of miners are selling tin through many middle men. But the company seems proud to be there, suggesting that leaving would be “the lazy and cowardly path, since it would do nothing to improve the situation.” Instead, the company has “chosen to stay engaged and attempt to drive changes on the ground.”

The “Apple’s Broken Promises” documentary will be aired on BBC One on December 18 at 9:00 p.m. (UK time). In case you miss it, you can watch it later on BBC iPlayer.

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    there must be some catholic group or some members of catholic community, working @ BBC these days, for they never get one right.
    i personally met with some workers @ Pegatron factory visiting london (UK) , months ago saying they cannot understand why media are writing and broadcasting so many lies about chinese industries. i actually could “switch a lighthouse” on on that occasion, and stating catholics (hispanics/spanish/italians/polish) are trying to get business and capitalism investments, in countries of latin america and southern europe. By taking manufacturing plants away from china and by defamation of chinese industry standards. Personally i reassured the guys from china, up and until patents and copyright registrations for consumer electronics components manufacturing, are in the hands of anglo-americans, no one will ever move plants and factories away from countries in asia. (and first of all , for labourers unions in catholic background countries, are all communist crabs, eating form the same cup of workers, however doing nothing but sitting on a chair, chatting and yawning when not lying to workers ) take care, marc

  • ????Dennis

    Some dude has posted it on YouTube. If you want to watch it, be sure to soon before it gets taken down.

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    @Dennis . another one who still believes what a TV/SHOW business comedians can do by paying crappy supposedly actors. we all come from UNI background, we only buy what is most convenient to US and we only mind our own business. (i.e: we do not step into the business of government and regulators or monitors and watchdogs of PRC, eventually any anomaly for plants and factories within the jurisdiction and borders of PRC, are their own business )
    marc

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    @dennis (2). in addition, even in china government issues a passport. When not satisfied with conditions for work and in plants or factories, ‘get your hands on Your passport, and move Your f*cking ass away. ‘

  • Chris

    So much hatred… I wonder if we were to replace Catholic with another religion, would this post still be here?