A report published by China Labor Watch (CLW) is claiming that recent sudden deaths of a number of Pegatron workers, may have been caused by potential hazards in the production process of Apple products that continue to pose a risk to other workers in the factory. CLW has therefore demanded that Apple and the factory perform autopsies on each deceased worker and verify the actual reason for the workers’ deaths.
One such worker named Shi Zhaokun, who was only 15 years old, died of severe pneumonia on October 9 in Shanghai Shuguang Hospital. The child, who worked at a Pegatron factory primarily making Apple devices including the iPhone 5C, when took the pre-employment physical examination on September 4, was found to be in good health. While Shi worked at Pegatron making Apple products, the factory demanded workers to work for 12 hours each day, who could only switch between night and day shifts once every three months.
CLW was saddened to learn that recently after hearing about her grandson’s death, Shi Zhaokun’s grandma passed away.
The factory has denied fault in Shi’s death, as well as the other deaths, and has refused to conduct in-depth investigations. However, Shi’s family doesn’t have 12,000 RMB ($1,970) to pay the hospital for the autopsy on their son.
Shi Zhaokun’s family has asked CLW to seek donations to pay for an independent autopsy that can help find out the truth behind the deaths of these workers.
Meanwhile, Apple has recently updated its Supplier Work-Hour Compliance chart on its Labor and Human Rights page, to indicate their suppliers have achieved an average of 95% compliance to the 60-hour work week, an increase from 87% in September. Furthermore, Apple annually publishes its Supplier Responsibility Progress Report to reflect company’s commitment to transparency and goal of improving working conditions at its supplier factories.