Apple yanks plug on illegal ‘student overtime’ scheme, Taiwanese suppliers in hot waters

Apple yanks plug on illegal ‘student overtime’ scheme, Taiwanese suppliers in hot waters

Apple has put its Taiwanese supplier Pegatron on probation after discovering last week that the company violated Apple’s code of conduct by asking student employees to work night shifts or overtime.

The supplier has wilfully mis-classified student workers and falsified paperwork to disguise the violations, and in some cases also breached the code by permitting students to carry out tasks unrelated to their majors, the U.S. technology giant said.

Pegatron is one of a handful of Taiwanese manufacturers on the island, alongside Foxconn, who dominate Apple’s iPhone assembly chain.

“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,” it said 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.” Apple did not declare the terms of the probation.

Apple’s investigations had found no evidence of forced or underage labour, it said, adding that Pegatron had now fired the executive with direct oversight of the programme.

“The individuals at Pegatron responsible for the violations went to extraordinary lengths to evade our oversight mechanisms,” Apple said.

The student workers have since been taken off the production lines and given “proper compensation,” Pegatron said in a statement.

Apple and its suppliers have been accused of poor labour practices in the past, but the U.S. company has been trying to get a grip over such issues by releasing annual reviews of the iPhone supply chain.

In 2017, Apple and Foxconn said a small number of students were discovered working overtime in one of the latter’s Chinese factories, violating local labour laws.

[Sourced from Agencies]

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