After a labour watch dog China Watch blasted an Apple supplier Pegatron for making people work 60 hour weeks, it was made clear in the Tame Apple Press that this was against Apple’s direct orders.
However a closer look at the China Labour Watch shows that the watchdog believes that Apple is directly to blame.
It said that under CEO Tim Cook’s watch, Apple asked the companies that assemble its products to cut their own costs, and those demands have led them to cut back on worker pay and factory conditions.
Pegatron has been saving cash by committing multiple violations of Chinese labour laws on fair pay and workplace safety.
“Currently, Apple’s profits are declining, and the effects of this decline have been passed on to suppliers. To mitigate the impact, Pegatron has taken some covert measures to exploit workers,” the reports said.
Among the problems cited in the report were workers being forced to put in excessive overtime and have their wages cut to $1.60 per hour. Additionally, the investigation found Pegatron interns being forced to put in hours almost as long as employees, and factory conditions where workers were operating without proper safety equipment.
Apple is saying nothing, of course. According to the Tame Apple Press it has pushed a campaign to improve conditions at the plants that manufacture its products and has in the past cut ties with the worst offenders.
But according to China Labour Watch Cook has been squeezing the manufacturers to reduce costs and keep profits up. This, in turn, makes them culpable when those partners pass the pressure on to workers.
“Apple has already subcontracted its production to suppliers such as Pegatron, however, these workers are making Apple products. Moreover, through outsourcing, Apple lowers its production cost, but this is only possible by exploiting workers,” the report reads.