首页  | 新闻播报

Apple sends in experts to probe employees' deaths

中国日报网 2013-12-13 10:12

Get Flash Player

Download

Electronics giant Apple Inc said on Thursday it has sent independent medical experts to one of its major contractors in China amid accusations that bad working conditions led to several workers' deaths.

"We are deeply sad about the deaths of laborers at Pegatron and have commissioned independent medical professionals from the United States and China to conduct probes since last month," Apple said in a statement. "While they have found no evidence of any link between the deaths and working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones."

It added that Apple has a "long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain", and the company has formed a team to work with Pegatron Technology Co at the contractor's plants to ensure that "conditions meet our high standards".

Pegatron, a Taiwan-based manufacturing company that supplies Apple, Sony and Dell, confirmed on Wednesday that four workers at its Shanghai factory, which has nearly 100,000 employees, had died of illness.

The announcement came after New York-based advocacy group China Labor Watch said on Monday that several workers at Pegatron's Shanghai plant "passed away in a short period of time," Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Bloomberg cited a statement from the labor rights group as saying that among the dead was a 15-year-old worker who died of pneumonia on Oct 9 at a Shanghai hospital.

The Taiwan company said in a statement, "Pegatron has strict measures in place to verify workers' ages before and after they are hired, and we work with health and safety experts to provide a safe working environment for each and every worker."

The young worker who died in October used his 21-year-old cousin's identification to apply for the job, Pegatron said, adding that the factory did not know he was underage.

This is not the first time Pegatron has been targeted by China Labor Watch.

In July, the organization said it found at least 86 violations at Pegatron factories in Shanghai and the neighboring city of Suzhou.

The violations included demanding employees work 66-69 hours a week, beyond the legally required 49-hour maximum, without overtime being paid.

Pegatron was also accused of using underage workers as interns who worked the same long hours at the factories.

However, Feng Xiliang, a labor rights expert at Capital University of Economics and Business, told China Daily that many workers at electronics companies are willing to work overtime because they want to earn more money.

"Regular wages at most plants that manufacture electronics products are usually low, so young workers must work longer to earn more," Feng said, adding that the younger generation of migrant workers has stronger awareness of their rights and is calling for a more powerful labor union to protect their interests.

"Consequently, Apple and its suppliers have been improving their performance in the labor rights field because they don't want to project a negative image to consumers."

Wang Kan, a researcher in labor rights at the China Institute of Industrial Relations in Beijing, added that working conditions at Apple's contractors are much better than those at many other electronics factories.

"Compared to the time when Steve Jobs managed the company, Apple now is paying more attention to its image in consumers' eyes when it comes to labor rights," Wang said. "I am not saying it is perfect, but it is fair to say that the company has improved substantially in this regard."

Wang said most underage young people working at manufacturing plants are students sent by vocational schools as interns, and are prone to working with hazards due to loopholes in laws.

"Education laws and regulations do not cover their internships at factories, while labor codes do not categorize them as employees," Wang said.

Questions:

1. What electronics company is looking into worker deaths at its factories?

2. Who was the contractor firm?

3. How many people died?

Answers:

1. Apple Inc.

2. Pegatron, a Taiwan-based manufacturing company that supplies Apple, Sony and Dell.

3. Four workers at Pegatron’s Shanghai factory, which has nearly 100,000 employees, died of illness.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

 

About the broadcaster:

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.

中国日报网英语点津版权说明:凡注明来源为“中国日报网英语点津:XXX(署名)”的原创作品,除与中国日报网签署英语点津内容授权协议的网站外,其他任何网站或单位未经允许不得非法盗链、转载和使用,违者必究。如需使用,请与010-84883561联系;凡本网注明“来源:XXX(非英语点津)”的作品,均转载自其它媒体,目的在于传播更多信息,其他媒体如需转载,请与稿件来源方联系,如产生任何问题与本网无关;本网所发布的歌曲、电影片段,版权归原作者所有,仅供学习与研究,如果侵权,请提供版权证明,以便尽快删除。
本文相关阅读
5af95d3ba3103f6866ee845a

Copyrights take a bite out of Apple

5af95d3ba3103f6866ee845a

Apple lauches new iPhone

订阅和关注
人气排行