Plastic iPhone Lite Is Confirmed By Pegatron Labor Abuse Report

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Apple’s under fire again for labor abuses by one of its manufacturing partners again, this time Pegatron. Bizarrely, though, the report incriminating them also confirms the plastic “budget” iPhone, the so-called iPhone 5C.

As part of an investigation against Pegatron by the China Labor Watch, three moles were inserted inside of Pegatron’s factories… and one of these workers was apparently assigned to manufacture Apple’s forthcoming plastic iPhone.

Today’s work is to paste protective film on the iPhone’s plastic back cover to prevent it from being scratched on assembly lines. This iPhone model with a plastic cover will soon be released on the market by Apple.

This isn’t the first time Pegatron has leaked information about the upcoming plastic iPhone. Back in June, Pegatron CEO T.H. Tung claimed that the “budget iPhone” would actually be quite expensive, at least compared to other budget devices.

As for the other charges against Pegatron made by the China Labor Watch, Pegatron is alleged to be deliberately misleading Apple when it comes to things like employee overtime. In fact, employees are working far more hours than Apple’s supplier responsibility guidelines would dictate:

Pegatron has a falsified attendance recording system in which workers’ overtime is recorded to be less than the real amount. Each week, all workers are required by an HR assistant to check yes and sign their names on an overtime form. Workers are required to sign and are not to pay attention to the number of overtime hours written on the form; the document’s only purpose is to deceive Apple during inspections.

If that’s how easy it is to fake labor rights abuses in Apple’s supply chain, no wonder Apple is having problems. In all, the China Labor Watch says they have identified at least 86 labor rights violations in Pegatron’s factories, including 36 legal and 50 ethical violations that include the use of underaged labor.

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  • pburjanec

    What is it with these companies trying to hide abhorrent labor practices? If you’ve got kids working on the shop floor, and you don’t do anything about it, then how can you be in a managerial position within one of these factories? How do these dudes return home to their families, and not feel like horrible human beings?

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John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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