Apple supplier Pegatron plans changes after BBC report on worker mistreatment

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2014
In response to a BBC investigation alleging mistreatment of workers at one of its factories, Apple partner Pegatron has vowed to look into the matter and implement any necessary improvements.

Foxconn


In a statement issued to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, Pegatron Technology said on Monday that plans to investigate the claims that appeared last week in the BBC report. The company also said that employee safety is its top priority, and it is working to ensure all of its workers are safe.

Pegatron also touted the strict training it requires for its employees and management, and noted it uses external inspectors to audit its facilities.

The statement made no mention of Apple, but BBC One focused on Pegatron's relationship with the iPhone maker, exposing multiple instances of poor treatment of workers on one of its production lines. The investigation by BBC Panorama used hidden cameras to discover a variety of infractions violating Apple's own Supplier Responsibility report, including illegal ID card confiscation, excessive working hours, poor living conditions, and underage workers.

But the report itself has also come under fire, as Apple responded last week with an internal memo saying officials at the company were "deeply offended" by the allegations made in the telecast. Apple executive Jeff Williams said certain details provided by the company to the BBC were "clearly missing" from the special that aired on the news channel last week.

Williams noted that that Apple's audits and tracking show that it has achieved an average of 93 percent compliance with its 60-hour workweek limit. He also admitted that the company can do better, and vowed that it will.

"We know of no other company doing as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions, to discover and investigate problems, to fix and follow through when issues arise, and to provide transparency into the operations of our suppliers," Williams wrote.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,611member

    Good result then.

  • Reply 2 of 23
    Of course no one else bothers, they get a free pass from the media on everything.
  • Reply 3 of 23
    So why didn't Cook vow to look into the allegations right from the start instead of that lame "I'm deeply offended" CYA line? He lost a lot of credibility with me even though I think Apple is doing more than any other tech company to do right by their employees.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    felix01 wrote: »
    So why didn't Cook vow to look into the allegations right from the start instead of that lame "I'm deeply offended" CYA line? He lost a lot of credibility with me even though I think Apple is doing more than any other tech company to do right by their employees.

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    So much for Tim Cook's thick skin.

    Cook choosing to be 'deeply offended' is a knee-jerk response that hardly says thick skin to me. More like whining at the first sign of trouble.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    crowley wrote: »
    Good result then.

    Should we drag a company's name through the mud simply because it has mindshare? Do you think BBC lied for a noble reason or because it would make for more attention (i.e.: eyeballs)?

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    So much for Tim Cook's thick skin.

    Cook choosing to be 'deeply offended' is a knee-jerk response that hardly says thick skin to me. More like whining at the first sign of trouble.

    Just shut up about anything related to Cook. We all know you despise anything he does and we accept your disdain for the guy so there is no reason for you to chime in with your hateful speech.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Felix01 View Post



    So why didn't Cook vow to look into the allegations right from the start instead of that lame "I'm deeply offended" CYA line? He lost a lot of credibility with me even though I think Apple is doing more than any other tech company to do right by their employees.

     

     

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post





    You took the words right out of my mouth.



    So much for Tim Cook's thick skin which he so proudly boasted about when he broadcast his sexual preferences to the world.



    Cook choosing to be 'deeply offended' is a knee-jerk response that hardly says thick skin to me. More like whining at the first sign of trouble.

     

    Before apple came along, there has never been anything remotely close to what apple has done for overseas workers rights. apple was the first company in history to implement this sort of protection. and as far as i know, they're still the only ones. i don't hear anything about other companies giving a shit. perhaps in your feigned anger you'll send all your household appliances, clothes and cars back to the manufacturers. while you're at it, why not contact them and voice your protests? 


     


    apple has done what it can to address conditions overseas with the vendors it chooses to work with. and they address these problems as they arise.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    I thought this all stopped after Mike Daisy disclosed it w Foxcon. Sounds troubling that Apple would continue such tactics to make a profit.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Felix01 View Post



    So why didn't Cook vow to look into the allegations right from the start instead of that lame "I'm deeply offended" CYA line? He lost a lot of credibility with me even though I think Apple is doing more than any other tech company to do right by their employees.



    BBC left things out of their report that Apple had provided: so the report was "offensive" in that it wasn't complete.

     

    Seems a fair point.

  • Reply 9 of 23
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    I thought this all stopped after Mike Daisy disclosed it w Foxcon. Sounds troubling that Apple would continue such tactics to make a profit.



    Mike made up a lot of his "story", so that's not the world's best basis for "change". And at the end of the day China is a sovereign nation with it's own laws, hardly an American's company's place to just strut in and demand things beyond compliance with China's laws, which they have done. Apple's not using "tactics", the private, independent, Chinese companies are setting prices with Apple via contract. Then Apple sets it's prices to make that profit.

  • Reply 10 of 23
    They should fire that dude or dudette third from the camera... every time I see a photo of this company s/he is always looking around while everyone else has their head down and working — every damn time!
  • Reply 11 of 23
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    Apple has done its best. I have lived in the Far East and naps at work are often done. The work ethic is high—especially for overtime as the coin is needed for families. So many differences in cultures, it is very hard to comprehend the ‘facts’.

     

    The docu? was so bias, so blatantly bias that the BBC would never have viewed it, had it any scruples. Even though the company gets its funding from a TV tax each household has to pay, that doesn’t seem to make it immune from the hunger for ratings and eyes and the expectations of government. I used to listen to  BBC radio for news but I gave up long ago as it is as slanted as the CBC and all American television we get (<edit>)well, I do return on occasion for some information). Corporate and government power is the problem.

     

    Here is a what if—What if Apple offered a bonus addition per unit sold (in ? number of pennies—and pennies do add up) to the companies that do not break or bend the rules. Apple could also have a team that collects info from workers (anonymously) when an employee leaves employment from companies that produce their goods.

    Also, maybe a positive reinforcement—reward plan might help with changes in behaviour.

    Namaste and care,

    mhikl

  • Reply 11 of 23
    felix01 wrote: »
    So why didn't Cook vow to look into the allegations right from the start instead of that lame "I'm deeply offended" CYA line? He lost a lot of credibility with me even though I think Apple is doing more than any other tech company to do right by their employees.

    felix01 wrote: »
    So why didn't Cook vow to look into the allegations right from the start instead of that lame "I'm deeply offended" CYA line? He lost a lot of credibility with me even though I think Apple is doing more than any other tech company to do right by their employees.

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    So much for Tim Cook's thick skin which he so proudly boasted about when he broadcast his sexual preferences to the world.

    Cook choosing to be 'deeply offended' is a knee-jerk response that hardly says thick skin to me. More like whining at the first sign of trouble.

    Two utterly moronic posts.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,611member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

     



    BBC left things out of their report that Apple had provided: so the report was "offensive" in that it wasn't complete.

     

    Seems a fair point.




    Dunno, if you're doing a corporate expose and the corporation in question insists that they smell of roses is it really obligatory for the exposer to give the corporation that soapbox?  It's not as if Apple are without a voice, they have the world's press handing on their every word - hell the BBC even published their rebuttal, gummy-toothed though it was.

     

    I don't think the imbalance argument holds much water if the BBC has actual physical evidence of wrongdoing on the floor.

  • Reply 14 of 23
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

     



    Dunno, if you're doing a corporate expose and the corporation in question insists that they smell of roses is it really obligatory for the exposer to give the corporation that soapbox?  It's not as if Apple are without a voice, they have the world's press handing on their every word - hell the BBC even published their rebuttal, gummy-toothed though it was.

     

    I don't think the imbalance argument holds much water if the BBC has actual physical evidence of wrongdoing on the floor.


    And when the corporation backed up their position with provable facts that were then ignored? That's Apple's beef as I understand it, not that BBC ignored their unsupported opinion of themselves.

  • Reply 15 of 23
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,611member

    I'm not sure we've been made aware of those provable facts, except Apple's vaporous claim of "being better than anyone else" and the 93% claim, which is a pretty poor SLA by any corporate measure.

  • Reply 16 of 23
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    I think many posters are missing the point of how the report is "deeply offensive" to Apple. It's offensive because it deliberately set out to paint Apple/partners as unethical and exploitative by presenting a cherry picked selection of worker infractions without contrasting against their significant efforts to improve worker conditions.

    Apple's own supplier reports show that there are infractions, however compliance is high and that is a massive change from the industry. If a hidden camera shows some of these infractions it says little about the whole picture. It sensationalises and provides false-proof by exaggerating the evidence. Indeed it didn't reveal any more than what the supplier reports were already telling us.

    Factually Apple's supply chain is highly ethical with worker conditions improving in each independent report. What is also missing is many of the other benefits introduced, such as free course study for workers, a project pioneered by Apple.

    The largest misappropriation of fact is that this report failed to compare these conditions with steady-improvements and made little mention of comparable operations. The recent case of Samsung chip fab workers with high rates of cancer is an example that comes to mind. Their thinner-margins and larger production is a recipe for problems which should garner far more scrutiny, but you won't see BBC reporting it because Samsung are currently a very large advertiser, something that wields significant power in traditional ad-based media.

    So we're find the media kicking the only people who are actually doing something about the problem, and exaggerating what they found to sex up a controversy - so yes, that's offensive.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    ecats wrote: »
    I think many posters are missing the point of how the report is "deeply offensive" to Apple. It's offensive because it deliberately set out to paint Apple/partners as unethical and exploitative by presenting a cherry picked selection of worker infractions without contrasting against their significant efforts to improve worker conditions.

    Apple's own supplier reports show that there are infractions, however compliance is high and that is a massive change from the industry. If a hidden camera shows some of these infractions it says little about the whole picture. It sensationalises and provides false-proof by exaggerating the evidence. Indeed it didn't reveal any more than what the supplier reports were already telling us.

    Factually Apple's supply chain is highly ethical with worker conditions improving in each independent report. What is also missing is many of the other benefits introduced, such as free course study for workers, a project pioneered by Apple.

    The largest misappropriation of fact is that this report failed to compare these conditions with steady-improvements and made little mention of comparable operations. The recent case of Samsung chip fab workers with high rates of cancer is an example that comes to mind. Their thinner-margins and larger production is a recipe for problems which should garner far more scrutiny, but you won't see BBC reporting it because Samsung are currently a very large advertiser, something that wields significant power in traditional ad-based media.

    So we're find the media kicking the only people who are actually doing something about the problem, and exaggerating what they found to sex up a controversy - so yes, that's offensive.

    I agree.

    That's tv for you. Take everything you watch on tv and read in the paper with a grain of salt.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    I agree.

    That's tv for you. Take everything you watch on tv and read in the paper with a grain of salt.

    Or more succinctly, question everything*,


    * That includes questioning questioning everything.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    patsupatsu Posts: 430member
    felix01 wrote: »
    So why didn't Cook vow to look into the allegations right from the start instead of that lame "I'm deeply offended" CYA line? He lost a lot of credibility with me even though I think Apple is doing more than any other tech company to do right by their employees.

    Probably because the allegations belong to the 7% infractions they already knew about, and are tracking periodically.

    As long as Pegatron commit to improve continuously, they should be fine. After all, action speaks louder than words.

    Meanwhile, Green Peace complain that Microsoft has backpaddled from Nokia's initial commitment to use less toxic material. After getting convicted for causing Cancer among some of their factory workers, Samsung said they'll move most of their production to Vietnam, out of everyone's watchful eyes. They still haven't banned Benzene, which is commonly used in final assembly.

    OTOH, Apple already prevent the factories from using Benzene in the final assembly. Every year, they remove more toxins from a typical manufacturing process. I look forward to a longer table in Phil's "green manufacturing" score card.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    ecats wrote: »

    .....Their thinner-margins and larger production is a recipe for problems which should garner far more scrutiny, but you won't see BBC reporting it because Samsung are currently a very large advertiser, something that wields significant power in traditional ad-based media.
    Samsung being a large advertiser would mean something (maybe) to an ad based media company but that's not the BBC.
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