The Apple company logo has been spotted outside an Apple store in Bordeaux, France on March 22, 2019.
Regis Duvignou | Reuters
Apple said that on Monday it suspended future trade with Pegatron, a major partner, to assemble products such as iPhones and iPads for violating its labor rules.
“Several weeks ago, we discovered Pegatron – one of Apple’s suppliers in China – violated Apple’s supplier code of conduct in administering a student work study program,” an Apple spokesperson told CNBC.
Apple said Pegatron misconfigured student activists and did paperwork to help detect violations of Apple’s code of conduct. Apple told CNBC that students were allowed to work nights and / or overtime and that students sometimes worked on projects unrelated to their major. Those students were eventually compensated for their work and were returned to home and school, the company said.
The New York Times was the first to report on Monday.
Apple stated that Pegatron employees went to extraordinary lengths to vacate their inspection mechanisms and that Pegatron fired the program’s executive executive. Apple will not give the company any additional business until it can correct parts of the business that lead to the breach.
This is not the first time that Apple’s suppliers have come under fire for the labor situation in its supply chain factories in China. It relies on foreign manufacturers such as Pegatron and Foxconn to quickly assemble large numbers of phones, but these companies have been accused of underpaying and treating workers.
According to the Times, Pegatron’s investigation would not affect the current production of iPhones. Apple’s new iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini went on sale on November 6 and will begin shipping from this Friday.
CNBC’s Josh Lipton contributed to this report.