Apple medical experts say Pegatron factory death unrelated to working conditions

“Apple Inc. sent medical experts to the Shanghai factory of contractor Pegatron Corp, who concluded that working conditions did not lead to the death from pneumonia of a 15-year-old boy who had lied to gain employment,” Clare Jim, Paul Carsten, and Poornima Gupta report for Reuters.

“The world’s most valuable technology company commissioned an investigation of suppliers’ Chinese factories last year by the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which in a report on Thursday said working hours at Foxconn now comply with its standard,” Jim, Carsten, and Gupta report. “‘Last month we sent independent medical experts from the U.S. and China to conduct an investigation of the (Pegatron) factory. While they have found no evidence of any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones,”‘ Apple said in a statement on Thursday. ‘Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure that conditions meet our high standards.'”

“The Taiwanese company, which assembles Apple’s iPhone and iPad mini, concluded from its own investigation that the death was not related to work as the employee had only recently joined, and because the assembly line environment should not cause a condition such as pneumonia, said Pegatron spokesman Charles Lin,” Jim, Carsten, and Gupta report. “The employee used his 21-year-old cousin’s identification to apply for the job, so the factory did not know he was underage, Lin also said.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Worker deaths raise questions at an Apple contractor Pegatron in China – December 11, 2013

11 Comments

  1. Apple fan that I am, this does not seem right. I thought early reports were that the kid was working 70+ hours per week. If one has pneumonia then that workload is definitely a contributing factor.

    I am not trying to put blame on Apple, I think they are doing more than anybody else to improve conditions. But 70+ hours is way too much.

    1. bilbo, perhaps you don’t realize this at the moment, but your comment is indeed blaming Apple inc. indirectly.
      To suffer from pneumonia, is to be unable to go to work right from the get go. Who was pushing this child to go to work knowing full well that he was only a child? Who stood to benefit from this child’s labour? Follow the money and you will find the source of blame for this sordid turn of events.

      1. The only person who knew this was a child was the child himself. The only person pushing him to work long hours was himself. The only person keeping him from seeking medical care was himself…the same person who used a fake ID to get the job in the first place.

        1. @ crabapple
          “but your comment is indeed blaming Apple inc. indirectly.”

          Not at all. As long as Apple does not encourage the illegal overworking of employees in plants such as this,they are not to blame. As long as they have specific policies against such work hours and make a real effort to enforce them (which Apple indeed does do) then they are not to blame.

          @zeke
          I agree that the 15 year old is responsible for his deception of the company re his age. (Not sure how a recruiter allows a 15 year old to pass as 21 – but that is not issue here). But please do not kid yourself that the kid had a lot of choice as to the long hours. Conditions are such that in many cases you either work them or you lose your job. I – of course – cannot say that this was indeed the case here, but neither can you assume that he was “the only person…”

          Again – I am a big Apple fan and generally a defender. But people should be honest. If Pegatron forced the kid to work 70+ hours than that had to be a contributing factor.

    2. I regularly work about that number of hours. It is not, in and of itself, a big deal. Maybe combined with the nature of the work.

      But anyway, if you have a sample of a hundred thousand people, some are going to die, from time to time. That may be all this is.

      Aaaaand, as far as I know, Apple is doing so much more than any of the other numerous American companies that use Asian labor.

    3. Why are you glossing over the fact that this boy at 15 lied to gain employment, using a cousin’s ID, and therefore brought this upon himself?

      Where is his responsibility in this, and where is his parents’ responsibility? Were they unaware that their 15 year old was doing this? I doubt he was kidnapped by the factory.

    1. The supervisors were responsible for one of their employees getting pneumonia? Why is it their fault he got sick? If they chained workers in a long line outdoors with no shoes in frigid cold, then yes. But that is not what happened.

    2. The employee used his 21-year-old cousin’s identification to apply for the job, so the factory did not know he was underage

      Personal responsibility is a requirement of being alive. This one can’t be foisted off on anyone else.

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