A Chinese labor watchdog alleges that Apple supplier Pegatron is still failing to adequate cater for and pay their summer student workers.
China Labor Watch (CLW) has revealed that at least 100 students making the iPhone in a Shanghai factory owned by the Pegatron Group have not received all due wages or had their wages deducted by significant amounts.
During the summer school break, Pegatron Shanghai hires thousands of student workers via labor dispatch companies or employment agencies. CLW?s earlier investigations revealed that many of these students did not receive full wages or did not receive wages on time.
CLW's follow-up investigations have revealed that the scale and depth of students' unpaid wages and deductions at Pegatron are shocking. As of September 9, 2013, about 100 student workers have already confirmed with CLW that while working at Pegatron Shanghai, they were not paid for 20 to 30 minutes of daily mandatory overtime meetings, had wages deducted, or only received 80 percent of the wages of normal workers despite doing the same work.
33 of the students from the former two schools have signed their names to documents, given to CLW, that indicate unpaid or deducted wages and demand the return of those wages.
CLW has communicated with students from these three schools, but based on CLW's undercover investigation, wage arrears and deductions are common violations among many of the thousands of student workers who were employed at Pegatron during this year?s summer break.
Student workers entered Pegatron as either normal workers or interns. Both types of students worked the same long 12-hour shifts on production lines, including mandatory overtime and daily unpaid meetings. Student workers chose to work at Pegatron during their summer breaks in order to earn a little extra money.
Wages were deducted in two ways. First, 600 RMB ($98) was deducted from the wages of non-intern student workers for not completing three months of work, even though students' summer breaks are only two months long. This effectively means that these students worked eight days of their two-month stints for free.
Second intern workers at Pegaton only wages about 20 percent less (600 RMB or $98) than those of normal workers and were forced to pay 500 RMB ($81) in fees and deposits. This occurred even though interns, more often than not, are studying subjects totally unrelated to work on a production line, such as communications.
Furthermore, students workers at Pegatron did not receive pay stubs that explained how their wages were calculated, so they are unclear about just how much Pegatron owes them.
Last week, CLW provided Apple with information on student workers' wage arrears. In an email sent to CLW, Apple said that Pegatron has allegedly recovered the deductions of a number of student workers. Pegatron has also allegedly prohibited employment agencies from deducting wages from workers going forward. CLW has been able to confirm with a handful of these students that they did in fact get back the 600 RMB deduction, but there are still some students that have not yet received this repayment.
Despite this preliminary response, Apple and Pegatron have not yet accounted for the wage repayments of potentially thousands of other student workers. The companies have also not accounted for the daily unpaid overtime or the reduced wages of student interns.
CLW called upon Apple and Pegatron to use internal records to find these students and ensure that they are given their rightful wages.