iPhone manufacturer Pegatron has denied any knowledge of upcoming Fair Labor Association audits, despite Apple saying that all of its suppliers had “pledged full cooperation” with the plans announced yesterday. Pegatron is aware of Apple’s social responsibility policies, CFO Charles Lin told Bloomberg, but has not been informed of any upcoming inspections, which Apple and the FLA say will begin in the spring.
Long-time Apple supplier Foxconn is up first for FLA inspection, not least because the company has seen several worker suicides over the past 18-24 months and come in for criticism over production line conditions. Apple said that Quanta and Pegatron would be next in line, with their investigations coming sometime in the spring.
It’s possible that Apple’s comments that all of the suppliers “pledged full cooperation with the FLA, offering unrestricted access to their operations” relate to the company’s general contractual conditions, rather than any specific notification of the new investigations. Quanta declined to comment on the audits.
Apple’s decision to request independent checks by the FLA come after widely-reported criticism which singled the company out over poor treatment of supply chain employees. Executives at the company, it was suggested, were aware of problems experienced by staff at Foxconn, Pegatron and others, but chose not to act upon that knowledge because it could impact manufacturing timelines and costs. The allegations prompted “outrage” from CEO Tim Cook.