The BBC launched an investigation into a Pegatron plant that Apple uses to manufacturer its products in China, and found poor treatment of workers, after Apple has stated several times that it’s cleaned up its act.

The British media giant found standards on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were being breached at the Pegatron factories. It even recorded workers falling asleep on the production line after a 12-hour shift.

BBC plans to air its investigation on its BBC Panorama program, on December 18 at 21:00 GMT. Apple responded to the claims, saying: “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions. We work with suppliers to address shortfalls, and we see continuous and significant improvement, but we know our work is never done.”

The BBC used undercover reporters to find issues within the supply chain. One reporter found the longest shift worked to be 16 hours, and at the end just wanted to sleep – not even wanting to get up and eat. Another worker had to work 18 days in a row without a day off, even with requests for days of rest.

However, Apple says it found supply chain employees work 55-hours per week on average. The Cupertino-based company has an entire “Supplier Responsibility” page highlighting its efforts.

Apple has been under fire for the practices within its supply chain after 14 workers committed suicide within its biggest supplier, Foxconn, during 2010. Furthermore, an award winning expose by the New York Times revealed harmful work practices within the supply chain that produces iPhone, iPads, Macs, and more.

The BBC program also travelled further down Apple’s supply chain to the Indonesian island of Bangka, where it found children miners touching tin ore out by hand in extremely dangerous conditions.


  • Dany Quirion

    Funny how they call it apple factory when half of the electronic we use is made there..

    • Dani Hayes

      Because Apple is its biggest client. Over forty percent of Foxconns work is dedicated to Apple.

    • NervJMSL

      Exactly, using Apple’s name is just to feed the wolves. If they do not manufacture for Apple they would be making Android devices, TVs, or anything else. The company’s working conditions will not change regardless.

  • Burge

    “Apple responded to the claims, saying: “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions. ”

    What within Apple or the other companies you use. Because it’s not the latter. so that means jack Sh#t.

  • tstsr6

    I think it ridiculous – the price they are charging for their products, you’d think they’d invest a bit more into their workers! As much as I love apple products I hate the way they treat their workers. No matter how much they deny it, this panorama episode will show their true colours and I hope it’s enough for them to finally sort their shit out. They’d just better not increase their prices as a result!

    • Burge

      But it’s not a Apple company it’s a company that Apple uses to make there products. Apple don’t need to do anything. Apple treats “it’s” workers ok. It’s not responsible for another company and how that company treats its employees. Apple could say treat your workings better or we will take are business elsewhere. But that’s it.

      As for Apple prices. If people are willing to pay those prices Apple will sell at those prices.

      • Couldn’t have said it better myself. Pegatron and Foxconn fake forms so auditors see that everything is okay. How is Apple supposed to know any different? In addition to this as you’ve said this isn’t an Apple factory. Perhaps they should have gone to one of the factories in the US to see the difference. The real problem is the quantity Apple needs things done no one can beat China on price and no one except China can produce the quantity necessary. The only real solution to this problem is for Apple to buy Pegatron or Foxconn or some other factories in China and make sure that they’re run properly. As for the environmental concerns brought up (briefly mentioned at the bottom of the article) I really haven’t got the slightest idea how this could be solved…

      • Antzboogie

        No one can beat China at the price? So this justifies what they are doing to people? This isn’t Apple’s first dance. Dont get me wrong Apple is awesome but seriously Capitalism makes you money while you hurt the human race, but who cares if your not the upper class your not worth it your just a pawn? Bring these factories to the America LAST TIME I checked we were short on jobs. Oh but then that means paying people more then 4 dollars an hour what a joke. A Union forming? Oh no don’t hurt us lol.

      • mrgerbik

        bs – blatant apologist

  • Brandon

    Unless we see some examples of “positive” improvements since Apple has been getting more involved, I’m treating this like the biased crap it probably is. I’m sure BBC needs the clickbait for funding.

    • Matt Taylor

      What a stupid comment

    • Burge

      If only you new how the BBC gets its funding.. If only you had taken the time for a Google search on it.

  • Jife66

    They dont call them the Biased Brodcasting Company here in the uk for nothing. Take a look at their reporting on the Scottish Independence referendum this year, dont believe a word they say.

  • Jordan Dixon

    So yeah this documentary is bias against Apple, like not saying how other companies use these suppliers, how this is basically all Chinese factories, blah blah. But I think this is good anyway. The reason the Apple logo is all over this documentary is they have $150 billion saved in the bank. They are the biggest company in the world. If anyone is gonna change anything, it’s gonna be Apple. And things need to change.

  • Kr00

    Good luck trying to get in to see what happens in the Samsung factories. If you think this is bad, the reports of what happens with samsungs own factories will enrage you. Every reporter that has attempted to write anything about the working conditions in Korean factories, have had threats of imprisonment thrown at them. You have to wonder what they’re hiding.

    • The same thing would have likely have happened to the BBC reporters at Foxconn or Pegatron if they were found to be recording. At one point in the video a security guard reached out towards the camera when searching a reporter but luckily did not see or feel the camera.

  • Matt Taylor

    I love the comment made at the start saying that a lot of Apple customers don’t act like customers at all and act more like fanatic cult followers! Like religious factions… So true.

    It’s so embarrassing to humanity seeing grown men and woman acting that way for a piece of technology that they don’t even really need, but it just proves what a brainwashing wave of manipulation Apple has over half the world and why they have obscene amounts of money as a result!

    Groups of “employees” clapping and cheering etc, these things are the same tactics used by religions for tens of thousands of years, and we all (the smart ones) know the motive of religion… Money and Control, and then more MONEY!! (watch zeitgeist)

    I have myself been under Apples spell for far to long! This greedy narcissistic corporation needs to move their production to the U.S. and pay a decent wage with decent hours in a country that won’t tolerate slavery! They need to reward share holders more! They need to lower the price of their products! They need to use better hardware and not last years components! They need to do a lot of things… But they won’t.

  • Franklin Richards

    If this sort of thing was happening in the UK or the USA the government would step in and do something. Except this is China and it’s already assumed that they’d do absolutely nothing about it.

  • jp2002

    Contract manufacturers get thin profit margins from the devices they manufacture. All this happens to cut costs and other overheads. It could be fixed by updating labour laws, which China wouldn’t do, in fear of their economy crashing. This is the sad truth of 80% of all electronics.

  • drewjbx

    Its not like apple hasn’t known this since they first started overseas production… its how they got rich. Of course when the press finds something out Apple has to act shocked and surprised…

  • Antzboogie

    Apple has to learn Capiltalism just hurts people makes you money but hurts people. Who cares it’s just money right??

  • scott

    The price apple charge for their products is clearly not justified!!! Yet again sky high prices but little or no pay for the driving force that fills their pockets