DHARAMSHALA, August 1: Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile, has expressed outrage at accusations of discriminative hiring policies against Tibetans adopted by Chinese factories supplying products for Apple.
In a release on Wednesday, TYC said it was “deeply concerned” at the reports of labour rights violations and urged the California based Apple Inc. to “seriously investigate” the accusations.
China Labour Watch, a US based labour rights group, in an investigative report
detailing labor violations in three factories of Pegatron Group, a major supplier to Apple had revealed at least 86 labor rights violations, including 36 legal violations and 50 ethical violations.
The report accused Pegatron of "discriminatory hiring practices" including refusing to hire members of China's so called ethnic minorities including Huis, Tibetans, or Uighurs.
“Apple is one of the largest companies in the world and we believe that Apple must hold their subsidiaries responsible to their company’s principles,” newly elected TYC President Tenzing Jigme said.
The group further demanded that Apple enforce strict guidelines and regulations to ensure that the factories in China that produce Apple products are not discriminating against Tibetans, Uighurs and Huis.
In a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook, TYC noted that the company must take serious actions against any violations of their principles as an Equal Employment opportunity provider and Affirmative Action Employer.
The group reminded Apple that in doing business with China, the global company has a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that the government of China and its subsidiary factories are treating others with respect and dignity.
TYC further announced that its chapters across the world will petition Apple to make changes to their policies and hold their factories accountable. The largest Tibetan group has also laid out plans to organise protests at Apple Headquarters and stores to ensure that their demands are heard by Apple.
Pegatron assembles products including the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 for Apple.
China Labor Watch in its report said the majority of Pegatron production employees worked 66 to 69 hours a week, far above China's legal limit of 49 hours. It said pregnant women sometimes were required to work 11-hour days, more than the eight-hour legal limit, and employees were pressured to falsify time cards to conceal the violations.
The report found violations including discrimination against women, excessive work hours, poor living conditions, health and safety problems, and pollution.