BEIJING, CHINA (DECEMBER 16, 2013) (REUTERS) - Family members of a deceased 15 year-old Pegatron worker on Monday (December 16) rejected Apple Inc's conclusion that his death was unrelated to conditions of the factory where he worked.
The deaths of three other Pegatron employees were reported this year.
Apple Inc. said their medical team found no evidence between factory working conditions and the reported deaths of workers at the factory.
Pegatron spokesman Charles Lin said that the assembly line employee, who died in October, used his 21-year-old cousin's identification to apply for the job, so the factory did not know he was underage.
Shi Zengqiang, father of the 15-year old boy, said that Shanghainese authorities barely allowed him the time to examine his own son's corpse after they concluded pneumonia as the cause of death.
"(The authorities) said it was severe pneumonia. I said, my child, he was sick only a few hours and then he was dead. Just that quick. I said, did it have to do with the place he worked in? Was he hit (by something)? They said they it was not clear to them either," Shi told media at a news conference hosted by China Labor Watch, a New York-based rights group.
China Labor Watch, a New York-based rights group, said the worker had a pre-employment physical examination on September 4 which showed he was in good health.
"They only let us see him for a few seconds. I saw his face, and they, they only let me see my child's face for a few seconds. They didn't let me check him. So after that we just stood at the doors of the factory. They wouldn't speak with me. They wouldn't meet with me," said Shi.
Shi, accompanied by a cousin and the father of a recently-deceased 19 year-old boy who also worked at the same factory, unveiled a banner to media saying "Apple Inc Give Us Back Our Family!"
A work schedule of Shi Zhaokun's work hours held by his family members showed Shi worked a total of 280 hours within a month-long period.
The Taiwanese company, which assembles Apple's iPhone and iPad mini, had already concluded the death was not related to work. The employee had only recently joined, and the assembly line environment should not cause pneumonia, said Pegatron spokesman Lin.
Lin said that the three other employee deaths this year, in March and April, were caused by various medical conditions unrelated to work at the factory.