Apple supplier Pegatron accused of excessive overtime, low wages & unsafe conditions at Shanghai fac

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 40

    I was just reading a part of the report China Labor Watch released. It sure does seem this group has some sort of  vendetta against Apple. China Labor Watch criticizes Apple for not paying the workers more, but newsflash, Apple isn't responsible for paying the workers. Why does China Labor Watch fail to mention the fact Pegatron is also manufacturing the Surface tablets for Microsoft, laptops for Lenovo, etc? This organization always singles out Apple, yet Apple is the most proactive when it comes to workers in China. Why should it be Apple's responsibility and not Microsfot, Lenovo, or any other customer of Pegatron? So ridiculous. The reality is, China Labor Watch should be criticizing China, not Apple. Apple doesn't enforce Chinese Labor laws. 

  • Reply 22 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Of course its seasonal.  

     

    Apple sold 75 million iPhones in the last Dec quarter.  In July they sold 47 million.  Do you seriously think the Foxconn factory kept all its workers from the holiday season?




    Reading comprehension problems?   Read what I said above.  

     

    And show real verifiable data for your claims.

  • Reply 23 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    but I bet you never worked in a factory getting paid just enough to survive.  Just because you visited a country and worked in a factory as a manager does not mean you understand what the line workers want.


    I'll take that you have not been in Siberia installing kit in a Gas Pumping Station in the middle of Winter then? -50C outside. No daylight.

    24 hours to complete what would normally take  5 days due to a gap in the weather. I'm no Manager. Never have been.

    In many places there were no Hotels. Just where the locals lived so we joined them. A 2 room apartment in times of Communism was sometimes inhabited by two families.. 4 Adults and Children and us. Nothing in the shops. Queue for hours for Bread. Milk delivered from the back of a tanker into an enameled jug.  Those people had nothing but didn't miss what they didn't know about. Things started to change under Gorbachov.

    Then we moved through Ukraine and into Romania. This was when Caucescu was in control. The peasants lived very much as they had done for centuries. In the main we camped out because the hotels were hours away. But food was always a problem. 

    This is not just visiting a Country in anyway shape or form.

  • Reply 24 of 40
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    sog35 wrote: »
    The difference is these factory workers are not working 60+ hours for months on end.  Their work is seasonal.  Usually just from mid August to Late January.  That's only about 4 months.  For the rest of the year they don't work much and probably move back to the farm for 8 months.  That's why they work so many hours.  Thats the facts of life for seasonal workers.

    Seasonality has nothing to do with anything. If anybody anywhere is contracted to work a set number of hours per week they should be paid overtime if they have to work more. An employer who doesn't pay overtime in such circumstances is a bad employer and should suffer whatever consequences. A worker that accepts overtime without pay is a mug (unless they will be fired or otherwise ostracized, and they have no other choice). I have no idea if these people have any kind of enforceable contract, of course. And I am not sure there is a law to protect them if they don't. I hope 'yes' in both cases.
  • Reply 25 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    So you think you need just as much workers to make 47 million phones in 3 months than 75 million in 3 months?

    dont be dense.

     

    Every Jul/Aug we hear about huge hirings by Foxconn right before the new iPhone comes out.




    Someone can't read.  You claimed they were seasonal workers, and GO HOME for 8 months back to rural China or where ever they come from, and I asked for verifiable source.  You have not supplied any verifiable source for your claims.   Then you try and confuse the issue by diverting my questions.

     

    I mentioned that they make iPhones all year, not just during one "season."   They may make less during other parts of the year by 40% but there are still many many workers building iPhones outside your "season."  No comment from you.

     

    I mentioned that Foxconn, Pegatron, etc. all build more than stuff for Apple.  They build for every big name CE company and those companies have other product cycles than does Apple.  Workers can be shifted.  No comment from you.

     

    I mentioned that the workers may also "factory hop" and move to another factory to make something when your iPhone season is over.  No comment from you.

     

    My point is, I do not believe that most of these workers are seasonal workers, even if their iPhone contract is seasonal.  Most of these workers are not returning to rural China for 8 months out of the year and they are not earning a years worth of income in four months, like you insinuate.   They go to the cities and STAY year round.  They have relocated.  They may go back over a festival or holiday season to visit home, but their new "home" is the city where their job is.  I asked for verifiable sources for your claims.  You have not provided any.

  • Reply 26 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Factories that make Apple products do pay overtime wages.

     

    Many jobs in the USA don't pay overtime but a straight salary.




    Making stuff up?

     

    Factories that make Apple products are supposed to pay overtime wages to hourly wage earners.   But some claim they are not fulfilling this obligation (I think that was one of the points of this article?)

     

    Many jobs in the USA don't pay overtime but a straight salary as they are salaried positions.   Don't conflate that with hourly positions.   In the US, hourly wage earners DO get paid overtime based on their state's laws and/or any Federal law that may exist.  

     

    You are trying to encourage a comparison between your two statements where none exists.

  • Reply 27 of 40
    “It is globalization — this chain that begins in the Chinese farming village and ends with iPhones in our pockets and Nikes on our feet — that has changed the way these millions of people work, marry, live and think. … When you talk to workers, they don’t say, ‘I want better hot water in the showers, I want a nicer room, I want a TV set.’ It would be nice to have those things, but that’s not why they’re in the city. From their perspective, where they’re coming from is much worse and where they’re going is much better.”

    http://blog.ted.com/meet-two-chinese-factory-workers-lu-qingmin-and-wu-chunming/

    Bleeding heart "Western" views of what is "good" or "bad" in China do not apply here. Consider the abject poverty most are escaping thanks to the jobs created by companies like Apple and how Apple goes above and beyond the vast majority of companies doing business with China.
  • Reply 28 of 40
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    chadbag wrote: »

    Making stuff up?

    Factories that make Apple products are supposed to pay overtime wages to hourly wage earners.   But some claim they are not fulfilling this obligation (I think that was one of the points of this article?)

    Many jobs in the USA don't pay overtime but a straight salary as they are salaried positions.   Don't conflate that with hourly positions.   In the US, hourly wage earners DO get paid overtime based on their state's laws and/or any Federal law that may exist.  

    You are trying to encourage a comparison between your two statements where none exists.

    Even a salaried position is based on hours, is it not? Can an employer offer a salaried position and insist on limitless hours? I know nothing about employment laws but I'd imagine it is supposed to be fairly tightly regulated.
  • Reply 29 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    You have no proof they stay in the city 12 month in the year.

     

    it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if Foxcon is hiring TENS OF THOUSANDS of people every year during the iPhone launch that many of those are seasonal workers.  If not then Foxcon would have well over a million factory workers by now.

     

    Read this article:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/04/16/foxconns-hiring-there-must-be-a-new-apple-iphone-on-the-way/

     

    It sounds like most workers work at Foxcon for a season, a year, or a couple years and then leave.  For most it is a temporary job.

     

    "What actually happened wsa this: most of these factory workers are migrants who go home for that New Year. And they will often decide to go back to a different factory: or not to go back at all having done their few years and made their nest egg. Thus there’s always a large hiring fair after the return. This didn’t happen this year: not because Foxconn required fewer people and that this was therefore a reflection on Apple volumes, but because Foxconn sharply raised wages last year therefore everyone did come back."


     

    Because there is a general problem in China of the cities getting bigger and the countryside emptying.  Not for 4 months.  Emptying.    City populations are booming.

     

    You have  NO PROOF that people are going back home for 8 months like you said.  Chinese demographics say otherwise.

     

    And your bolded statement does NOT support your claim:  "having done their few years".  See that?  Years.  They go and work in the factories for years.  Not 4 months.  It specifically says they go back over a holiday, which is what I said.

     

    Please show proof of your claim that the workers work 4 or so months and go home.  You were saying they need to earn a years worth in 4 months.   With no proof.   

     

     

    I laid out what probably actually happens -- people move to the cities, and they get jobs at Foxconn or whatever, and they get switched to different products or have to go get a different job at a  different place when the iPhone run is done until the next year.  They are not earning a years worth of income in 4 months.

     

     

    There is no proof that they are hiring seasonal workers.  They may be hiring temporary workers but those workers go get other jobs.   At the same or other manufacturers.  In the cities.   All the articles I've read about China have never mentioned large waves going to the cities 4 or 6 months out of the year to work and then going home to rural China.  They all talk about the waves of workers going to the cities to work.   And staying.

     

    That is why they are building a ton of new cities/pieces of cities in China continually.  To handle the migration to urban areas.  Try looking up "Chinese Urban Migration" in Google or Bing.

  • Reply 30 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post





    Even a salaried position is based on hours, is it not? Can an employer offer a salaried position and insist on limitless hours? I know nothing about employment laws but I'd imagine it is supposed to be fairly tightly regulated.



    There are typically at least 3 "earner" classes.  I am not a lawyer or labor lawyer or HR person.  But in most US states you have something like

     

    hourly

    exempt with overtime

    exempt

     

    hourly is what you expect.  You get paid per hour of labor and overtime laws etc. apply

     

    exempt with overtime.  You are paid a salary.  Generally a monthly or yearly based salary.  However, you still collect overtime.  Not sure how it is tracked

     

    exempt.  You are paid a salary.  Does not matter how many hours you work.  No overtime.   Some companies will unofficially let you take comp-time if you work a lot of overtime -- Ie, take some unaccounted for time off to counteract the overtime.  Usually unofficial policies you work out with your boss.

     

     

    Most "professional" type jobs are exempt.  This includes engineers (of any stripe including software), graphic artists, etc. Doctors, lawyers, etc.  (Lawyers may charge YOU by the hour, but the firm pays them a salary or a commission on business brought in or both, with bonuses).  Nurses in the US are typically hourly and not salary.   Obviously a software guy may charge YOU by the hour, for whatever service is provided, but unless he is self employed sole proprietor, his company is paying him a salary not based on hours, usually.

  • Reply 31 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    My general point is most don't view their jobs at Foxconn as long-term.  Its something they do for a few months or a few years at the most.  Looking at it that way the long hours are not as bad.  Anyone who went to college and worked a job knows that between classes, work, and homework you were putting in over 60+ hours a week.

     

    Another reference:

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/the-ieconomy-how-much-do-foxconn-workers-make/?_r=0

     

    "You can see why many migrant workers want to work on Saturdays and Sundays rather than sit around in a crowded dorm in an area that is gated and has little more than factories for as far as the eye can see. They generally stay at a factory less than 2 years, so every day of weekend work is twice the rate of a weekday."

     

    "Such workers tend to volunteer for considerable overtime, trying to save as much money as quickly as possible so as to go back to their home village, often to start a business. "

     

    Again these are temporary gigs.  

     

    http://www.businessinsider.com/pogue-apple-foxconn-2012-2

     

    "These jobs are viewed as "starter" jobs, not career jobs--a chance to make some quick money before doing something else"

     

    I think adults should have the right to work 60-70 hours a week if they want to.  It silly we force 18 year boys in the military to work 100 hour weeks in the dessert while we scoff at people in China who desperately WANT to work extra.




    No is claiming these are career jobs.   But in general there are not waves of people going back and forth between the rural countryside and cities for "seasonal" iPhone jobs.   The net population movement is INTO the cities and they stay there.  They may bounce around different factory jobs.  Some may earn enough to go back tot he home village to start a business, but that would be a minority of them.  Others may move on to better jobs or go get an education or start a business in the city.

     

    I was specifically calling out your claim that these are "seasonal" when they are not.  They may be "temporary" or "time constrained" employment contracts.   And your claim that they are earning a yearly income in working 4 months of the year and returning to support their families the other 8.

  • Reply 32 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by paxman View Post





    Even a salaried position is based on hours, is it not? Can an employer offer a salaried position and insist on limitless hours? I know nothing about employment laws but I'd imagine it is supposed to be fairly tightly regulated.



    See http://career-advice.monster.com/salary-benefits/salary-information/Whats-the-Difference-Between-Exempt/article.aspx for an overview

     

    I've worked at places that had the third category I mentioned, which is exempt/overtime-eligible where they did not get paid for their hours (i.e. paid same for 35 or 40 hours) but over 40 were still paid overtime.  That is not mentioned in the above link.

  • Reply 33 of 40
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  • Reply 34 of 40
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,995member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Seasonal vs temporary.  What the hell is the difference.  The fact is many work at factories for only a few months and never go back.  

     

    That's my whole point.  Its not like people stay their for decades.  Most of us have had periods in our life where we had to work crazy hours for a few years.  Like during college or first few years at a big firm.  I had friends who would work 7 days a week at their CPA firm and even sleep on the ground in their cubical during tax season.




    Farm work is seasonal.  Fishing is often seasonal.  Picking Apples is seasonal.  Those people in the off months are at home repairing machines, tending animals, mending nets, or going back to their home countries to be with their families and working at seasonal jobs there (Apple pickers I was familiar with).  Temporary is time constrained work.  It  may last 1 month, or 4 months, or 6.  When it is over it is over and you go get a new job somewhere else (or you transfer to a new position).   The assumptions made for the two are different when you read them.  I work as a contract SW engineer.  My work is usually temporary, but not seasonal.

     

    Your whole point back when this started was people were earning a years wages in 4 months and going home for the rest of the time.   That is what I was disputing.   They go get another job.  They are not seasonal employees working just a season.   They may be temporary.

  • Reply 35 of 40
    formosaformosa Posts: 261member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chadbag View Post

     



    No is claiming these are career jobs.   But in general there are not waves of people going back and forth between the rural countryside and cities for "seasonal" iPhone jobs.   The net population movement is INTO the cities and they stay there.  They may bounce around different factory jobs.  Some may earn enough to go back tot he home village to start a business, but that would be a minority of them.  Others may move on to better jobs or go get an education or start a business in the city.


     

    Based on experience with a few contract manufacturers in China, I don't see seasonal fluctuations, either.

     

    However, one factory is located a few hours away from Foxconn's iPhone production. At the end of last summer, that factory suffered a huge drop in operators (approaching 20%). The managers said it was due to Foxconn's iPhone 6/6+ ramp up to production. I've never seen that high a turnover before. So this is the only "seasonal" shift I've seen, based on the iPhone seasons.

     

    We should locate close to a Samsung Galaxy Edge factory. ;) 

  • Reply 36 of 40
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    chadbag wrote: »

    There are typically at least 3 "earner" classes.  I am not a lawyer or labor lawyer or HR person.  But in most US states you have something like

    hourly
    exempt with overtime
    exempt

    hourly is what you expect.  You get paid per hour of labor and overtime laws etc. apply

    exempt with overtime.  You are paid a salary.  Generally a monthly or yearly based salary.  However, you still collect overtime.  Not sure how it is tracked

    exempt.  You are paid a salary.  Does not matter how many hours you work.  No overtime.   Some companies will unofficially let you take comp-time if you work a lot of overtime -- Ie, take some unaccounted for time off to counteract the overtime.  Usually unofficial policies you work out with your boss.


    Most "professional" type jobs are exempt.  This includes engineers (of any stripe including software), graphic artists, etc. Doctors, lawyers, etc.  (Lawyers may charge YOU by the hour, but the firm pays them a salary or a commission on business brought in or both, with bonuses).  Nurses in the US are typically hourly and not salary.   Obviously a software guy may charge YOU by the hour, for whatever service is provided, but unless he is self employed sole proprietor, his company is paying him a salary not based on hours, usually.
    Thanks for that info. When I worked for a large broadcaster in the UK I got time in lieu, not overtime. Time in lieu is good but most people never used it all up.
  • Reply 37 of 40
    idreyidrey Posts: 647member
    Some more enlightened countries enact laws to stop people working 80+ hours week after week after week. For example France with their 35 hour work week
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/35-hour_workweek
    Before that it was 39 hours. I was dobbed into the Authourities for working 60+ hours in a week to finish a project. They just gave a gallic shrug and went on their way  because the law didn't apply to visitors to the county but that wasn't the point.
    I have worked 60+ hours for months on end and it is not nice. It is no wonder that there is a lot of suicides amongst the type of worker employed at these factories. Most of them a literally thousands of miles from their families.
    Perhaps Mr Sog35 you might like to go to China and get a job at one of these places. It might bring a modicum of humanity into your life.

    Back to the topic. IMHO, Apple should just stop using Pegatron if they continue like this. An example needs to be made so that others can make sure that their workers are treated decently in future.

    I think he makes a good point. It is seasonal jobs and people need money.
    And even here in he U.S there are people who work 60+ hours or
    Work 2 or 3 jobs and even 7 days a week.
    I know is not healthy to be doing so, but sometime people need
    To take advantage of the opportunities they get, specially in a country
    Like China, where jobs are short and there is way too many people applying
    For the same job. It would be nice if we could work 35 hours a week. (Which
    My wife does, lucky her) but not all of us can.

    But it is bad when these companies take advantage of people's necessities and
    Abuse them. Is ok to let them work but it should be done in an adequate environment

    Edit: well yeah it is actually temporary work not so much seasonal.
  • Reply 38 of 40
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Oh God now we're not gonna hear the end of Pegatron from the fandroids even though they have no idea where their iPhoneys are manufactured and how.
  • Reply 39 of 40
    waltgwaltg Posts: 90member
    Since my memory hasn't totally gone yet, the positions I had in my carreer and companies, most of the time we all worked over 40 hrs especially if you wanted to advance yourself! And most of the time since we were salaried, no overtime pay! So, this is not really Apples responsibility (although I'm sure they will intervene), it is that country's responsibility to police these actions...
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