Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:15 AM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Death of Underage Worker Sparks More Accusations of Labor Violations at Pegatron [Updated]




Chinese labor rights group China Labor Watch (CLW) is calling for answers from primary Apple supplier Pegatron after the death of five young workers in recent months, highlighted by the passing of a fifteen year old factory worker due to pneumonia related causes in October, reports The New York Times. The laborer, Shi Zhaokun, was able to secure a job at a Pegatron factory producing the iPhone 5c by presenting a fake ID stating that he was 20, reportedly working a total of 280 hours in his only month at the company.
Quote:
Apple's supplier responsibility statement bars employees of supplier companies in China from working more than 60 hours a week; so does Chinese law. But Mr. Shi worked 79 hours in his first week, 77 in his second and 75 in his third, all apparently in violation of the law, according to documents provided by his family.

Pegatron said that the work logs the family kept are records of when the young man clocked in and out, and may not include breaks. The company said his hours did not exceed the legal limit.
A Pegatron spokeswoman said that the death of the worker was "not related to the workplace environment", while Apple has not officially commented on the incident. In July, China Labor Group alleged numerous safety and workplace violations at Pegatron, including the unethical holding of worker pay and identification cards, as well as poor living conditions within the factory including tight living quarters and packed cafeterias. Apple replied to the allegations, confirming various labor violations and vowing to investigate the incident.

Recently, Hong Kong-based Apple supplier Biel Crystal was also accused of workers rights violations, with a nonprofit watchdog labor group stating that the company made employees work forced 11-hour shifts without adequate compensation for injuries sustained on the job.

Apple announced in July that it was forming an academic advisory board for its Supplier Responsibility program, saying that it wanted to ensure "safe and ethical working conditions wherever its products are made." Apple has also published Supplier Responsibility Progress Reports every year since 2007, tracking the ethical progress of its suppliers in order to bring transparency to its product manufacturing process.

Update: Reuters reports that Apple sent a medical team to the Pegatron facility last month, determining that the worker's death was not related to working conditions.
Quote:
"Last month we sent independent medical experts from the U.S. and China to conduct an investigation of the (Pegatron) factory. While they have found no evidence of any link to working conditions there, we realize that is of little comfort to the families who have lost their loved ones," Apple said in a statement on Thursday.

"Apple has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe and healthy workplace for every worker in our supply chain, and we have a team working with Pegatron at their facility to ensure that conditions meet our high standards."
Article Link: Death of Underage Worker Sparks More Accusations of Labor Violations at Pegatron [Updated]
MacRumors is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:19 AM   #2
davidec
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Siri needs to be given a physical form and multiplied by 100,000. Then apple won't have to deal with these serious problems.
davidec is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:23 AM   #3
840quadra
Moderator
 
840quadra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Land of Free outdoor Freezers
I understand, and respect that laws are in place to protect both the workers and the companies, and the fact that this is a real problem. That said, I am curious how many of these accidental deaths are due to other types of pressure. The lure to make as much money possible for yourself or your family can cause people to push themselves too hard at times.



Quote:
Originally Posted by davidec View Post
Siri needs to be given a physical form and multiplied by 100,000. Then apple won't have to deal with these serious problems.
What does a digital personal assistant have to do with Child labor, and poor work conditions?
840quadra is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:26 AM   #4
hansonjohn590
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
If this broke adult labor laws then punish the company.

If he broke some kind of child labor laws, its not the companies fault. The idiot kid gave a fake id and that should not factor into anything.
hansonjohn590 is offline   4 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:28 AM   #5
TWSS37
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
I'm not sure how a 15 year old working 70 hours a week and getting pnemonia ISN'T a result of the workplace environment. Exhaustion weakens ones immune system in an adult fairly quickly, let alone a teenager's.
__________________
iPhone 4 (black) iTouch 4 (white) iPod Nano (3rd gen)
TWSS37 is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:28 AM   #6
japanime
macrumors 65816
 
japanime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Japan
Quote:
Originally Posted by hansonjohn590 View Post
If this broke adult labor laws then punish the company.

If he broke some kind of child labor laws, its not the companies fault. The idiot kid gave a fake id and that should not factor into anything.
Dear MacRumors,

Please bring back the downvote button.
__________________
Put Manga University in your pocket — get our free iPhone app!
japanime is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:30 AM   #7
hansonjohn590
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by japanime View Post
Dear MacRumors,

Please bring back the downvote button.
Then I suggest you head over to reddit, this is for the adults.

In all seriousness, care to elaborate why you disagree? The company should be punished if it broke labor laws but he should NOT be considered a 'minor' considering he gave a fake ID. Oh, and his employment was voluntary.
hansonjohn590 is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:33 AM   #8
GoCubsGo
macrumors Nehalem
 
GoCubsGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidec View Post
Siri needs to be given a physical form and multiplied by 100,000. Then apple won't have to deal with these serious problems.
What? I totally want to hear the logic behind this comment.


First of all, you cannot be violating child labor laws when the child posed as an adult using a fake ID to get himself the job in the first place. Second, if he fell ill and was detained by his employer resulting in his death, then that should indeed result in consequence. However, if he fell ill and simply said nothing, pushed himself to work then it is impossibly unfortunate, but it is not at the fault of the company. If workers are forced to work 280 hours in a month then that is wrong, if they're given a chance to work as much as they wish, then there is little that can be done until laws are in place that limit the amount of hours one can work.

Start paying overtime and watch the employer cap those weeks at 40 hours, or whatever they deem a "standard" work week. I know the minute staff moves from regular pay to overtime pay, someone is riding my ass to stop them.
GoCubsGo is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:34 AM   #9
Mackan
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Asian companies are always like this. There are no real laws protecting the employees. Work 12-14 hours if needed, often weekends, 0 days vacation first year, 5 days the second year. Switch company, and you start over from 0 days again. And so forth.
Mackan is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:35 AM   #10
GoCubsGo
macrumors Nehalem
 
GoCubsGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by japanime View Post
Dear MacRumors,

Please bring back the downvote button.
How do you disagree with that? You're saying that a company should be charged with violation of child labor laws when they hired what they presumed to be an adult? Why did they think he was an adult? Oh, he had a fake ID saying he was 20. This kid clearly wanted to work there.

The down vote button is a dumb way to show your dissatisfaction for a comment without having the ability to provide any reason why.
GoCubsGo is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:37 AM   #11
MattJessop
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Warrington, UK
Send a message via Skype™ to MattJessop
Sigh, can we stop with the jokes or defending this because it's related to Apple. A 15 year old kid died because proper safeguards weren't in place.

Apple seem to take this seriously (or convincing us that they do at least). But I think part of the problem is that their societal norms are quite different, and there seems to be quite a lot of pressure around work and pushing yourself, in addition to very different attitudes around safety and human rights. I hope at least there is at least a reaction to this death from their customers that helps put in more stringent safeguards. It may not necessarily be the companies fault if he lied about his age, but I'd hope that there are ways to reduce incidents like this.
MattJessop is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:42 AM   #12
hansonjohn590
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattJessop View Post
Sigh, can we stop with the jokes or defending this because it's related to Apple. A 15 year old kid died because proper safeguards weren't in place.
This has nothing to do with Apple. Look at my post history, I bash Apple daily. I would hold the same view if this was Microsoft, Google, e.g.

You people act like this kid was not in control of his situation when he knew full well what he was getting into from the very beginning when he dishonestly obtained the job. He continued to work even when he was sick, despite the fact he could have left at any time.
hansonjohn590 is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:42 AM   #13
gnasher729
macrumors G5
 
gnasher729's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by 840quadra View Post
I understand, and respect that laws are in place to protect both the workers and the companies, and the fact that this is a real problem. That said, I am curious how many of these accidental deaths are due to other types of pressure. The lure to make as much money possible for yourself or your family can cause people to push themselves too hard at times.
Where in the article did it say that this was an accidental death? It wasn't. The kid died from an illness.

Now the facts: Fact 1 is that the kid was underage and should never have worked there, and although some posters apparently liked the kind of capitalism that was in fashion in Britain in the 1830's, the company is fully responsible for hiring a fifteen year old and the consequences. Apple will hopefully investigate if this is a single case or if someone is deliberately not checking employee's ages properly. While I probably cannot distinguish whether a Chinese employee is 15 or 20 years old by looking at them, I'm sure a Chinese employer can do it quite easily.

Fact 2 is that the times the kid clocked in were in excess of 70 hours a week. It is most likely correct that time "clocked in" and time "working" isn't the same (lunch time etc.), but clocked in for 79 hours while working only 60 seems unlikely. A proper investigation will probably find the truth. And I suppose that if employing a 15 year old is illegal in the first place, then making them work 60 hours a week is most likely not legal either.
gnasher729 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:43 AM   #14
macduke
macrumors 68020
 
macduke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Columbia, MO
Apple should bring these jobs back home like they have started to do with some of the Mac lines. Add some extra automation if needed to bring down cost, but charge us whatever is fair to get this done. Perhaps meet in the middle—the customer pays a little more, Apple's margin dips a little. Please make this happen.
__________________
MacBook Pro R-Type / Quad 2.6GHz Core i7 / 2880×1800 / 16GB / 512GB SSD
Canon 7D w/grip / 24-105L / 100-400L / Sony RX100
64GB iPad Mini Retina LTE / 64GB iPhone 5 / 8GB Original iPhone / Xbox One
macduke is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:46 AM   #15
madsci954
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by hansonjohn590 View Post
Then I suggest you head over to reddit, this is for the adults.

In all seriousness, care to elaborate why you disagree? The company should be punished if it broke labor laws but he should NOT be considered a 'minor' considering he gave a fake ID. Oh, and his employment was voluntary.
If all the company did to verify a person was a single ID (no other background check) then yes, it is the company's fault.

But I don't know China's labor laws on that issue. If there is no law, then the company isn't at legal fault. Some would argue an ethical one though.

Last edited by madsci954; Dec 11, 2013 at 09:16 AM.
madsci954 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:46 AM   #16
gnasher729
macrumors G5
 
gnasher729's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by hansonjohn590 View Post
You people act like this kid was not in control of his situation when he knew full well what he was getting into from the very beginning when he dishonestly obtained the job.
He was fifteen year old and therefore _not_ in control of the situation. Whether he was dishonest in getting the job or not doesn't matter. Anyway, whether honest or dishonest, Apple's contract with the company would have demanded that the company puts him back to school and pays for his education until he is sixteen if it hadn't been too late for that. That's outside of any legal issues; Apple makes the companies sign contracts so they take responsibility for such cases.
gnasher729 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:48 AM   #17
madsci954
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Quote:
Originally Posted by macduke View Post
Apple should bring these jobs back home like they have started to do with some of the Mac lines. Add some extra automation if needed to bring down cost, but charge us whatever is fair to get this done. Perhaps meet in the middle—the customer pays a little more, Apple's margin dips a little. Please make this happen.
You would need an employment population the size of a major US city to meet current demand.
madsci954 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:49 AM   #18
everything-i
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattJessop View Post
Sigh, can we stop with the jokes or defending this because it's related to Apple. A 15 year old kid died because proper safeguards weren't in place.

Apple seem to take this seriously (or convincing us that they do at least). But I think part of the problem is that their societal norms are quite different, and there seems to be quite a lot of pressure around work and pushing yourself, in addition to very different attitudes around safety and human rights. I hope at least there is at least a reaction to this death from their customers that helps put in more stringent safeguards. It may not necessarily be the companies fault if he lied about his age, but I'd hope that there are ways to reduce incidents like this.
The problem here is not that there is no reaction from Apple or their customers but that there seems to be little action by the authorities where this is happening. Apple is not there to police labour laws at its suppliers, its suppliers governments should be doing that. If these companies were heavily fined and directors charged when this sort of thing happened it would stop. Putting in extra safeguards is pointless because the ones already in place are openly flouted, laws have been broken and it should be the authorities sorting this out.
everything-i is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:53 AM   #19
gnasher729
macrumors G5
 
gnasher729's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by madsci954 View Post
If all the company did to verify a person was a single ID (no other background) then yes, it is the company's fault.

But I don't know China's labor laws on that issue. If there is no law, then the company isn't at legal fault. Some would argue an ethical one though.
Employing someone underage is illegal. There are legal consequences for the hiring company, even if they are not at fault. The underage person, by virtue of being underage, has no legal responsibility. If there are agencies involved, the hiring company can try to get money out of them if it was their fault.

Apple makes suppliers sign contracts that force them to take responsibility above what the law says, and does cancel contracts (and has done so on two occasions) when they believe that the hiring wasn't a genuine mistake, but that there is deliberate hiring of underage workers. A typical pattern in Apple's annual reports is that two dozen companies were found to hire one or two underage workers each by mistake, and one company hired 50 and gets their supplier contract cancelled.
gnasher729 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 08:59 AM   #20
hansonjohn590
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
He was fifteen year old and therefore _not_ in control of the situation. Whether he was dishonest in getting the job or not doesn't matter. Anyway, whether honest or dishonest, Apple's contract with the company would have demanded that the company puts him back to school and pays for his education until he is sixteen if it hadn't been too late for that. That's outside of any legal issues; Apple makes the companies sign contracts so they take responsibility for such cases.
Yeah, because as we all know, the company told him to use a fake ID. The kid had no idea what he was doing. If you go out on your own to get a fake id for a job then you are mature enough to know what you are doing and therefore _ARE_CONTROL in your situation.

Some people just like to point the finger at everybody but themselves.
hansonjohn590 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 09:00 AM   #21
Rogifan
macrumors 604
 
Rogifan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by macduke View Post
Apple should bring these jobs back home like they have started to do with some of the Mac lines. Add some extra automation if needed to bring down cost, but charge us whatever is fair to get this done. Perhaps meet in the middle—the customer pays a little more, Apple's margin dips a little. Please make this happen.
You make it sound so easy. If it was this easy to do, don't you think Apple would have done it already? In the Jony Ive bio that recently came out a former designer said that one of the reasons Apple went to China is they couldn't find American manufacturers that were willing/able to do what they wanted with aluminum. Chinese companies like Foxconn bent over backwards to do whatever Apple asked. Maybe the Mac Pro is the start of something but the number of Mac Pros being produced is minuscule compared to iPhones and iPads.
__________________
"Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." - William F. Buckley, Jr.
Rogifan is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 09:07 AM   #22
Renzatic
macrumors 604
 
Renzatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Wisdom mule sez: there are literally zero jungles in Vermont.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hansonjohn590 View Post
Some people just like to point the finger at everybody but themselves.
I'd love to see a bartender pull that...

"Well, if he's old enough to have a fake-ID, then he's old enough to make his own decisions. I say the little bastard deserves a few Jack 'n Cokes. WHAT? NO! MY LIQUOR LICENSE"!

Comeon. It's a fake ID, which proves only that the kid is resourceful. The least I expect a professional corporation the size of Pegatron to do is some cursory background checks on the people they hire.
Renzatic is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 09:07 AM   #23
beltzak
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
5 deaths in several months

5 deaths!!!! And yeah, obviusly it was the kid's fault.

Some people, really are amazing.
beltzak is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 09:08 AM   #24
Renzatic
macrumors 604
 
Renzatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Wisdom mule sez: there are literally zero jungles in Vermont.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beltzak View Post
5 deaths!!!! And yeah, obviusly it was the kid's fault.
Comeon, man! Fake ID!
Renzatic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 11, 2013, 09:08 AM   #25
ArtOfWarfare
macrumors 601
 
ArtOfWarfare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Send a message via Skype™ to ArtOfWarfare
Quote:
Originally Posted by hansonjohn590 View Post
Yeah, because as we all know, the company told him to use a fake ID. The kid had no idea what he was doing. If you go out on your own to get a fake id for a job then you are mature enough to know what you are doing and therefore _ARE_CONTROL in your situation.

Some people just like to point the finger at everybody but themselves.
I concur. Nothing magical happens at the age of 18 that suddenly causes you to be more in control than you were the day before. Deeming 18 the magical age came more by consensus - most people seem to be in control of their actions by that age. Some had been in control for upwards of 10 years before then. Some won't be in control upwards of 10 years after that.
ArtOfWarfare is offline   1 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:39 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC