First Look Inside Pegatron's Secretive Shanghai iPhone Assembly Plant

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Bloomberg has been granted an exclusive look inside a Chinese iPhone manufacturing plant where Apple claimed it has addressed cases of excessive overtime.

    Pegatron Corp.'s sprawling facility on the outskirts of Shanghai covers an area equal to 90 football fields and employs some 50,000 people in the iPhone assembly process.

    After accusations that employees were forced to work long, grueling hours there, Pegatron and Apple adopted new procedures to keep iPhone assemblers from amassing excessive overtime. By granting a western journalist access to the facility for the first time, both companies appear eager to show how the system works.


    In the center of the Pegatron campus is a plaza with a firehouse, police station, and post office. Dotted about are shuttle buses, mega-cafeterias, landscaped lawns, and koi ponds. The grey and brown-hued concrete buildings are meant to evoke traditional Chinese architecture, but the scenes inside them are anything but traditional.
    To address accusations of excessive overtime Pegatron adopted the ID system, with badges linked to a database that tracks time, wages and even expenditures on dorm fees and lunch. The Taiwanese company claims the arrangement has helped to push compliance with overtime regulations to almost 100 percent, with only a handful of exceptions stemming from engineers working on emergency repairs.


    However, Li Qiang, executive director at labor rights group China Labor Watch (CLW), claims that the ID checks are just for show, "otherwise there wouldn't be so many cases with hundreds of workers putting in excessive overtime hours." CLW claims that base pay remains so low that workers need overtime simply to make ends meet. It said 1,261 pay stubs from Pegatron's Shanghai facility from September and October 2015 show evidence of excessive overtime.

    Pegatron said the group miscounted because that period straddled state holidays, when pay was triple the normal rate. Apple and Pegatron said they were never contacted by CLW, which said it approached Apple but didn't get a response. Since March, the group claims to have collected an additional 441 pay stubs that point to continued excessive overtime. Pegatron said it adheres to the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition's guidelines that cap overtime at roughly 80 hours a month.

    In 2013, Pegatron came under fire from CLW after the death of five young workers at its Shanghai facilities, including the passing of a 15-year-old factory worker due to pneumonia-related causes. The boy was able to secure a job at a Pegatron factory by presenting a fake ID stating that he was 20. Apple sent a medical team to the Pegatron facility and determined that the worker's death was not related to working conditions.

    The same year, CLW 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.

    "The fact they let a reporter in shows that they are responding to external pressure and trying to be more transparent - at least on the surface they're trying to fix something," said Jenny Chan, a lecturer at Oxford's Kellogg College. "But they're still not telling us more about how they run the business, the whole labor system."

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: First Look Inside Pegatron's Secretive Shanghai iPhone Assembly Plant
  2. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
  3. ka-spot macrumors 6502a

    May 23, 2012
    Sofia, Bulgaria
    looked. thank you! now please give me top-notch Skylake Macbook Pro 13"

    official Apple Watch in Bulgaria. I want :apple:Watch ! :rolleyes:
  4. appledefenceforce macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2015
  5. davester macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2001
    Perth, Australia
    They all look so tired and forlorn. Like human battery hens

    Ps. You didn't align my FaceTime camera correctly.
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Thank Christ I was born in the country I was. Spending 80 hours a week assembling iPhones for $20 a day that sell for $700 each must be soul-crushing. :(
  7. PowerBook-G5 macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2013
    The United States of America
  8. Pez555 macrumors 68020


    Apr 18, 2010
    A real eye opener for those of us lucky enough to have what we have. Puts things into perspective and we should all be thankful!
  9. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003
    Whoa, it took this article on macrumors to open yours eyes? You must be a heavy sleeper.
  10. MrGuder macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2012
    What you see with the reporter and camera man is a whole different story once the media is out and the door closes.
  11. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    I work excessive overtime and dont make as much as I should for it as well......too bad we don't spend as much effort making sure people here in America make a fair wage and work fair hours. That being said Apple should ensure the people making these devices are well treated because they can and somebody needs to, however....if you want to help the Chinese we need to send the message that this isn't okay for any company to do, not just the ones who make stuff for Apple. Then perhaps when they pay fair wages it will cost as much to buy our stuff overseas, then we can just make it here....
  12. Tech198, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016

    Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    lol. u just want that laptop now.

    So basically these are just slave labor...

    I guess someone has to to it, but don't treat employees like dogs u can order round.... regardless of country,We in the western world have it all to easy.

    This looks ok, but obviously low wage, it starts of with small amount or required users to work over time when they need to "to" 90% of employees working overtime : in net, you may as well call it "no such thing as overtime if everyone is doing it"

    Simple alternative,, start making Apple products (all of them) in America. solution solved... and u'll get a better paycheck too :) instead of Apple charging a markup, that doesn't really amount to anything but a "premium"
  13. SMIDG3T Suspended


    Apr 29, 2012
    "After passing through metal detectors to sniff out camera-equipped devices that could be used to leak pictures of unreleased new products, the workers follow arrows on the floor and inspirational posters on the wall."

    Because that seems to work well...
  14. rp2011 macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2010
    Amazing how important China has become in both manufacturing and sales base. It's only a short time until they will do everything by themselves and not need imports from outside mainland China. History would repeal itself to the time when we first traded with China.
  15. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    it would be the same for anything u can bypass ... underage users getting in to bars. U'd blame that on security as well ?
  16. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    Thanks for manufacturing my iPhone 6s Gold 64 GB it took me 3 years to save for.
  17. Kajje macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2012
    Absolutely true. But we cannot compare US wages with theirs.

    Daily food & drinks expense is typically about $1 a day. I visited a lot of Asian countries and had many good, fresh, warm lunches in small restaurants for less than half a dollar. Top this up with a small bottle of water for less than 10 cents or a fresh iced tea for double that.

    I've met a lot of families with 2 schooled children, a small 'house', a TV set and a motorbike surviving on less than $200 a month. They don't have much fancy stuff, but also don't have hunger.

    At the end of the month there's as much money left than 3/4 of the world population: zero.

    Are these multinationals extorting? I feel they do. Is this sustainable? I don't know, but actually I hope not. Will you stop buying [insert any A-brand tech equipment here]? Quite sure not. Will you pay $2000 for an iPhone made in the US? Not a chance. Fixing this problem is not simple. There's too much momentum and velocity, and even if we start to change today, it will take years - perhaps generations - just to slow it down so we can turn. The night is young, it will stay dark for a long time. What have we become.
  18. Pez555 macrumors 68020


    Apr 18, 2010
    exactly my point.
  19. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    I choose to work overtime because I have my own business. Unpaid investment into a business is mandatory, or you don't have a business. All of the 9-5 workers that complain about their jobs don't know what real sacrifice is.

    P.S. I also work a 9-5 (actually 5:30am-1:30pm) for a company, so I must adhere to all of the same rules and regulations as regular employment. But outside of those hours, I choose to work without pay-per-hour. I love the work, not the money.
  20. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003
    Ok ... if it was only after this article that you finally realized that some of us live a much nicer life than others, and that we should appreciate our fortune - well all I can say is damn dude, what on earth was your deal before you read this article, we're you living under a rock your entire life?
  21. Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Applying Western standards to the way Chinese live and work is at best uneducated. Same for "FAIR" pay rates.
    When food costs $ 1.00 for lunch, a $ 9.00 hourly rate is totally out of proportion.

    "Slave" labor keeps getting mentioned, however these workers are FREE not to work at Pegatron.

    They do it to get a job and send money home to their families. They WANT the overtime to make more money.

    They are not being treated like dogs. There has to be a certain discipline for production standards to uphold quality, production line speed, output etc.etc.

    The sheer amount of factory workers to assemble the quantities Apple, Dell, IBM, SONY, LG, Samsung , Lenovo, HP (and you can keep on adding) is not available in USA. And, thats just for the electronics industry.

    The amount of engineers needed, is not available in USA due to bad education.

    Every family wants their children to do better than they do, so if a US worker is an assembly line worker, coal miner or whatever they do is a low wage paying job, they will do their utmost to get their child a college education. That child is then no longer available for factory assembly work.

    Most of the low level manual labor in USA is by now done by immigrants and many illegal immigrants, mainly latinos. Even their children are starting to go to colleges.

    Your simplified viewpoint with a lot of popular slogans just shows that you should educate yourself a little more.
  22. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    It's hard to try to not be cynical. But, if nothing else, if Apple is trying to ditch Foxconn (whose record hasn't been charming, either...)

    Does it really cost that much more to build a factory in the US? If going from 75% profit margin to 65% for the first few years to compensate for building the complex is going to totally trash the company, then I suppose...

    On the plus side, once developed nations become un-developed thanks to the lack of tax money making it impossible to maintain anything and everything crumbles, maybe we'll get re-developed? (SMH, so much shortsightedness on so many levels...)
  23. ericgtr12 macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2015
    While we can't see the suicide prevention nets in these photos, you can bet it's still an issue that's political in nature. We love our first world devices, unfortunately much of it comes from slave labor that we are willing to turn a blind eye to in order to shave off a millimeter from last years model and upgrade.
  24. thermodynamic, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016

    thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Arguably. Until it adversely affects those of you currently defending the imbalance. Still, for their $1 per lunch we we pay $5/lunch and our pay isn't proportionately larger... and who are you to dictate what's out of proportion? Do you run their country? I mean, your post suggests other people shouldn't decide terms, therefore nobody should, with no exceptions?

    Your deconstructing it is wholly oversimplififed. Especially since people cannot live on $0.00/hr, which is the ideal form of "free" unless someone can innovate people having to pay in order to work there and I don't mean indirectly in the form of getting a college degree...

    For $9/hr when their cost of living is lower, I'd want to work overtime some of the time as well. Of course, I don't have children and that might not be for the reason you're thinking of... and to say the reason is so outside the relevance of this thread that this entry to a tangent is still too far out of left field. Even for me.

    Except when people have complained and made return trips to exchange because of various product defects. Been there, lived that, quality sold is just a perception... seems we are oversimplifying things yet again...

    Okay, so Americans need to make more babies? In which case bring up the wages, since things are great in "developing" countries, which we helped to develop in case you'd not noticed. I've posted links to certain issues in the past, from MSM general and MSM tech news sources. It's not esoteric Snowden stuff, people...

    Yes, we know for a number of reasons how colleges screwed over students and taxpayers. Still waiting for justice aimed at those companies and students refunded.

    And Apple isn't a small biz startup. Instead of making excuses it could hire and train Americans too, otherwise it just looks like a petty greedy entity making excuse after excuse... the trouble is, there is more than a grain of truth about the quality of graduates and colleges have underperformed and the costs have not shown them to train relevant, current material considering the costs and the professors and instructors, who often are required to have Masters degrees, sure as heck aren't seeing more than $50~$60k per year... for the cost of a Master's, the ROI for workers in that field are surprisingly pitiful. Is ROI for workers too? You're a worker too, BTW.

    The same happens when we move companies out of the country, just so the top 1% can see higher profit that doesn't trickle back down, but doesn't stop them from begging for more corporate welfare anyway. Ironically, the GOP's voting record has more to say about their supporting corporate welfare. The voting records aren't hush hush Snowden stuff, either...

    Well duh, wages keep going down because of their (mis)use. It's been known for years, on top of big ag competition that drives down the wages as well. You may try living off those wages but you probably don't care for slave wages.

    Pot, kettle, pan - we're all in the same kitchen together on some days...
  25. Thunderhawks, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016

    Thunderhawks Suspended

    Feb 17, 2009
    Ha, ha, ha, good jokes!

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