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back to article Apple: 'Average' iPad toiler does a mere 46-hour week

Apple is under fire again after a new China Labor Watch report accused its factories of committing nearly 90 workers' rights violations. This time iPhone and iPad fabs operated by Taiwanese manufacturing giant Pegatron are facing the allegations, rather than Foxconn. Apple today confirmed to The Reg that it will immediately …

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Anonymous Coward

Do these factories ONLY make kit for Apple - doubt it.

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Anonymous Coward

Lets see the stats for the same factories / manufacturer but for non-Apple kit - would be telling if they were higher but we are not hearing that?

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85 Million requirements.

Elsewhere on El Reg today, we read about Builder Bob earning 85 Million a year.......I wonder how much these factory workers would be happy to know that.....

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Meh

@AC 13/07/29 10:45

"Do these factories ONLY make kit for Apple - doubt it."

That somehow alleviates ANY responsibility from Apple? Derp? I see why you used AC now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC 13/07/29 10:45

The issue is why is this an Apple story more than anyone else?

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Re: @AC 13/07/29 10:45

Because Apple pretend to care?

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JDX
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@dougal83

"That somehow alleviates ANY responsibility from Apple?"

Why is it Apple's responsibility in the first place? They have a business relationship with another business. It's in that company's hands to meet their laws and the terms of the contract signed with Apple. Even for Apple to stipulate the working hours for that company's employees is a little over the line, but if it's in the contract fine. Claiming Apple are responsible for it though, that's just hippy BS.

If you hire a company to clean your house and find they are using illegal workers, should you be punished for that?

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Re: @dougal83

"Why is it Apple's responsibility in the first place?"

Ethics?

I don't personally buy blood diamonds or ivory and consider it my ethically duty to ensure that I don't.

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Re: @AC 13/07/29 10:45

Bingo.

Apple's sleek, sculpted, cool social progressive form-factor sits only too well with the coffee and cheesecake at Starbucks, yoga-mat tree-hugger higher income crowd.

Lenovo, et al. don't infer they are saving the poor, eliminating blood-diamonds, and stopping the nefarious big-oil plot of global warming.

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Anonymous Coward

I have to wonder

If the Action Group target Apple suppliers simply because Apple at least tries to sort thing out. This makes positive press for the action group so that they can be seen by their lords and master to be doing their job right.

Where are the results for what is happening in the factories that supply the likes of

Dell, HP, Lenovo and Microsoft?

Is this only news because of the Apple Angle? (be that good or bad)

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Anonymous Coward

"Our most recent survey in June found that Pegatron employees making Apple products worked 46 hours per week on average" - but they they also say it's an average of 66 hours in 3 plants - I don't know how many plants that have but would seem strange to have an average of 66 hours in 3 plants yet an overall average of 46 hours - there either must be a lot of other factories or workers working much less than 46 hours to bring that 66 average down.

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Anonymous Coward

Was this an accurate survey using actual employee records (doubt it) or an informal survey of workers who may well be inclined to exaggerate working hours as they may feel it could improve their overtime pay etc.?

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46 hours - so what!

I work an average of 46 hours a week -- it is not unusual at all!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 46 hours - so what!

Date looks bit iffy with 3 factories doing an average of 66 hours a week but 46 hours overall. What are the others doing to bring that average down so much. Is 46 hours a week too much - I know I work more than that and are they being coerced / forced to do it (any more than you or I may be in our jobs)?

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Re: 46 hours - so what!

The issue isn’t 46 hour working weeks, the issue is Apple have said the maximum should be 60 hours, and these factories are exceeding that.

I also assume you get paid a tiny bit more for your 46 hours, you don’t work on an assembly line, get a decent holiday entitlement plus pension, and you are not pregnant.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 46 hours - so what!

"I also assume you get paid a tiny bit more for your 46 hours, you don’t work on an assembly line, get a decent holiday entitlement plus pension, and you are not pregnant."

You're certain British factories are better? I worked in one while at uni and I can tell you they aren't a lot better. Our factories allow people to work 7 days a week 12 hours a day but are not in the press because those workers can sign a waiver to their European right to maximum working hours (I've also signed this in my consultant job).

Some of our factories are hot/cold too. They probably also have pregnant women working in them - how would you stop them, they may not mention they are pregnant to the boss while they might to a reporter and not all women look pregnant even quite late in the process.

Just because the people reading the Register are generally well paid and working in good conditions doesn't mean everyone outside China is I think the OP's point stands

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The only way to ensure compliance by Pegatron...

...and other similar factories is using the "secret shopper" - or, more accurately, secret worker - method. The chances that the alleged posted list of unsuitable employee factors would be on display when the auditors, in fact anyone known to be from Apple, have arrived? Or that employees would be working prohibited extra hours, or would admit to it? Or that poor working conditions would be visible? Nil.

Of course the factory will hide these things. Anyone who's done business in China will be aware of this; it's a cat-and-mouse game, and it's all to do with "keeping face" whilst maximising factory profits. If Apple mean what they say, they have to use not only visible audits, but covert investigations. Eventually it's possible to instill a culture that face is lost by failing to comply, and failing to report failures of compliance...but it takes time, hard work, and the constant pressure of repeated exposures of failings.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The only way to ensure compliance by Pegatron...

Seems Apple are the ones trying to improve things but end up being put under higher scrutiny as a result - how about we compare against the HTC, Samsung, Dell etc. factories. I'd like to see the actual employee records analysed - they should be more accurate as would show exactly how many hours people did within a specific period.

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48/ 66 hours - you lucky bastards,.....

At least they don't have peoples lives in their hands as well.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9869932/Patients-at-risk-from-junior-doctors-working-100-hour-weeks-GMC.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 48/ 66 hours - you lucky bastards,.....

Yes exactly.

Here in the city of London, those of us in corporate IT tend to consider 46 hours a short week.

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Pint

Re: 48/ 66 hours - you lucky bastards,.....

Bet "those of us in corporate IT" aren't doing the physical labor they're doing either. Bet you're on a slightly higher pay scale as well.

I'd take a 96-hour work week, if it involved the right "responsibilities" for the right pay.

Responsibility, or pay, whatever --->

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 48/ 66 hours - you lucky bastards,.....

Yeah right - 16 hours a day for 6 days straight with 1 day off a week or almost 14 hours a day for 7 days a week?

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Re: 48/ 66 hours - you lucky bastards,.....

That’s why he said for the ‘right job’ for instance if the job was a boob judge, and you had to spend 96 hours a week playing with boobs.

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Pint

Re: 48/ 66 hours - you lucky bastards,.....

"Here in the city of London, those of us in corporate IT tend to consider 46 hours a short week."

Now do it for next to no wages and see if you still feel smug and self righteous about it...

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Let's face it.

They don't take workers rights very seriously over there. The only thing they DO take seriously is not getting caught. Hence, they will investigate not who's rights got violated, but who had their name plastered all over the media.

But fret not. This problem will take care of itself. Al this 'workers rights' lark is driving up the price of Chinese labour, and the relatively low investment sectors like fashion are already leaving China because it is getting to expensive and the Chinese are starting to require elementary environmental and worker protection.

I predict the next wave of high-tech assembly plants will be passing China by.

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Re: Let's face it.

There was a story last year that Foxxcon were looking at opening factories in Vietnam and Brazil because China was 'too expensive', as I recall.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple today confirmed... to the Register

(...)

wow, so what happened with the "there's no bad publicity", lol

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Be Afraid

It is a shame that these violations and more are taking place all over the world. This affects us more than you might think because it is only a matter of time before we devolve into a similar sweatshop economy. We should attempt to 'level up' things before we find ourselves on the wrong end of Economic Serfdom.

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"Apple insists 92 per cent of its supply chain complies with a 60-hour maximum working week rule. "

This is not a statistic to brag about!

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Anonymous Coward

You are saying that compared to the 9-5 most people in the 'west' do.

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Am I?

I think 60 hours for 90% of staff is pretty excessive by the standards of ANY nation.

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It really isn't.

There are plenty of people who will easily work 10 hours a day, especially those who run their own business. I used to do 60 hour weeks when I was 16, working for my Dad.

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Re: It really isn't.

'Plenty' is not 92% though, is it?

Likewise a business owner who has a personal stake in a company and choses to be there is rather different to a factory drone forced to work those hours. Apples and oranges.

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Pint

So ...

Less than half what the average working American male does if his spouse has a job. And I'm probably not required to watch reality tv. Where do I sign up?

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