Four Apple iPhone assemblers working for Pegatron die; 15 year-old among the deceased

Four Apple iPhone assemblers working for Pegatron die; 15 year-old among the deceased
According to a published report in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, four workers at a Pegatron manufacturing facility in Shanghai have died. This is the factory where some Apple iPhone units are manufactured. One of the deceased was an underage 15 year old named Shi Zhaokun. He had used fake identification that showed his age as being 20, and managed to get the job in September. One month later, he contracted pneumonia and died. Labor groups blamed Shi's death on long working days and overcrowded living conditions.

The Pegatron plant in Shanghai employs 100,000 factory workers and the company has confirmed the deaths of four workers. Both Apple and  Pegatron concluded after investigating, that the deaths were not related to work or working conditions. Apple has been under attack from human rights organizations complaining that underage employees are being hired and factory workers in general are being pushed to work overtime under poor working conditions.

Shi, who succumbed to pneumonia at 15 years old, was pronounced healthy after a physical in September. Apparently a month of working 12 hour shifts lowered his resistance greatly. Most Chinese factory workers are accustomed to long hours and seek out overtime. When Pegatron cut overtime in October as orders slowed, 20,000 factory workers quit.

Apple has had a harder time monitoring working conditions since shifting some production of its devices from Foxconn to Pegatron to diversify.The factory in Shanghai had to quickly double the number of workers to 100,000 as production of the Apple iPhone 5c started. This quick expansion led to cramped working and living conditions in the facility.

Despite claiming that Shi's death was unrelated to conditions at the factory and was not the fault of the company, Pegatron offered his family 90,000 yuan ($15,000 USD) as compensation for his death. The family rejected it as being too low. In the U.S., this case would be an attorney's dream. A young man, hired illegally, contracts a fatal illness after working 12 hour shifts in a cramped factory that is overcrowded. Most lawyers would drool at the prospects of a trial against a pair of deep-pocketed defendants. There is no word on whether or not Shi's surviving family will take legal action against Pegatron, Apple or both firms.

source: WSJ

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36 Comments

27. CradleVindicated

Posts: 11; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Greed on earning money even they violate the right of their workers. Chinese loves money rather than their neighbor.

26. dome888

Posts: 87; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

what can expect from a chinese company

22. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

In India, children under 18 are not allowed to work by law, but poor people send them for money.

19. BigBoss10

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 31, 2012

APPLE COMPANY TREAT WORKERS LIKE DOGS.. F U K YOU APPLE GO TO HELL

18. BigBoss10

Posts: 280; Member since: Aug 31, 2012

CLOSE THAT DUMB S H I T

16. winter_hat

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

#1) the title implies these deaths happened at the factory, #2) the 15 y/o died of pneumonia, which is very uncommon for normal young adults, the health care is greatly suspect in my mind, #3) it's 4/100,000 workers? In any factory with 100,000 workers, it seems that 4 deaths would be 'normal' over a period of time. How old were they and what did they die of?, #4) the family should sue their son for lying, and themselves for knowing about it and not stopping him.

32. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

#1) the article implied the factory working & living conditions were at fault. #2) the healthcare industry there isn't the problem, these people don't make enough money for proper health care and don't get paid benefits like in many countries. #3) working conditions are poor for thousands of those employees, it's not just about how many died. #4) what? How can they sue a company for their son falsifying documents? They are more at fault than the company he worked for.

36. winter_hat

Posts: 110; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

I'm pretty sure i know more about healthcare than you, but thanks for your expert opinion on this country's healthcare system and on this company's working conditions. I'm sure you know more than the investigators, thanks for clearing it all up. (#4, I said they should sue their kid and themselves for letting him work there. not the company.)

5. camera531

Posts: 346; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

I think these are worthwhile sacrifices so we can all have our awesome phones.

8. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

lol, here in brasil we call it black humor...

9. Sauce unregistered

Lmao I lol'd

4. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

The 15 yo might have faked his age to get a job because of financials but he could not have qualified for the job and it was his parent's responsibility per se to take care of him considering this respect and his health condition.

3. wilsong17 unregistered

another reason why i dont own a apple product

6. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Do you really believe that sony, samsung, htc or any other are diferent?

10. wilsong17 unregistered

im sorry but with all those billion apple have no excuse, why dont they produce the phone in the usa

23. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

take economics 101

29. saurik

Posts: 86; Member since: May 13, 2013

Common Sense 101 is what he needs.

31. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Moto X.

7. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

you can count retarded along with that, makes perfect sense

11. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Please read the article. This is not Apple's fault, this is Pegatron's and the 15 year old's parents fault.

21. techaman unregistered

No this is apples fault make the phones here put the money into the American economy. 10% higher unemployment in the last few years make them here like moto

28. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

And it's just Apples fault? What about every other company that uses Pegatron and Foxconn? Everyone seems to forget that they're only a company that uses these factories but this is everyone's fault, not just Apple. But when there is a problem in these factories and Apple is the only one that admits publicly that these problems exist and they try to fix them they're the one to blame, right? Makes a lot of sense. Apple and Motorola were the first to start moving production in the US for these kind of products. They admit the problem and are fixing them and in a factory used by dozen companies and Apple, so it's their fault.

35. Windsponge

Posts: 97; Member since: Nov 01, 2009

Just like to say they use these company's knowing what they do so the blame doesn't go back on them. All are doing it not just Apple. Sad thing is we complain and then still buy there phones. Wonder what that says about us.

12. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

13. wilsong17 unregistered

4 person die you dont care about that

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

100% sure you have tons of products/components made in Foxconn/Pegatron. Just open your PC and you will find them there. How does it feel that you contributed to their deaths since you're blaming the Factory.

15. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So you're thinking is either follow Ted Kaczynsk's example (the non tech, not the bombing), or don't give a crap if someone dies? While not everyone who works in a factory dies, working conditions in these factories are still a problem across the board. There is nothing wrong with advocating for better working conditions. And if everyone decided to vote with their wallet in this case, there wouldn't be a factory left to change the working conditions in. The solution isn't back & white, but somewhere in between.

24. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Are conditions in all chinese factories pretty crappy when compared to American standards? Absolutely. Do Samsung and many other companies have the constant problem of workers dying, committing suicide, or do they all have jump nets installed because suicide is so common? No, absolutely not. That is almost exclusively an Apple supplier problem. Dont kid yourself. Your argument is old and flawed. These companies have work contracts that differ from employer to employer. Foxconn has said many times that Apple factories are the worst because Apple says its OK to run them that way. The run them to the standards of the contracting company. And 4 people just died. Put away your fanboy bullshyt and grow up.

33. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

25. MEeee

Posts: 449; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

So far all death are related to iProducts.

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