Apple's record high iPhone sales age may have ended last month, cutting company revenues and destroying stocks, but it can be a silver feed: China's manufacturing partners may be forced to improve working conditions for their dwindling workforce. 19659002] Contract Manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron are just two of the companies Apple uses to build units, partnerships that have allowed US technology companies to keep labor costs low and profit margins high. But as a New York Times report today, falling iPhone sales have led Foxconn and Pegatron to cut both employee and valuable overtime hours – the latter apparently a key factor that induced Chinese workers to withstand the factory's working conditions. As a result, production employees stop their jobs and the factories may be forced to improve their next work route.
The conditions in Apple's Chinese factories have been well documented over the past decade. Employees are placed in dingy, cramped dormitories with many people occupying bunk beds in small rooms, reporting for shifts that are both long and boring. Unlike monthly paychecks that can be one-fifth or one-tenth of comparable US wage earners, workers commit to overtime pay that is more profitable, but in recent years, some contract manufacturers have either underreported or underpaid workers for overwork.
While Apple has promised many times to keep production partners in line with local laws, working conditions are still in doubt, and far below US standards. As the report says, the factory manager restricts the employees' breaks and reduces the salary for minor violations. "Inside the factory, workers are tightly controlled," Pegatron worker Hou Fu told The Times. "If a person doesn't feel good, everyone in the group will be called by the group leader. But they didn't shout much as there were not many workers left."
The reduction of workers has apparently been significant. A Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou has cut its workforce from over 1
Therefore, some workers go to the factories for better-paying jobs, with one saying a part-time job paying $ 600 a month – better than the previous $ 370 monthly salary earned in a five-day week at the factory without overtime. Chinese companies are now also found to find workers "difficult to lure because they don't want to work so many hours on an assembly line." Although the decline in consumer demand and rising unemployment are not ideal provocations, the result may be further improvements in conditions for those who remain.