back to article We made the iPhones, now we want OUR 'UNPAID' WAGES – student Pegatron toilers

A group of Chinese student workers who have been making iPhones in a Shanghai factory have claimed Apple manufacturer Pegatron owes them unpaid wages – and say they want their cash back. The students handed a list of their grievances to China Labor Watch, which has released a report today making a series of allegations about …


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  1. ItsNotMe

    OK...I'll be the first.

    They're holding it wrong.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK...I'll be the first.

      Dey holding wok wong?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    These students got valuable industry experience, training and helped produce one of the most important phones to be released this year. They should be proud, not attacking their benefactor.

    1. Alex Rose

      Re: Huh?

      I can only assume that you're making a poor attempt at trolling. I get valuable industry experience every day at work but I still expect to be paid. Or are you telling us that you're going to hand back your salary to your employer because I'm sure you get industry experience from work as well?


    2. Ilsa Loving

      Re: Huh?

      It's funny how no one seems to be getting the sarcasm of your post.

      For everyone else's benefit, read the post again, and then think about the way *all* employers, including western ones, treat young workers. There is this distinct attitude of, "Hell, you should be paying US for the privilege of working for us!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huh?

        "Hell, you should be paying US for the privilege of working for us!"

        Don't give them ideas. Unpaid interns and zero-hour contracts are bad enough.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Ilsa Loving

        "It's funny how no one seems to be getting the sarcasm of your post."

        No, what's funny is your idea that there is any sarcasm in the original post at all. Because, you know, it just isn't there.

        1. AlexS

          Re: @ Ilsa Loving

          @Anonymous Coward Troll - No you are reading it wrong. Sense of humour failure clearly.

          1. Gannon (J.) Dick

            Re: @ Ilsa Loving

            FWIW Ilsa, the " ... one of the most important phones of the year ..." put me over the edge.

            1. C 18

              Re: @ Ilsa Loving

              >...important phone...

              Ah, that's what the 'i' is for...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @ Ilsa Loving

              Yeah, I thought "one of the most important phones of the year " would have clued more people in.

              Trust me, when I want to troll...I'm not so obvious.

      3. bpfh

        Re: Huh?

        Agreed. using interns as full time personnel on a quarter of the pay is taking the mickey... especially when some leave with 2 or 3 years experience in a company, have seen it, been there, done that, uphill, both ways and have outlasted everyone in their service, including their manager(s)....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who funds the CLW?

    Samsung? HTC? Microsoft?

    1. GaryDMN

      Re: Who funds the CLW?

      US Unions.

  4. Ted Treen


    If Goodyear were slated for bad practices in Poland or Slovenia where they manufacture tyres, would that instantly become an anti-BMW trollfest on El Reg?

    Unfortunately, I rather suspect it would...

    1. Longrod_von_Hugendong

      Re: So...

      Welcome to the tech equivalent of the Daily Mail.

    2. and-job

      Re: So...

      of course it does!


  5. Peter Simpson 1

    I get "valuable industry experience"...

    ...every time I have to repair something.

    Seriously, these are university students taking summer jobs. If they're of average intelligence (and there's no reaon to believe they're not), they pick up what they need to know to do the work in the first couple of days on the job. And mandatory meetings should be paid meetings.

    Deducting 20% of their pay *for the entire summer*, because they're "interns" is nothing but straight out robbery.

    Good on them for standing up and saying so.

  6. GitMeMyShootinIrons

    Baah! Humbug!

    From - Management

    To - HR(Human Refuseniks), Security

    Subject - Troublemaking student comrades...

    Give them a free iPhone each from the seconds bin and then get security to kick the militants out of the building, ensuring that they 'accidentally trip on the stairs' on the way out. Several times.

    Remember to creatively fill out the Health and Safety forms and show the limp wristed CLW fools around the theatre set again.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The "C" model is for the one manufactured with child labour, so go for the "S" model instead, its made by "students".


    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      No - go for the 'P' model made by political prisoners - then there is no decrease in quality on a friday afternoon

  8. Psycho Flump

    Dear Apple,

    You make a shit-tonne of money every year, pay these people the money they're owed.


    An Apple user (not a fan, you pull too much stupid for that)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Apple

      If Apple were the actual employers then I'd agree with your comment. Sadly, they aren't.

      Mind you, if they were in the USA they would be expected to intern for nowt so they can't be that badly off can they?

      1. bpfh

        Re: Dear Apple

        I never knew what happened to the employee in the Paris-Opera Apple Store that got fired for working overtime and having the audacity to request that the company pay him his legal due last year...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Psycho Flump:

      Apple do not own Pegatron. They're a CLIENT, you ignorant troll. Apple owes those workers nothing as they didn't employ them in the first place. This is strictly a local labour relations issue.

      (Also, Google has billions in the bank too. As they're also one of Pegatron's major customers – where do you think those shiny new Nexus 7 tablets* are made? – it's only right that Google should get the same pressure to help too.)

      Strange how often we read pieces telling us how Android is handing Apple its arse on a plate when it comes to market share, yet it's somehow only *Apple* who are getting their kit manufactured in Chinese factories.

      * (Pegatron was spun out of Asustek – better known as "Asus" – just a few years ago. Asustek remain a major customer.)

      1. paulc

        Re: @Psycho Flump:

        Excuse me... Apple are responsible for the actions of their sub-contractors lower down in their supply chain...

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: Apple are responsible for the actions of their sub-contractors

          No Apple is not. Apple has chosen suppliers to create its goods, those suppliers do not become part of Apple and remain free to do whatever they see fit to perform to the clauses of the contract that has been signed.

          If the suppliers and their sub-contractors employ students that they do not pay, bring in scantily-clad ladies for the nightshifts and host regular cock-fighting sessions to boost morale, Apple is not responsible for that.

          Apple is, however, responsible for continuing to use said supplier under such conditions. And I'm sorry, but paying students less than regular workers is a time-honored practice in many parts of the world.

          It is also somewhat less important in my view than the subject of child labor.

  9. GaryDMN

    China Labor Watch is not even in China, they are an American Marxist activist group attacking Apple an American company. Apple doesn't manufacture in China and Pegatron has hundreds of customers, besides Apple..

    1. Arctic fox

      They are Marxists?

      You have of course a link or some such which confirms that assertion? Or are you personally so right-wing that you take the view that anyone who criticises an American company is, by definition, a raving Commie??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They are Marxists?

        Or any president who proposes universal health "care"...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that bad

    Similar things also regularly happened to me as a part time worker when I was a student in the UK. Bar work that was promised 6pm-2am becomes 6pm-10pm. Event work where you get paid for an 8 hr day, but have to be there early. It doesn't end when you're a student either, I now have to get in early to talk to the China team, and stay late to talk to the US team.

    The one thing which sounded very dodgy is that some were hired as interns and some were not. If they were actually interns, fair enough, interns require training and supervision before they become proficient, but 'internship' should only last until you don't require training or supervision.

  11. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    They want their cash back? What on earth were they doing giving cash to Apple in the first place?

  12. Kernel

    @ J G Harston

    FFS! - did you even bother reading the article?

    Repeat after me - "The student's issues have nothing what so ever to do with Apple, who are just one of their employer's many clients."

  13. and-job

    Makes me chuckle...

    It's not like Pegatron and the other contractors that work for most of the electronics industry to do the assembly work have a glowing reputation of treating people wonderfully and I am sure that these 'students' didn't already know there was a risk of being abused with poor working conditions or low pay or even having a depressed fellow worker throw themselves from a high floor of a dormitory building and land upon them crushing them.

    Regardless of whether these people were not paid adequately for their services they were students and knew fine damn well what they were getting themselves into when they applied for the job. Maybe they should have just worked for a much small pittance working in the rice fields.

  14. Ascylto

    'Twas ever thus ...

    Moanies should look up who was paying (or not paying) what when YOUR country was growing. In both US and UK wages were crap when industries/countries started out. The same goes for China. It's only workers' unions that get the extra pay and then they ruin businesses which move to cheaper labour markets. Wake up! China's only doing what the capitalist pigs want and have wanted throughout the ages.

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