Not sure if it counts as “high volume”, but I’ve visited several EMS manufacturing lines in Taiwan and China (and for comparison: Germany). Products are PC/Server mainboards and smaller cards. Once I saw Gogoro electronics on the next line, so that stuff seems to be similar. The output would be a few hundred pieces per line per day, but with many parallel lines.
Here are some impressions (also includes some info from workers I talked to or dated):
In Taiwan, the operators are a mixture of Southeast Asians and some Taiwanese, the supervisors mainly being Taiwanese. In China, all are Chinese. Most of the workers doing the basic jobs live in dormitories, often on-site. In some cases the workers are not allowed to leave at all, in more cases they are allowed to leave on days off. Many SEA workers are young and female, and it seems the factories are very worried about them getting pregnant. In case that happens, they seem to be sent back to their home countries.
The factories often provides food. In China, I joined the operators in the company cantina, eating the same very cheap food. I liked it; it seemed surprisingly good (not just lunch boxes). Both food and lodging often seem to be paid for by the worker.
In China (also sometimes in Taiwan), the workers’ mobile phones are collected before starting a shift and only returned during scheduled breaks and after the workday ends.
Pay, training, safety equipment, quality of facilities, and so on at the factories I saw seemed the bare minimum. Each station would have instructions (SOPs) about the work steps to be performed there. Workers would be mostly standing. When sitting, it would be on non-ergonomic stools.
The way the supervisors treat the workers seems to be between not caring much and being very strict. The few workers I talked to in private didn’t mention verbal/physical abuse or disrespect by supervisors. In one case (Industrial mainboard manufacturer DFI), the workers felt quite positive about some of the non-supervisor staff at the factory. Like the elderly Taiwanese main gate guard that would be friendly to them and even support them to do stuff officially “forbidden” by factory rules (enter/exit times, using factory facilities on days off, …). They would reciprocate by sharing self-cooked food with them on days off, when they would do picnics near the factory/dormitories. The worst experience I’ve heard about was physical and verbal abuse by a Taiwanese boyfriend.
All of the above made me feel that the companies don’t care much about the freedom, safety, feelings, well-being, and so on of the workers – but instead, only that they work. The workers seemed to be treated as easily replaceable – almost like machines. Nothing like what I saw before in Germany for the exact same kind of work: somewhat valueing skilled workers and their experience, trying at least a bit to make them comfortable and keep them healthy.