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Apple looking into Foxconn suicides, says it is 'saddened and upset'

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
As overseas electronics manufacturer Foxconn continues to come under fire for a number of suicides over the last year, Apple has officially commented on the matter and revealed that it plans to carry out its own independent investigations.

"We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn," the company said in a public statement. "Apple is deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity. We are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously."

According to Reuters, Apple went on to say that it has added its own investigation team to carry out independent evaluations of Foxconn to "address these tragic events." Foxconn has come under fire after 10 factory workers are believed to have killed themselves over the last year.

The latest development is not the first time Apple has had to look into Foxconn. In 2006, Apple began conducting a thorough audit of the company's manufacturing plant that created iPods. That came after a newspaper report suggested that workers at the plant were treated unfairly and forced to operate under sweatshop-like conditions.

Apple now releases an annual audit of its overseas partners. Last year's review found that more than half weren't paying their workers valid overtime rates.

But Apple -- and numerous other electronics manufacturers -- have maintained their business relationships with Foxconn, and the company is believed to be the manufacturer of the next-generation iPhone expected to debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 7.

In addition to creating iPhones and iPads for Apple, Foxconn -- the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry -- is also responsible for products from the biggest companies in the electronics industry, including Apple, HP, Dell, and Nokia. Those companies may use their power to leverage Foxconn into taking further action, Andrew Deng, analyst with Taiwan International Securities, told Reuters.

"It's a crucial issue that Hon Hai has to deal with right away," he said. "If not, Nokia, HP and Apple might cut their orders as pressure against buying their products could be mounting."

Just before the 10th suicide on Tuesday, when a 19-year-old worker who had been with the company just 42 days jumped from a building to his death, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou insisted to reporters that his company is not running a "sweatshop." But the troubles for the company continue to mount, as it most recently issued a letter workers said included a clause saying the company would pay no more than the legal minimum for injuries sustained outside the workplace. Gou later apologized for the letter and took it back, calling the language inappropriate.

Gou also reportedly gave a tour of the Foxconn facilities this week, emphasizing to reporters the worker amenities provided. He showed off an Olympic-size swimming pool, banks, bakeries, and dormitories that the 400,000 employees utilized.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Gou said his company has launched antisuicide measures, including the construction of safety nets around Foxconn's plant to prevent workers from jumping to their deaths. They also brought in academic experts and counselors to talk with employees, invited a group of Buddhist monks to pray for the factory, and established the "Foxconn Employee Care Center."
post #2 of 48
I think a lot of these workers are being pressurised from outside to smuggle new products out of the factory, i.e. the 'lost'4G iPhone. I don't feel it has anything to do with Foxconn directly, rather pressure from 'gangs' maybe hassling workers to get goods out the factory to break Apple's secrecy around their future products.

Just my two penneth..
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As overseas electronics manufacturer Foxconn continues to come under fire for a number of suicides over the last year, Apple has officially commented on the matter and revealed that it plans to carry out its own independent investigations.

"We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn," the company said in a public statement. "Apple is deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity. We are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously."

According to Reuters, Apple went on to say that it has added its own investigation team to carry out independent evaluations of Foxconn to "address these tragic events." Foxconn has come under fire after 10 factory workers are believed to have killed themselves over the last year.

According data from to the Association for Asian Research, the Chinese suicide rate is 230 per million. (FTA: "Chinas suicide rate is 2.3 times the world average.")

As sad as these statistics are, the Chinese average of 230 per million is on the order of 9.2 times higher than the "10 per 400,000" inferred from the story. Even the worldwide average of 100 per million is still 4 times higher that what FoxConn is seeing.

This is one of those stories that sound absolutely horrendous when you read it, and it's always a personal tragedy for their loved ones, but the raw statistics don't bear out that this is the sociological tragedy this story makes it out to be. The sad fact is that there are a lot of college campuses all over the world that would like their suicide rates to drop to 25 per million.

Parenthetically, when did Reuters stop doing actual research for their stories?

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post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

According data from to the Association for Asian Research, the Chinese suicide rate is 230 per million. (FTA: "Chinas suicide rate is 2.3 times the world average.")

As sad as these statistics are, the Chinese average of 230 per million is on the order of 9.2 times higher than the "10 per 400,000" inferred from the story. Even the worldwide average of 100 per million is still 4 times higher that what FoxConn is seeing.

This is one of those stories that sound absolutely horrendous when you read it, and it's always a personal tragedy for their loved ones, but the raw statistics don't bear out that this is the sociological tragedy this story makes it out to be. The sad fact is that there are a lot of college campuses all over the world that would like their suicide rates to drop to 25 per million.

Parenthetically, when did Reuters stop doing actual research for their stories?

Very well said.
post #5 of 48
I've seen alot of these comparisons of the global suicide rate vs. foxconn's suicide rates -- the difference being that at foxconn all suicides are employed adults. What are the statistics for suicides among employed adults? I would suspect that it is lower than the global suicide rate -- if only because unemployment is often a major driver for suicide.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Gou also ... showed off an Olympic-size swimming pool, banks, bakeries, and dormitories that the 400,000 employees utilized.

Now lets hope there were actually workers in that pool, freely enjoying the facilities.
post #7 of 48
As one of the Westernized Asians, I "wholeheartedly agree" with the posters sentiments expressed in the related post:

Apple partner Foxconn says it's not a 'sweatshop' as suicides mount

We Westerners or Westernized, especially us Americans, should stop buying products of all companies that manufacture or import products from other countries that:
  1. do not pay their workers decent mimimum wage
  2. do not pass laws to guarantee decent mimimum wage
  3. do not past laws to protect the health and welfare of workers
  4. that are under communist regime, or for America, countries that are under Socialist regime.
  5. especially China where draconians laws are enforced to control their population growth
and other inhumane practices and policies (add your own pet grievance here).

Further, I would support the solemn vow posted that "If given the choice between buying an iPhone (etc) made in a Chinese sweatshop" I would willingly pay " say £100***" more for every product, like the "iPhone (etc.)" ... if "made in a developed country".

Really!

"I'd buy the latter, every time. I'd like to be given the choice."

Wouldn't you?

CGC

***calculate the equivalent in your own currency
post #8 of 48
What this is, is nothing less than extremely troubling. It seems that most of these events center around Foxconn, but at the same time, are other manufacturing operations in China any better? Do you ever wonder what else we might not be hearing about?

I think Foxconn makes fine products, and they sure do make a lot of stuff. But if the price is their workers' right to dignity, fair wages and fair treatment--that price is too high and I'll not be buying any more Foxconn products. I don't know that I can do anything about those using Foxconn parts or those hiring Foxconn to build products, but I will do what I can.
post #9 of 48
We are saddened and upset, but the billions and billions in profit is worth far more to us than the human lives working in concentration camps on our products. Don't worry, we will fly our private jets there for a publicity photo shoot of us with sad and upset faces.

People need to demand that Apple think different about slave labor.
post #10 of 48
Let's not forgot that these workers are not being forced to work there. They have every ability to quit if they want.
post #11 of 48
The media always reports this as being related to Apple or the iPad but Foxconn also produces major products such as the Xbox 360, the Playstation 2 and 3, the Wii, the Amazon Kindle and various products for Dell, HP and Intel. I realise the media is just trying to jump on the iPad/iPhone hype bandwagon but people are already talking about this like it's solely Apple's problem and is somehow related to their greater secrecy. Not to mention the media doesn't compare it to suicide rates in China or even other factories or other institutions of a similar size.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnexpectedBill View Post

What this is, is nothing less than extremely troubling. It seems that most of these events center around Foxconn, but at the same time, are other manufacturing operations in China any better? Do you ever wonder what else we might not be hearing about?

I think Foxconn makes fine products, and they sure do make a lot of stuff. But if the price is their workers' right to dignity, fair wages and fair treatment--that price is too high and I'll not be buying any more Foxconn products. I don't know that I can do anything about those using Foxconn parts or those hiring Foxconn to build products, but I will do what I can.

Foxconn makes the Xbox, Playstation 2, Wii, the Kindle. motherboadrs for Intel, as well as the iPhone, Mac Mini, etc. Look it up. Your misplaced concern may make you feel better but it won't change anything. If you really want to put your money where your mouth is then don't buy ANY electronics from anybody. If you think Foxconn is alone in this you are sorely mistaken. We are hearing about Foxconn because Apple is a customer. You don't see this hand wringing goin on the Wii, Kindle, Xbox, Playstation forums do you? I wonder why that is? Any ideas? No, really, why haven't these other companies been dragged into this discussion?
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

We are saddened and upset, but the billions and billions in profit is worth far more to us than the human lives working in concentration camps on our products. Don't worry, we will fly our private jets there for a publicity photo shoot of us with sad and upset faces.

People need to demand that Apple think different about slave labor.

What about Microsoft, Amazon, Sony, et al, who also use Foxconn to manufacture their products. Or are you just an Apple bashing hypocrite using Foxconn products from other companies? We'd really like an answer from you.
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Let's not forgot that these workers are not being forced to work there. They have every ability to quit if they want.

Yes, because China has a job for every citizen, just like the United States. No one physically forces anyone to work, but one doesn't have much choice when the alternative is the bread line. Hardly a consideration in my opinion.

Does anyone else find the use of "suicide nets" to be bizarre?
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

I've seen alot of these comparisons of the global suicide rate vs. foxconn's suicide rates -- the difference being that at foxconn all suicides are employed adults. What are the statistics for suicides among employed adults? I would suspect that it is lower than the global suicide rate -- if only because unemployment is often a major driver for suicide.

Suicide is a more personal and one directional recourse of one's frustrations in life. And since humans are supposed to be the special species with the ability to choose: Which would be a better choice for a society? Recourse to suicide or a life of frustration that lead to:
  1. alcoholism and driving under the influence (DUI) that lead to more deaths (in the US the number one cause of death and grave injuries, especially among young people, are vehicle related incidents)?
  2. drug abuse, that have its own complex ramifications, including crime and murder?
  3. a sense of hopelessness that lead to "individual acts of fatalism" or group acts that foster violent behaviors against the government, society in general or defined group of people within a society?

I am sure we could think of more.

I have lived in both Western and non-Western countries. It is true that there are horrible things happening in other countries, but I am not sure it is any better (and sometimes I think worse) in Western countries.

CGC
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

People need to demand that Apple think different about slave labor.

First, why just Apple? Are they unique among other multinational companies?

If you are truly sincere: Would you impose that demand to begin with your own choices? Would you stop buying any product, that is likely produced under less than humane conditions?

The harsh reality is that we make all these proclamations; but once we ponder how it affects us, we take exception to our own choices and actions.

CGC
post #17 of 48
Foxconn suicide rate is slightly lower than average US suicide rate. Take a look at this Harvard study:
http://j.mp/bMTRax
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

As one of the Westernized Asians, I "wholeheartedly agree" with the posters sentiments expressed in the related post:

Apple partner Foxconn says it's not a 'sweatshop' as suicides mount

We Westerners or Westernized, especially us Americans, should stop buying products of all companies that manufacture or import products from other countries that:
  1. do not pay their workers decent mimimum wage
  2. do not pass laws to guarantee decent mimimum wage
  3. do not past laws to protect the health and welfare of workers
  4. that are under communist regime, or for America, countries that are under Socialist regime.
  5. especially China where draconians laws are enforced to control their population growth
and other inhumane practices and policies (add your own pet grievance here).

Further, I would support the solemn vow posted that "If given the choice between buying an iPhone (etc) made in a Chinese sweatshop" I would willingly pay " say £100***" more for every product, like the "iPhone (etc.)" ... if "made in a developed country".

Really!

"I'd buy the latter, every time. I'd like to be given the choice."

Wouldn't you?

CGC

***calculate the equivalent in your own currency

Not saying that developing countries are not to be blamed but what about people and businesses in the developed countries?

Who demands maximum profit margins in the name of "efficiency"?

Who demands ever-raising stock prices?

Who demands nice bond interests payments?

Who demands big bonuses?

Who demands low inflation rates?

Who demands affordable... sorry, scratch that, cheap products?

Who wants to have everything, convenience, and creature comfort in low price tags?

No, this is not just Apple.
post #19 of 48
Foxconn worker's suicide rate is actually lower than avarage US population suicide rate!
take a look at this (my previous link does not work)
http://dhhs.nv.gov/Suicide/DOCS/Suic...t%20Public.pdf
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadESL63 View Post

Not saying that developing countries are not to be blamed but what about people and businesses in the developed countries?

Who demands maximum profit margins in the name of "efficiency"?

Who demands ever-raising stock prices?

Who demands nice bond interests payments?

Who demands big bonuses?

Who demands low inflation rates?

Who demands affordable... sorry, scratch that, cheap products?

Who wants to have everything, convenience, and creature comfort in low price tags?

No, this is not just Apple.

As one who has the bulk of my own IRAs and 403b's in mutual funds, we seldom think of the ramifications of our own choices.

We are willing to spout all these proclamations, until they affect our own choices. And we justify our own actions.

CGC
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

Further, I would support the solemn vow posted that "If given the choice between buying an iPhone (etc) made in a Chinese sweatshop" I would willingly pay " say £100***" more for every product, like the "iPhone (etc.)" ... if "made in a developed country".

Really!

"I'd buy the latter, every time. I'd like to be given the choice."

Wouldn't you?

That's easy enough to say, but in reality it doesn't work. People buy online to save a few dollars or sales taxes with no concern whatsoever for putting their local retailers out of busines or for depriving their localities of tax money that's used to employ teachers, the police, firefighters, etc.

People have gotten so used to cheap electronics that they will never go back to paying more. Personally, I find it incredulous that a company can design something like a hard disk drive or a DVD player, build the machine tools, manufacture it, ship it around the world, distribute it, market it, have everyone in that chain supposedly make money and it sells for $49. It's true value is probably 10x that. Would you be willing to pay that?

Trade unions in the U.S., especially those involved with clothing manufacturing have long pushed the "made in the USA" banner. But in the end, given the choice of paying more and keeping U.S. workers employed or paying less, my belief is that the majority will pay less. And with clothing as with electronics manufacturing, it's a rarity that anything is made in the USA anymore.

Having said that, companies based in the U.S., such as Apple, should get together to enforce minimum requirements on companies such as Foxconn. If every U.S. company threatened to take their business away, Foxconn would have step up. Of course, prices might get a bit higher.

The other approach would be for companies like Apple to no longer use companies like Foxconn and instead open their own factories in China or lease facilities, but run them themselves. I believe (but I'm not 100% sure) that Nikon, for example, owns its factories in Malaysia and China. The workers would be Apple's employees. Apple would still get the benefit of cheap labor, but Apple could control the circumstances under which they work.

Foxconn itself is so big (400,000 employees! - that's even hard to imagine) that I'm sure if Apple wanted, they could lease part of their facilities and run it themselves.

And I still wonder how much companies are really saving when you consider the costs of dealing with a Foxconn combined with the shipping costs and associated delays. And even if there's substantial cost savings today, will there be such savings ten years from now as the Chinese middle-class expands and demands improvements in wages and working conditions? Or will we then have to move to manufacturers in other third-world countries such as undeveloped parts of India and Africa?
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zmac View Post

Foxconn worker's suicide rate is actually lower than avarage US population suicide rate!
take a look at this (my previous link does not work)
http://dhhs.nv.gov/Suicide/DOCS/Suic...t%20Public.pdf

You may be right. It may be that Apple, most of the world reading this story, and even Foxconn themselves who refer to the situation as one that needs to be "stablized", are all mistaken and Foxconn is actually doing great.

Thanks. Wouldn't have thought of that on my own.
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

I've seen alot of these comparisons of the global suicide rate vs. foxconn's suicide rates -- the difference being that at foxconn all suicides are employed adults.

It would also be statistically significant if all of these deaths occurred within one plant or section of plants, which would lower the baseline pool and thereby raise the rate.

Or it could be that Apple is just being stupid for being concerned about this, along Foxconn themselves. After all, how can statistic lie?
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalTroll View Post

You may be right. It may be that Apple, most of the world reading this story, and even Foxconn themselves who refer to the situation as one that needs to be "stablized", are all mistaken and Foxconn is actually doing great.

Thanks. Wouldn't have thought of that on my own.

I make no editorial comments, numbers are numbers, rational people can come to different conclusion based on the same set of numbers. There maybe serious problems at Foxconn, the numbers don't look like they outside of statistical bound though.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

If you are truly sincere: Would you impose that demand to begin with your own choices? Would you stop buying any product, that is likely produced under less than humane conditions?

For every industry that offers Fair Trade certification, I buy only Fair Trade-certified products.

There aren't many yet (coffee, cocoa, some sugar and tea), but with any luck it'll spread to every industry so consumers can know at a glance whether their purchasing decision is supporting a living wage.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnexpectedBill View Post

What this is, is nothing less than extremely troubling. It seems that most of these events center around Foxconn, but at the same time, are other manufacturing operations in China any better?

The only manufacturing plants that exist are the one we enable by buying products made there.

Being the overlord for a series of slave shops around the world didn't hurt Nike sales in the States, and I doubt anyone will stop buying iPhones until this is addressed either.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

People need to demand that Apple think different about slave labor.

Why didn't you post this a few months ago?
Why wait until Apple is actually doing something and complain that they aren't doing anything?
Why aren't you posting that other companies who do absolutely nothing should get on the ball and at least actually do something similar to this?
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Foxconn makes the Xbox, Playstation 2, Wii, the Kindle. motherboards for Intel, as well as the iPhone, Mac Mini, etc. Look it up. Your misplaced concern may make you feel better but it won't change anything. If you really want to put your money where your mouth is then don't buy ANY electronics from anybody. If you think Foxconn is alone in this you are sorely mistaken. We are hearing about Foxconn because Apple is a customer. You don't see this hand wringing goin on the Wii, Kindle, Xbox, Playstation forums do you? I wonder why that is? Any ideas? No, really, why haven't these other companies been dragged into this discussion?

Now come on. Did you read what I wrote? One of the very first things that I started out by saying is "what else is going on that we don't know about". If my memory serves--and it may well not--none of these things were really coming to light until Apple started auditing its suppliers and manufacturers. I don't recall now if they publicized what they were doing as the result of some initial "grilling" or not. China has been this great big opaque wall that nobody has started poking into until recently, and nobody has been too pleased at what they've found.

Don't be so quick to call my concern misplaced, as you really don't know what you're talking about here. It really does start with a single step most all of the time, and I hope the pressure put on Foxconn to improve conditions is enormous. Reality and needs force my hand at times, but whenever I can reasonably/actually buy products from a company that is trying to do the right thing in regards to how they treat their employees, I will do so.

As to your question about the other products being discussed, do ANY of them have the following that Apple's products do? I don't dispute that you can and will find discussion forums, but where do you find users that are as passionate about those thing as some people are about Apple products? (I'm going to just go waaaay out on a limb here and assume that none--or very few--of those other products have the rumor and fan sites that Apple products do! Therefore, I probably will be proven wrong in short order.)

Although it's academic, I don't own an Xbox, Wii, Kindle, iPhone or any of those devices. I do have a Mac mini or two and some Intel Desktop Boards (none terribly modern).

Do your homework before you become overly eager to mash that "reply" button on your screen.
post #29 of 48
Parody or sarcasm works only if we take the time to ponder what was stated.

We rob others of the time to reason or understand what is stated in between lines, if we place warning labels: "sarcasm" or such, when that is what we wanted to achieve.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


That's easy enough to say, but in reality it doesn't work. People buy online to save a few dollars or sales taxes with no concern whatsoever for putting their local retailers out of busines or for depriving their localities of tax money that's used to employ teachers, the police, firefighters, etc.

People have gotten so used to cheap electronics that they will never go back to paying more. Personally, I find it incredulous that a company can design something like a hard disk drive or a DVD player, build the machine tools, manufacture it, ship it around the world, distribute it, market it, have everyone in that chain supposedly make money and it sells for $49. It's true value is probably 10x that. Would you be willing to pay that?

Trade unions in the U.S., especially those involved with clothing manufacturing have long pushed the "made in the USA" banner. But in the end, given the choice of paying more and keeping U.S. workers employed or paying less, my belief is that the majority will pay less. And with clothing as with electronics manufacturing, it's a rarity that anything is made in the USA anymore.

Having said that, companies based in the U.S., such as Apple, should get together to enforce minimum requirements on companies such as Foxconn. If every U.S. company threatened to take their business away, Foxconn would have step up. Of course, prices might get a bit higher.

The other approach would be for companies like Apple to no longer use companies like Foxconn and instead open their own factories in China or lease facilities, but run them themselves. I believe (but I'm not 100% sure) that Nikon, for example, owns its factories in Malaysia and China. The workers would be Apple's employees. Apple would still get the benefit of cheap labor, but Apple could control the circumstances under which they work.

Foxconn itself is so big (400,000 employees! - that's even hard to imagine) that I'm sure if Apple wanted, they could lease part of their facilities and run it themselves.

And I still wonder how much companies are really saving when you consider the costs of dealing with a Foxconn combined with the shipping costs and associated delays. And even if there's substantial cost savings today, will there be such savings ten years from now as the Chinese middle-class expands and demands improvements in wages and working conditions? Or will we then have to move to manufacturers in other third-world countries such as undeveloped parts of India and Africa?

If you take the time to pore through the previous thread that I linked, and the words in bold and quotation, they were not my own. I just paraphrased them from another but from a poster:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

If given the choice between buying an iPhone (etc) made in a Chinese sweatshop for, say, £100, or an iPhone made in a developed country for, say, £200, which would you choose?

I'd buy the latter, every time. I'd like to be given the choice.

who does not have anything good to say about Apple, if you follow most of his postings (check his history).


Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

Further, I would support the solemn vow posted that "If given the choice between buying an iPhone (etc) made in a Chinese sweatshop" I would willingly pay " say £100***" more for every product, like the "iPhone (etc.)" ... if "made in a developed country".

Really!

"I'd buy the latter, every time. I'd like to be given the choice."

Wouldn't you?

CGC

***calculate the equivalent in your own currency

The ones I listed in the first part of the post not quoted, were those of "prevailing sentiments" by armchair policy makers who more than likely have seldom experienced living in developing countries. In fact, as you observed, they may even be oblivious of their own immediate environment -- the inhumanity in our own midst, and sometimes even our own actions, if we were to be judged. The latter happens because we are more forgiving of our own sins, but hold everyone else to behave to higher standards.

What you stated would be akin to my own observations.

I wonder sometimes though if I defend some decisions or actions of Apple because I am really a long time Apple products user and loyalist. Would I have acted differently if it was done by another company that I do not have a higher regard.

Given this potential failing, who am I to judge others harboring the same weaknesses?

I try to focus then not just on how we can change the world, but what I can do and integrate in my own life to make them happen.

CGC
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

As one who has the bulk of my own IRAs and 403b's in mutual funds, we seldom think of the ramifications of our own choices.

We are willing to spout all these proclamations, until they affects our own choices. And we justify our own actions.

CGC

Agree.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post


We Westerners or Westernized, especially us Americans, should stop buying products of all companies that manufacture or import products from other countries that:
[LIST=1][*]do not pay their workers decent mimimum wage[*]do not pass laws to guarantee decent mimimum wage[*]do not past laws to protect the health and welfare of workers[*]that are under communist regime, or for America, countries that are under Socialist regime.[*]especially China where draconians laws are enforced to control their population growth

On the surface this seems like a very worthwhile goal, however .... instead of trying to get the rest of the world to see things "our way" (a policy that is often not received well), perhaps it might be better to say to industry, with enforcement if necessary, that if you're going to sell 50% of your product to this countries population, you'd better be manufacturing that same percentage of product by the same people. Seems fair to me.
Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
Reply
Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
Reply
post #32 of 48
Labour conditions in "emerging markets" are very poor compared to the Western world. This is well known, suicides or not. Global companies need to continue the pressure on their supply chain to follow at least basic fair working laws.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

On the surface this seems like a very worthwhile goal, however .... instead of trying to get the rest of the world to see things "our way" (a policy that is often not received well), perhaps it might be better to say to industry, with enforcement if necessary, that if you're going to sell 50% of your product to this countries population, you'd better be manufacturing that same percentage of product by the same people. Seems fair to me.

That sounds very ideal. But in many emerging markets, if you want the people in emerging market countries to improve their lives (and hence improve lives overall around the world), foreign investment from Western nations is necessary.

The key is for foreign investment from Western nations to be used as a tool to pursue CHANGE in the emerging market country.

There is no need to punish a Western country company for not producing their products in their own country. But it is important to hold Western companies highly accountable for their supply chain. All the way from the aluminium that is mined in Australia through the factories in China through to the young man or woman at the Apple Store in the USA.

This is an "all-win" situation; in holding Western companies highly accountable for their supply chain. Western consumers benefit from better prices but also socially responsible products. Developing countries benefit from improvements in life standards from foreign investment. The environment is taken into consideration.

"Westerners", don't be afraid to keep pressure on the developing countries. As long as you're not invading a country searching for mythical dragons to slay (eg. WMDs), it's okay to try and enforce and highly encourage developing countries to follow the rule of law, improve working rights and conditions, and consideration towards the environment.

The Western world is highly different and I have to say more evolved in some ways with regard to work laws, social freedoms and the concept of fairness. Sometimes you just gotta say, look, clean up your f*** act, mr. dodgy China businessman. Lay on the pressure. Here in my developing country, if not for "American or Global Multinationals", our working conditions (private sector) would be much, much worse.

Now, it is crucial of course that Western countries do not bully developing countries for the pure pursuit of profit ... Their influence and "force" must be for socially and environmentally responsible corporate growth.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

  1. that are under communist regime, or for America, countries that are under Socialist



This - as European who came from Eastern Europe and knows what that system meant and eventually it turned into more healthy capitalism than observed in America now - actually caused me questionioning for quite long time now:

Since when "The Capitalistic Superpower" seeks financial help (selling gov. bonds?), healthy business collaboration and increase in world power with communist/socialist regime run by some government that cannot follow basic human rules. One has to be ignorant thinking that by giving jobs to such place improves quality of those poor people out there. It does not - neither there nor here in the America. And why didn't this work out with Soviet Union?

Just get flooded with poor quality products and garbage processing... it looks good in numbers on financial reports and will give "some" good income including retirement until the country falls and becomes secondary on worlds economic map.

Just talking about saving energy or turning to clean environment (very close subject to this despite what someone could think). Where can I find it? Where can I find it? I know I build hybrid cars and solar batteries "Made in China". Yea... Right! How about stopping that madness of economy perpetuated by processing products of low quality in fast pace (call it garbage)? Nah... that idea is politically incorrect I guess.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimguy View Post


Does anyone else find the use of "suicide nets" to be bizarre?

Bizarre maybe, but not unique. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA has been notorious for the large number of suicide jumpers over the years, and it also has suicide net.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

Just talking about saving energy or turning to clean environment (very close subject to this despite what someone could think). Where can I find it? Where can I find it? I know I build hybrid cars and solar batteries "Made in China". Yea... Right! How about stopping that madness of economy perpetuated by processing products of low quality in fast pace (call it garbage)? Nah... that idea is politically incorrect I guess.

(1) Consider this: Most people in the developed countries will NOT sacrifice their creature comforts and convenience. When hard decision has to be made what will people do?

(2) Who started the "madness of economy perpetuated by processing products of low quality in fast pace"?

(3) Yes, these so called "garbages" are made in China (or Vietnam, India, etc. which doesn't really matter) but who designed it? Who gave out the specs? And, most importantly, who signed onto the lowest bidders?
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banalltv View Post

Now lets hope there were actually workers in that pool, freely enjoying the facilities.

Might get a little crowded at one per 400,000.

That is, if there were water in it.

I'm sure Foxconn isn't the worst out there to have manufacturing for you. Given the data, it's really sad, yet not even close to the national average for suicides.
The last person to commit suicide was only employed there 42 days. Perhaps they had some other issues prior to gaining employment there?

Maybe Foxconn need to have better HR screening prior to hiring people, to look for this before it happens.
post #38 of 48
No matter what, or for what reason, suicide is a tragedy.

That said, I'm a bit disturbed by the auto-connect to Foxconn's operations (or further, attaching Apple's credibility to the worker suicides). When I consider the number, 10 out of 400,000 workers, and compare it to the broader common statistic for suicide there, I'm sure that a number of (if not all) those suicides were wholly unrelated to their "working conditions". And when someone is heading down that path of despair, work (almost regardless of conditions) can exacerbate the problem. It becomes part and parcel of the person's overall feelings of despair (especially factory work, which is not exactly "joyful" under the best of conditions)...

Of all the companies that engage Foxconn for manufacturing, Apple does have the best record for responsible stewardship. They're one of the only ones demanding decent conditions.

China is culturally pretty different from here. I doubt many Americans would put up with labor conditions that are quite common there. Things that to most Chinese are 'familiar and comfortable', we would probably find uncomfortable and even unbearable.

I'd venture to guess that conditions at Foxconn are a cut above, all things being relative. But, nevertheless, I think Apple should certainly investigate, and help to insure that it is not due to low pay, poor working conditions, feelings of hopelessness and enslavement...

I wonder how many suicides occur in Apple's (or Nokia's, or Dell's) broader operations annually? Places where you'd think pay and conditions are outstanding?

People suffer lives... suicides sadly happen. To assume it's the fault of Apple and its vendors directly, is a speculative exercise IMO, until proven otherwise...
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

That sounds very ideal. But in many emerging markets, if you want the people in emerging market countries to improve their lives (and hence improve lives overall around the world), foreign investment from Western nations is necessary.

How arrogant is it to presume that "our way" is the one and only way for the whole world. Not everybody holds "materialism" as the way to happiness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

The key is for foreign investment from Western nations to be used as a tool to pursue CHANGE in the emerging market country.

And of course, that's the sole (pardon the pun) reason for Nike to lead the charge into "foreign investment" which tons of other "like minded do gooders" took up the challenge. (sarcasm intended)

Nike's business model: (widely followed by others)

1. Produce as cheaply as possible ... anywhere in the world with no concern as to where your major customer base is.

2. Pay a gazilion $$ to an already rich superstar to pimp your product to working stiffs everywhere.

3. Charge maximum $$$ to the "have society" working stiffs, all the while "preaching/brainwashing" the public by saying that this is done to help the poor 3rd world countries. ... here's an idea ... skip MJ and all the other rich celebs and pass the savings on to the people who actually buy or make the product. That would actually help more people, if that was even their intent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


There is no need to punish a Western country company for not producing their products in their own country.

What should you do to the companies that "off load" all the jobs while at the same time continue to live in this great country of ours that was built on the taxes paid by the (mostly) hard working citizens .... give them a medal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

As long as you're not invading a country searching for mythical dragons to slay (eg. WMDs), it's okay to try and enforce and highly encourage developing countries to follow the rule of law, improve working rights and conditions, and consideration towards the environment.

And of course by "mythical dragons to slay (eg. WMDs)", .... you mean OIL and the raping of another foreign country's wealth, otherwise known as "rebuilding" (what we have torn down) ... and with more than just a few of our own tax dollers. Can you say Halliburton?

Note: This is not meant as a personal attack on you but rather, a plea for all of us to look behind the "obvious" and not blindly accept the "conventionl wisedom".
Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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Apple, bigger than Google, ..... bigger than Microsoft,   The universe is unfolding as it should. Thanks, Apple.
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post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

As one of the Westernized Asians, I "wholeheartedly agree" with the posters sentiments expressed in the related post:

Apple partner Foxconn says it's not a 'sweatshop' as suicides mount

We Westerners or Westernized, especially us Americans, should stop buying products of all companies that manufacture or import products from other countries that:
  1. do not pay their workers decent mimimum wage
  2. do not pass laws to guarantee decent mimimum wage
  3. do not past laws to protect the health and welfare of workers
  4. that are under communist regime, or for America, countries that are under Socialist regime.
  5. especially China where draconians laws are enforced to control their population growth
and other inhumane practices and policies (add your own pet grievance here).

Further, I would support the solemn vow posted that "If given the choice between buying an iPhone (etc) made in a Chinese sweatshop" I would willingly pay " say £100***" more for every product, like the "iPhone (etc.)" ... if "made in a developed country".

Really!

"I'd buy the latter, every time. I'd like to be given the choice."

Wouldn't you?

CGC

***calculate the equivalent in your own currency

Well if I told you there were terrible sweatshops in Cupertino that took business away from your home state, would you launch a similar knee-jerk reaction to the statement? Your take of high-tech manufacturing in Asia has exactly the same amount of careful thought and reflection.

Sure bad things are bad, but I think maybe you should have a better idea what you are talking about before you launch some 'feel-good crusade' that accomplishes nothing but putting a warm fuzzy rainbow on your day.

In reality Chinese tech workers are doing pretty well. But then again, I've been there and know people who work in factories in China, which trumps all the second hand propaganda that you've heard thru some political clap-trap bent on scapegoating another country for our problems. It's shameful, malicious and dishonest for you to rain turds on people who are not only working hard, but making some very good money for themselves doing it, and helping push the innovation of the entire world along with them.

What's next a crusade against cars because a few people crash theirs? There's even no logic in your solution to this phantom problem. Taking away the only jobs that these 'poor people' have accomplishes what exactly? At best its high-fives at the next rally for you, and no money or jobs at all for them? Who exactly is going to be flying the planes for the 'sunshine and rainbows' air-drop to China after this Candyland adventure? I suggest a better understanding of economics in Asia, before you start planning your missionary work.
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