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1,000 workers strike at Apple keyboard supplier over long hours - Page 2

post #41 of 118
First of all, good for them! Stand up for what's right.

Second, it's Apple's good faith responsibility that their products not be made in sweatshop conditions. It's inhumane, exploitation, and just plain wrong. It's the same reason I don't shop Walmart and I won't hire someone to do work on my house that sends people with questionable citizenship to do the work. The problem with Apple is that they're an American company, which I support, and they make great products and have excellent customer service. That makes it hard to not buy their products for me.
post #42 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Because if you hire dirt bags that treat people like shit you're part of the problem.

+1 Excellent way of putting it.
post #43 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

I agree but only if you and I are willing to pay up to 40% more for Apple products. I'm not. Are you?And it's not only Apple. The entire American manufacturing industry has moved to China and we're all to blame. Here's a proposed experiment...

Place two identical men's shirts on the shelves at Walmart, one made in China, the other made in a unionized factory in Detroit. The shirt made in China is priced at $15. The shirt made in North Carolina is priced at $17.50. Now stand back and watch which one the customers select.

The very same posters here who are always whining about the Apple "tax" also tend to be the ones who go all moral on issues like this. Unless and until all the other electronics manufacturers choose to move back to the U.S. none of them will. It would be business suicide. It's a Catch-22 now. Manufacturing always follows the cheapest labor. It's why what manufacturing left in the U.S. is moving south to right-to-work states, away from unions.

It's all about company profits...fuck the people.

Why do we have to take a price hike, why can't profits be lowered? why is that hardly an option?

Oh yea...Profits > people...the American way.
post #44 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by neosum View Post

For every person with a job in China, there's at least a hundred without. They'll just fire them and hire new workers, then they'll be sorry they participated in the strike. Harsh, but that's the reality over there.

That's no longer true. In some provinces of China, there are actually shortages of skilled workers and there are mass migrations going on. You can see the impact on wages and working conditions - wages are already on their way up and working conditions are improving - not as much because of unions as because they're running out of unemployed workers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a statement regarding the issue, the rights group called on Apple to "take responsibility, as there are more than 300 workers working on the Apple keyboard assembly line."

Note, however, that only 1/10 of the workers are working on the line making keyboards for Apple. And they may be making other products on that line, as well. So why is Apple being singled out?

Oh, yeah. Because Apple is one of the few companies which cares. The last time this came up, it turned out that suppliers told the press that Apple was the ONLY U.S. manufacturer that bothered to audit them at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Since Apple tends to keep a tight lid on its list of partners, watchdog groups must do their own research to track them down. Among 27 alleged Apple suppliers that environmental groups had identified as excessive polluters, Apple told groups that only 15 of them were actual suppliers for the company. Apple has asked 11 of the 15 to reform and has promised to communicate with the other four.

It's called 'riding on someone else's coat-tails'. Pretending that Apple is involved suddenly gets lots of attention - whether it's true or not.

Note, however, that Apple has taken action with the ones who really are suppliers. Do we have any evidence that HP, Dell, IBM, Toshiba, etc have done anything? (Keeping in mind that the suppliers themselves said that Apple is the only one who even audited them, much less required changes).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Since Apple tends to keep a tight lid on its list of partners, The Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker conducts regular audits of its suppliers to monitor their working conditions and environmental impact. Last year,the company conducted 97 first-time audits and 30 repeat audits of its partners. Apple's 2011 supplier report found a number of instances of underage workers, as well as one case of bribery.

So how many audits has HP done? Dell? Toshiba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Safety First!

However Apple should consider moving some of those jobs back to the U.S. where many Americans are out of jobs.

Not going to happen. Aside from the 10:1 difference in direct labor rates, the U.S. is vastly more expensive than Asia. Labor rules, liability concerns, environmental rules, overheads, OSHA, financial rules, etc all make it extremely expensive to have a major electronics manufacturer here. Even if Apple completely automated their production and didn't use any direct labor, it would be more expensive here due to the above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

Bottom line matters more in capitalism than anything else.

Anything that doesn't help the bottom line is looked down upon.

Lowering profit levels by manufacturing everything in the US? Corporate blasphemy.

That's not even close to being true. The thing that matters the most is maximizing shareholder satisfaction. Perhaps in most cases, that involves maximizing profits, but not always. Look at Ben & Jerry's, for example. Or any of the other companies which offer non-financial reasons to own the stock. Many people will consider a company's environmental record when investing. And Apple's record is far better than most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_b View Post

Don't you just hate those "Unions"?

Without Unions, we would have the same working conditions in the United States of America today. I'm not saying that Unions are perfect. They are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but without them, American workers, what's left of them, would have the same working conditions, if not worse.

There are more important things than money and material things.

You're mistaken - both with U.S. history and Asian history. Unions tend to have only a short term impact on wages and working conditions. It's macroeconomic factors that matter. Look at China. Unions were nothing more than Government control mechanism - until worker shortages started to show up. At that point, wages and working conditions started to improve. The union really had nothing to do with the end result, although it may have sped things up slightly.

And most of the U.S. working condition laws were not fostered by the unions, but rather by the government's perception of what working people wanted. Again, the unions possibly helped it to happen more quickly, but it would have happened, anyway. Today, only a very small percentage of employees are unionized. If unions were the cause of working conditions, why haven't they reverted to pre-union conditions?

Furthermore, a large percentage of union employees don't really get anything. I lost a job in college because I was required to join a union and give them a portion of my pay - even though it was a minimum wage job. A lot of union workers are in the same position - no choice but to join the union.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

At work Unions are more hassle then they are worth. I have to wait for a union guy to come and move my lap top and monitor from one desk to another. I can't just do it myself otherwise I'll get yelled at.

It doesn't make sense or companies to higher more expensive and less educated people.

And that's why unions no longer have the influence they once had. They have become all about job security and selfish needs (as well as enriching union leadership). I worked for a company where I couldn't replace a light bulb in a desk lamp without filling out a work ticket and having a union electrician (about $50 per hour at the time) come do the work. It cost the company $100 to replace a $1 light bulb (not to mention the 3 days that I didn't have a desk lamp).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

IMO, a big "Made in the USA" campaign is sorely needed.

I always try to buy locally, from small merchants. Next is regional chains with a home office nearby. I usually avoid national chains.

I prefer to buy American goods. We still make cars and computers. And food. I'd like to see a "Made in America" label displayed in prominent locations to make the choices easier.

There are lots of reasons that never caught on:
1. Mass retailers like Wal-mart have nothing to offer the consumer but a lower price, so they'll do whatever it takes to reduce the price. They don't want consumers to know where the products are coming from.
2. We no longer have the ability to manufacture many items in quantity. I tried to find an American made fishing rod and reel at one time - and it was amazing how difficult this was (surprisingly, the reel was easier than the rod).
3. The cost of most American-made items is far higher than imported items due to the reasons given above. How many people are willing to pay a 150% premium for patio furniture (I did at one point, so I know how much more it was). Or a 100% premium for a fishing rod? Or a 200% premium for clothing?
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post #45 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Shallow and offensive. Congratulations. You must be proud.

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post #46 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's no longer true. In some provinces of China, there are actually shortages of skilled workers and there are mass migrations going on. You can see the impact on wages and working conditions - wages are already on their way up and working conditions are improving - not as much because of unions as because they're running out of unemployed workers.



Note, however, that only 1/10 of the workers are working on the line making keyboards for Apple. And they may be making other products on that line, as well. So why is Apple being singled out?

Oh, yeah. Because Apple is one of the few companies which cares. The last time this came up, it turned out that suppliers told the press that Apple was the ONLY U.S. manufacturer that bothered to audit them at all.



It's called 'riding on someone else's coat-tails'. Pretending that Apple is involved suddenly gets lots of attention - whether it's true or not.

Note, however, that Apple has taken action with the ones who really are suppliers. Do we have any evidence that HP, Dell, IBM, Toshiba, etc have done anything? (Keeping in mind that the suppliers themselves said that Apple is the only one who even audited them, much less required changes).



So how many audits has HP done? Dell? Toshiba?



Not going to happen. Aside from the 10:1 difference in direct labor rates, the U.S. is vastly more expensive than Asia. Labor rules, liability concerns, environmental rules, overheads, OSHA, financial rules, etc all make it extremely expensive to have a major electronics manufacturer here. Even if Apple completely automated their production and didn't use any direct labor, it would be more expensive here due to the above.



That's not even close to being true. The thing that matters the most is maximizing shareholder satisfaction. Perhaps in most cases, that involves maximizing profits, but not always. Look at Ben & Jerry's, for example. Or any of the other companies which offer non-financial reasons to own the stock. Many people will consider a company's environmental record when investing. And Apple's record is far better than most.



You're mistaken - both with U.S. history and Asian history. Unions tend to have only a short term impact on wages and working conditions. It's macroeconomic factors that matter. Look at China. Unions were nothing more than Government control mechanism - until worker shortages started to show up. At that point, wages and working conditions started to improve. The union really had nothing to do with the end result, although it may have sped things up slightly.

And most of the U.S. working condition laws were not fostered by the unions, but rather by the government's perception of what working people wanted. Again, the unions possibly helped it to happen more quickly, but it would have happened, anyway. Today, only a very small percentage of employees are unionized. If unions were the cause of working conditions, why haven't they reverted to pre-union conditions?

Furthermore, a large percentage of union employees don't really get anything. I lost a job in college because I was required to join a union and give them a portion of my pay - even though it was a minimum wage job. A lot of union workers are in the same position - no choice but to join the union.



And that's why unions no longer have the influence they once had. They have become all about job security and selfish needs (as well as enriching union leadership). I worked for a company where I couldn't replace a light bulb in a desk lamp without filling out a work ticket and having a union electrician (about $50 per hour at the time) come do the work. It cost the company $100 to replace a $1 light bulb (not to mention the 3 days that I didn't have a desk lamp).



There are lots of reasons that never caught on:
1. Mass retailers like Wal-mart have nothing to offer the consumer but a lower price, so they'll do whatever it takes to reduce the price. They don't want consumers to know where the products are coming from.
2. We no longer have the ability to manufacture many items in quantity. I tried to find an American made fishing rod and reel at one time - and it was amazing how difficult this was (surprisingly, the reel was easier than the rod).
3. The cost of most American-made items is far higher than imported items due to the reasons given above. How many people are willing to pay a 150% premium for patio furniture (I did at one point, so I know how much more it was). Or a 100% premium for a fishing rod? Or a 200% premium for clothing?

I skip over these "multi-posts".

They are too difficult to respond to. A total PITA.
post #47 of 118
Conradjoe & AppleII - don't worry, there are load of people who fail at humour and take it personally, I'm not one of them. I wouldn't care if the iPad 3 used parts of Vietnamese babies inside as long as the quality stayed good and none of the bits leaked out.

It's always the same with these reports. A company provides bits to loads of companies but because 1 of them happens to be Apple, they should take responsibility.
post #48 of 118
Unions in China? While we are busy getting rid of unions in the USA (for the good of the country), a right-wing repressive dictatorship allows their workers to unionize?

What is this world coming to?

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post #49 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

You're not going to like it, but well.
What's the worst thing Western civilization has known? Yeah, the moustache guy in brown.
Why? Because "hey, let the Germans deal with it, we're just lending them money", said American banks.

It's called morals. Sometimes, you can't just close your eyes and "just get the final product". Would you clean yourself with soap made of human grease in a concentration camp? It's the same soap, in the end, on a purely chemical sense. I know I would not.

This is a small planet. What you buy is produced by humans, and your buying choices, in our economic model, directly impacts the companies behavior. This also is true in BTB, as here: if Apple requires moral behavior from its Chinese partners, and enforces it, it is doing what the "Think Different" company must do to live up to its values.

I, for one, will keep buying from Apple as long as what they do is no-hassle, excellent quality and morally produced. I however will not spend the money I do if they start cutting corners with morals.

So are you saying we should make the whole world equal in right and pay, if so this would be good for America, because if we have to treat and pay them the same as American then we could bring back those jobs to the U.S.A. and FĂșck the world.
post #50 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

Unions in China? While we are busy getting rid of unions in the USA (for the good of the country), a right-wing repressive dictatorship allows their workers to unionize?

What is this world coming to?

China is a Communist country and workers rights is a Communist ideal, so unions in China makes perfect sense, c'mon man act like you know.
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post #51 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Because if you hire dirt bags that treat people like shit you're part of the problem.

And by that measure - if you buy from a company that hires a company that treat people like shit you are personally part of the problem, too. Not comfortable but true.
post #52 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment. Apple hired them to produce a product in return for payment thats it. Its not their responsibility to "babysit" a work ethic in another country. If they can't get the job done, get another company in China to do it. Let the Chinese fix worker problems in China.

While you are correct in the notion that Apple has limited control, it would be nice if there was a world environment such that companies like Apple, IBM etc had choices in where to go. Not just to 'another company in China' but a whole different country. These companies and countries would reform a lot faster if someone like Apple could totally walk away. Take their business elsewhere. Trouble is that there is no elsewhere. There are no other companies in other countries that can do this work. Even when there are factories in other countries, it's just the same companies. Doesn't really have the same effect.

Folks talk about Apple is a US company so they should have their factories in the US so we get the jobs. Okay, there's a logic to that. Yes it would probably raise the prices a little as the unions will insist on having control whether the companies or the employees want it, just like they are trying to do with the retail stores. Apple would hopefully split the difference between raising the prices and eating the lost profit margins. Even better would be if they had factories in various regions of the world. Asian for the Asia sold products, US for the North American (and perhaps South), Europe for Europe. Why shouldn't the buyers have the same benefit of having jobs in their country.

Trouble is that Apple buying such a set of factories would be a political (among other) nightmare. It would take a lifetime to work out the appropriate details and actually do it. Better to have other counties that have already done that work handle it. Trouble is that those companies don't exist outside of Asia, in particular China. So back to square one. Apple is a victim of a monopoly so big it makes both Apple and Microsoft combined look like dust in the wind.
post #53 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Because if you hire dirt bags that treat people like shit you're part of the problem.

Who said they did. This could be like those stories of asshole retail managers at any company. Rarely is that jerk the norm. Generally it is a bad apple that is 1 in 100 or more but gets hyped up because it gets page hits cause no one likes a douchebag boss.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

Unions in China? While we are busy getting rid of unions in the USA (for the good of the country), a right-wing repressive dictatorship allows their workers to unionize?

You assume that the unions in places like China actually do any real good, rather than being just a tool of said repressive dictatorship to make workers think anyone gives a crap about them.
post #54 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment. Apple hired them to produce a product in return for payment thats it. Its not their responsibility to "babysit" a work ethic in another country. If they can't get the job done, get another company in China to do it. Let the Chinese fix worker problems in China.

We've been over this before. It isn't. And I agree with you.

While Apple uses the product(s) made by this company, it neither owns the company nor is responsible to/for the employees.

Others would do well to keep in mind that US work standards do NOT apply in China (or any other country for that matter). What it acceptable in China may or not be acceptable here, and neither Apple nor the US Bureau of Labour can or should interfere.

Again, consider how Americans would feel if other countries attempted to intervene in US work practices and/or conditions.
post #55 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by neosum View Post

For the ones who complain, why don't they start such a company and bring the jobs here instead of expecting someone else to do it. Then see how it fares with stock holders and earnings calls.

Maybe if they had 80 billion in cash sitting around they could afford to invest in such a thing.
post #56 of 118
Quote:
Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment.

Because it's Apple and if was some other tech company, it wouldn't be a big story, there wouldn't be the tech pundit frothing, and we wouldn't have discussion that devolve into hyper ideological chest thumping and the rest of it. If you're indignant over the fact that there is worker abuse in the developing / non-democratic world, buy only computers made (NOT just assembled) in the USA (including ALL the individual components of that computer), and than do it for every piece of electronic gear you have. After that, get back to us and tell me the make and model of your "USA only" PC.
post #57 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

I skip over these "multi-posts".

They are too difficult to respond to. A total PITA.

Yes, I can understand how it would be difficult for someone who is mentally challenged to follow a detailed discussion of a topic.

I'm sorry that I confused you. Perhaps this is more your speed:
http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes
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post #58 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

*sighs* \

That's a concession, not an argument.
post #59 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

Because it's Apple and if was some other tech company, it wouldn't be a big story, there wouldn't be the tech pundit frothing, and we wouldn't have discussion that devolve into hyper ideological chest thumping and the rest of it. If you're indignant over the fact that there is worker abuse in the developing / non-democratic world, buy only computers made (NOT just assembled) in the USA (including ALL the individual components of that computer), and than do it for every piece of electronic gear you have. After that, get back to us and tell me the make and model of your "USA only" PC.

The issue is beyond Apple...way beyond Apple.

American companies are recording record profits...unemployment is rising...the income gap is growing to unsustainable levels and jobs are being created...in other countries...to maximize profits and "minimize price"

Like I said earlier...why, if they were to insource the jobs, does the cost of everything have to go up as opposed to the profit margin going down? Because in the world, not just the USA, ultimately profit > humanity...

It's been that way for centuries if not longer.

While I agree unions have gotten out of control from time to time I still think an entity that protects the worker is necessary in most jobs. Most of the job benefits we first worlders take for granted exist BECAUSE of Unions.

The entire system is broken and it's shocking that the solution most of the commenters here are supportive of is the one that maximizes profits and minimizes humanity.

Sad state of reality...nothing new.
post #60 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Conradjoe & AppleII - don't worry, there are load of people who fail at humour and take it personally, I'm not one of them. I wouldn't care if the iPad 3 used parts of Vietnamese babies inside as long as the quality stayed good and none of the bits leaked out.

It's always the same with these reports. A company provides bits to loads of companies but because 1 of them happens to be Apple, they should take responsibility.

Conrad is joking...he's satirizing Apple ][

Apple ][ is the poster boy for half of what's wrong with humanity.
post #61 of 118
I have seen a lot of people making arguments about China and working conditions, and calling out to bring the jobs back to America. People have talked about unions and the good and the bad of them. One point however seems to have been missed, We did this to ourselves.

It used to be the big box stores still sold made in america, but once cheap labor could be found else where we got lower prices. Nobody said anything about jobs here, people still bought. Save five bucks cost a fellow American their job.

This did not happen over night. It did not happen because of the top 1. It happened because we proved to the people making the money that they could make more if they used foreign labor and we would not give a shit so long as we could save a buck.

Of course the working conditions are worse, they have little to no protection, They have no need for it, until very recently there was plenty of workers to use as they saw fit. Once China is used up it will move elsewhere, don't expect it to come back to the U.S. unless people take the first step and the majority buys from the U.S. and is willing to pay the money to bring it back.
post #62 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

I have seen a lot of people making arguments about China and working conditions, and calling out to bring the jobs back to America. People have talked about unions and the good and the bad of them. One point however seems to have been missed, We did this to ourselves.

It used to be the big box stores still sold made in america, but once cheap labor could be found else where we got lower prices. Nobody said anything about jobs here, people still bought. Save five bucks cost a fellow American their job.

This did not happen over night. It did not happen because of the top 1. It happened because we proved to the people making the money that they could make more if they used foreign labor and we would not give a shit so long as we could save a buck.

Of course the working conditions are worse, they have little to no protection, They have no need for it, until very recently there was plenty of workers to use as they saw fit. Once China is used up it will move elsewhere, don't expect it to come back to the U.S. unless people take the first step and the majority buys from the U.S. and is willing to pay the money to bring it back.

Exactly. Apple isn't the problem. We all are.
post #63 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Who said they did. This could be like those stories of asshole retail managers at any company. Rarely is that jerk the norm. Generally it is a bad apple that is 1 in 100 or more but gets hyped up because it gets page hits cause no one likes a douchebag boss.




You assume that the unions in places like China actually do any real good, rather than being just a tool of said repressive dictatorship to make workers think anyone gives a crap about them.

I actually didn't say they did. Or didn't. The question I was answering was about" someone explain to me why is it apples problem..." paraphrasing.

I did say in the edited part of that post that I hope apple takes the lead on this issue. They have already but I hope they stay on it.
post #64 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

And by that measure - if you buy from a company that hires a company that treat people like shit you are personally part of the problem, too. Not comfortable but true.

I agree on all counts. That's another reason that apple should push as hard as they can. I think they've taken the lead. The part of my post you edited gave some reasons for apple to take some responsibility but the main reason for me is that I don't want to hire dirtbags...
post #65 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

IMO, a big "Made in the USA" campaign is sorely needed.

I prefer to buy American goods. We still make cars and computers. And food. I'd like to see a "Made in America" label displayed in prominent locations to make the choices easier.

Here ya go:

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post #66 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

We've been over this before. It isn't. And I agree with you.

While Apple uses the product(s) made by this company, it neither owns the company nor is responsible to/for the employees.

Others would do well to keep in mind that US work standards do NOT apply in China (or any other country for that matter). What it acceptable in China may or not be acceptable here, and neither Apple nor the US Bureau of Labour can or should interfere.

Again, consider how Americans would feel if other countries attempted to intervene in US work practices and/or conditions.

The us bureau of labor has nothing to do with this. If china wants to work with apple and apple wants to be in china then they should and will negotiate terms, effectively, as things progress. I for one hope decent working conditions are part of that. If china doesn't like it they can tell apple to leave. If companies from other countries come to the U.S. And have demands as to work practices and/or conditions, I have no problem with that. We don't have to agree or work with them. Just like china doesn't have to agree to what apple wants.
post #67 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

The us bureau of labor has nothing to do with this. If china wants to work with apple and apple wants to be in china then they should and will negotiate terms, effectively, as things progress. I for one hope decent working conditions are part of that. If china doesn't like it they can tell apple to leave. If companies from other countries come to the U.S. And have demands as to work practices and/or conditions, I have no problem with that. We don't have to agree or work with them. Just like china doesn't have to agree to what apple wants.


Decent working conditions? By who's standards? Since it's China, your standards and hopes are irrelevant.
post #68 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80025 View Post

Decent working conditions? By who's standards? Since it's China, your standards and hopes are irrelevant.

The standards are developing according to apples audits, worker negotiations with their direct employer, public demands, things like that.

My standards and hopes have never been irrelevant. Speak for yourself.
post #69 of 118
If they have the energy to complain, I am surprised these workers are so well fed and seem to have educated thoughts. This appears to be progress.
post #70 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

What these guys don't understand is that they are better off working for Apple's supplier than they are doing other jobs, or more likely, being unemployed. They should be grateful that Apple hires them.

That's not true. In general, Chinese people now have more employment choices than ever before, because of their surging economy.
post #71 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

I agree on all counts. That's another reason that apple should push as hard as they can. I think they've taken the lead. The part of my post you edited gave some reasons for apple to take some responsibility but the main reason for me is that I don't want to hire dirtbags...

Yes. In truth we should probably all take a little bit more responsibility. As end consumers the power lies with us as a group and us as individual. I know this is virtually impossible to live by, specially when times are hard. Which ultimately is where the question of governance comes in.... (trails off as visions of another futile political thread looms)
post #72 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

I have seen a lot of people making arguments about China and working conditions, and calling out to bring the jobs back to America. People have talked about unions and the good and the bad of them. One point however seems to have been missed, We did this to ourselves.

It used to be the big box stores still sold made in america, but once cheap labor could be found else where we got lower prices. Nobody said anything about jobs here, people still bought. Save five bucks cost a fellow American their job.

This did not happen over night. It did not happen because of the top 1. It happened because we proved to the people making the money that they could make more if they used foreign labor and we would not give a shit so long as we could save a buck.

I've been saying that for years. There have been a number of factors which have ruined our competitiveness:

1. The drive toward buying everything cheaper - no matter what the consequences. Walmart is now the largest company in the world - based solely on the premise that if you can buy something for a penny less than somewhere else that you should. Quality doesn't matter. Service doesn't matter. Nothing matters but shaving a few pennies off.

2. We've been willing to sacrifice health and safety to saving money. Every time I see another story about poisoned products coming out of China (toothpaste, infant formula, children's jewelry, and so on), I wonder what it's going to take to wake us up. Apparently, there isn't a force big enough to do it.

3. Legal matters. Our liability system is way out of control - which adds immensely to the cost of products manufactured in the U.S. I don't think anyone has argued for not holding people responsible when they've actually done something wrong, but it has turned into a big lottery.

4. Government matters. Our government rolled over and played dead in the 80's, 90's, and first decade of this century and allowed Asia to eat our lunch. No effort to enforce fair trade laws. No effort to enforce safety laws. There was a great deal of pressure from businesses to allow ANY imports, as long as they were cheap (under the premise that the ability to buy 'cheap' was good for American business. Unfortunately, we're now learning that that is true only in the short run).

5. Fiscal matters. We allowed China to blatantly manipulate its currency for the past 3 decades, costing us billions of dollars in GNP and taxes as well as many millions of jobs. But it was good for importing businesses, so it was allowed. Now, it may well be too late to force China to allow their currency to float - although we should still be pushing a lot harder than we are.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #73 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Yes. In truth we should probably all take a little bit more responsibility. As end consumers the power lies with us as a group and us as individual. I know this is virtually impossible to live by, specially when times are hard. Which ultimately is where the question of governance comes in.... (trails off as visions of another futile political thread looms)

Ya, it's a tough row to hoe.
Enjoy your holiday if you have one. Enjoy your day if you don't.
post #74 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment. Apple hired them to produce a product in return for payment thats it. Its not their responsibility to "babysit" a work ethic in another country. If they can't get the job done, get another company in China to do it. Let the Chinese fix worker problems in China.

So, if you know you are hiring a company to build your product you have no responsibility as to how the product is manufactured? You would have loved it about a hundred years ago in the US with all that slave and child labor.
post #75 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

If the $15 shirt had a big placard next to it saying, "This shirt is made with foreign labor--buy it, and your job is next to go overseas" I wonder how that would affect sales. Tie an action to a concrete result.

Would people then get it?

The problem is the shirt made in the US would have to be priced at least about $30-$45 Dollars. Levi's is doing this with some of their jeans. We will see how successful they can be at selling US-made products.
post #76 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I've been saying that for years. There have been a number of factors which have ruined our competitiveness:

1. The drive toward buying everything cheaper - no matter what the consequences. Walmart is now the largest company in the world - based solely on the premise that if you can buy something for a penny less than somewhere else that you should. Quality doesn't matter. Service doesn't matter. Nothing matters but shaving a few pennies off.

2. We've been willing to sacrifice health and safety to saving money. Every time I see another story about poisoned products coming out of China (toothpaste, infant formula, children's jewelry, and so on), I wonder what it's going to take to wake us up. Apparently, there isn't a force big enough to do it.

3. Legal matters. Our liability system is way out of control - which adds immensely to the cost of products manufactured in the U.S. I don't think anyone has argued for not holding people responsible when they've actually done something wrong, but it has turned into a big lottery.

4. Government matters. Our government rolled over and played dead in the 80's, 90's, and first decade of this century and allowed Asia to eat our lunch. No effort to enforce fair trade laws. No effort to enforce safety laws. There was a great deal of pressure from businesses to allow ANY imports, as long as they were cheap (under the premise that the ability to buy 'cheap' was good for American business. Unfortunately, we're now learning that that is true only in the short run).

5. Fiscal matters. We allowed China to blatantly manipulate its currency for the past 3 decades, costing us billions of dollars in GNP and taxes as well as many millions of jobs. But it was good for importing businesses, so it was allowed. Now, it may well be too late to force China to allow their currency to float - although we should still be pushing a lot harder than we are.



The most important aspect is the so called Free Trade Agreements. In the eighties and nineties US companies were making more money then any other time in the Countries history. More millionaires were created then any other time. The so called american companies got greedy, and decided they'd like to not hire americans even though most of their products were being sold to americans and they were quite profitable.

So, they used their new found wealth and lobbied to do away with import tariffs that since this Country was founded protected american workers from having to compete unfairly against subsidized work forces like those in China. NAFTA was sold to us on the premise that it would help the Mexican, Canadian, and American economies by allowing goods from the respective Countries to flow freely over the borders where before an import tax had to be paid. What really happened, however, is instead of Mexican and Canadian manufactured goods coming into the Country (and our goods going into their Countries), really goods from China are shipped into Canada and Mexico and allowed to freely pass into America.

Within five years of NAFTA being passed millions of american manufacturing jobs went overseas to China and the associated wealth along with it. China is now loaning the US money. It is kind of ironic because the US used to safeguard certain technology from going to China. For instance, Apple couldn't sell the original G4 Power Macs in Countries like China for security reasons, much less even dream about having such technology be build there. We didn't want the Chinese to have access to this technology. Now all the sensitive technology is build in China, allowing our systems to easily be hacked because most of our electronics are built in China.


The import taxes protected american workers, provided wages, which were spend on other american products and services, and provided taxes used to pay for government services. Now people are broke, local businesses are closing, and the government is broke.

You want to make America strong again, the Free Trade Agreements have to either be axed all together or modified to only allow goods actually produced in Countries like Canada and Mexico to pass freely over the border. Americans can't compete fairly with what essentially amounts to a slave work force.

Another irony is if you compare the prices of goods produced locally before being shipped to China, and now after being shipped to China, the prices, after being adjusted for inflation, have not dropped.
post #77 of 118
Yes, the surging economy that the US government exported over to China.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peter236 View Post

That's not true. In general, Chinese people now have more employment choices than ever before, because of their surging economy.
post #78 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

The most important aspect is the so called Free Trade Agreements. In the eighties and nineties US companies were making more money then any other time in the Countries history. More millionaires were created then any other time. The so called american companies got greedy, and decided they'd like to not hire americans even though most of their products were being sold to americans and they were quite profitable.

So, they used their new found wealth and lobbied to do away with import tariffs that since this Country was founded protected american workers from having to compete unfairly against subsidized work forces like those in China. NAFTA was sold to us on the premise that it would help the Mexican, Canadian, and American economies by allowing goods from the respective Countries to flow freely over the borders where before an import tax had to be paid. What really happened, however, is instead of Mexican and Canadian manufactured goods coming into the Country (and our goods going into their Countries), really goods from China are shipped into Canada and Mexico and allowed to freely pass into America.

Within five years of NAFTA being passed millions of american manufacturing jobs went overseas to China and the associated wealth along with it. China is now loaning the US money. It is kind of ironic because the US used to safeguard certain technology from going to China. For instance, Apple couldn't sell the original G4 Power Macs in Countries like China for security reasons, much less even dream about having such technology be build there. We didn't want the Chinese to have access to this technology. Now all the sensitive technology is build in China, allowing our systems to easily be hacked because most of our electronics are built in China.


The import taxes protected american workers, provided wages, which were spend on other american products and services, and provided taxes used to pay for government services. Now people are broke, local businesses are closing, and the government is broke.

You want to make America strong again, the Free Trade Agreements have to either be axed all together or modified to only allow goods actually produced in Countries like Canada and Mexico to pass freely over the border. Americans can't compete fairly with what essentially amounts to a slave work force.

Another irony is if you compare the prices of goods produced locally before being shipped to China, and now after being shipped to China, the prices, after being adjusted for inflation, have not dropped.

Good ol' USA.
post #79 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

That's no longer true. In some provinces of China, there are actually shortages of skilled workers and there are mass migrations going on. You can see the impact on wages and working conditions - wages are already on their way up and working conditions are improving - not as much because of unions as because they're running out of unemployed workers.



Note, however, that only 1/10 of the workers are working on the line making keyboards for Apple. And they may be making other products on that line, as well. So why is Apple being singled out?

Oh, yeah. Because Apple is one of the few companies which cares. The last time this came up, it turned out that suppliers told the press that Apple was the ONLY U.S. manufacturer that bothered to audit them at all.



It's called 'riding on someone else's coat-tails'. Pretending that Apple is involved suddenly gets lots of attention - whether it's true or not.

Note, however, that Apple has taken action with the ones who really are suppliers. Do we have any evidence that HP, Dell, IBM, Toshiba, etc have done anything? (Keeping in mind that the suppliers themselves said that Apple is the only one who even audited them, much less required changes).



So how many audits has HP done? Dell? Toshiba?



Not going to happen. Aside from the 10:1 difference in direct labor rates, the U.S. is vastly more expensive than Asia. Labor rules, liability concerns, environmental rules, overheads, OSHA, financial rules, etc all make it extremely expensive to have a major electronics manufacturer here. Even if Apple completely automated their production and didn't use any direct labor, it would be more expensive here due to the above.



That's not even close to being true. The thing that matters the most is maximizing shareholder satisfaction. Perhaps in most cases, that involves maximizing profits, but not always. Look at Ben & Jerry's, for example. Or any of the other companies which offer non-financial reasons to own the stock. Many people will consider a company's environmental record when investing. And Apple's record is far better than most.



You're mistaken - both with U.S. history and Asian history. Unions tend to have only a short term impact on wages and working conditions. It's macroeconomic factors that matter. Look at China. Unions were nothing more than Government control mechanism - until worker shortages started to show up. At that point, wages and working conditions started to improve. The union really had nothing to do with the end result, although it may have sped things up slightly.

And most of the U.S. working condition laws were not fostered by the unions, but rather by the government's perception of what working people wanted. Again, the unions possibly helped it to happen more quickly, but it would have happened, anyway. Today, only a very small percentage of employees are unionized. If unions were the cause of working conditions, why haven't they reverted to pre-union conditions?

Furthermore, a large percentage of union employees don't really get anything. I lost a job in college because I was required to join a union and give them a portion of my pay - even though it was a minimum wage job. A lot of union workers are in the same position - no choice but to join the union.



And that's why unions no longer have the influence they once had. They have become all about job security and selfish needs (as well as enriching union leadership). I worked for a company where I couldn't replace a light bulb in a desk lamp without filling out a work ticket and having a union electrician (about $50 per hour at the time) come do the work. It cost the company $100 to replace a $1 light bulb (not to mention the 3 days that I didn't have a desk lamp).



There are lots of reasons that never caught on:
1. Mass retailers like Wal-mart have nothing to offer the consumer but a lower price, so they'll do whatever it takes to reduce the price. They don't want consumers to know where the products are coming from.
2. We no longer have the ability to manufacture many items in quantity. I tried to find an American made fishing rod and reel at one time - and it was amazing how difficult this was (surprisingly, the reel was easier than the rod).
3. The cost of most American-made items is far higher than imported items due to the reasons given above. How many people are willing to pay a 150% premium for patio furniture (I did at one point, so I know how much more it was). Or a 100% premium for a fishing rod? Or a 200% premium for clothing?

You are so full of it on your view on unions it's hysterical. Not to mention your full of yourself. The main reason for low union membership in the UFSA is the laws enacted by the Reagan extreme right-wing regime culminating with human rights abuses such as " right to work " states or as I say " Arbeit Macht Frei" states, they are basically one and the same in hypocrisy and human rights abuse and criminal intent.
The Chinese as the Russians are woefully flirting with repeating history by installing a Tzar in the latter and Mandarins in the first both will inevitably be dealt with in the same way as in the past.
As for the self serving oligarchy here in our so called western democracies well echoes of Robespierre will most likely be the answer for our financial criminals. The only way to save ourselves from having to relive this in endless cycles is to espouse true democratic socialism based on a by demand then supply world economic model that is both fair and sustainable to the whole of humanity. People like you can be re-educated rehabilitated or interned to protect us from your form of sociopathic psychosis.
Beginnings of this is already all around us if your are willing to see the oncoming freight train. Worker revolts in China, Arab spring uprisings, Occupy the world, Anonymous , etc., etc.
Ah what the hell just ignore the the horn, you'll be just fine.
post #80 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I've been saying that for years. There have been a number of factors which have ruined our competitiveness:

1. The drive toward buying everything cheaper - no matter what the consequences. Walmart is now the largest company in the world - based solely on the premise that if you can buy something for a penny less than somewhere else that you should. Quality doesn't matter. Service doesn't matter. Nothing matters but shaving a few pennies off.

2. We've been willing to sacrifice health and safety to saving money. Every time I see another story about poisoned products coming out of China (toothpaste, infant formula, children's jewelry, and so on), I wonder what it's going to take to wake us up. Apparently, there isn't a force big enough to do it.

3. Legal matters. Our liability system is way out of control - which adds immensely to the cost of products manufactured in the U.S. I don't think anyone has argued for not holding people responsible when they've actually done something wrong, but it has turned into a big lottery.

4. Government matters. Our government rolled over and played dead in the 80's, 90's, and first decade of this century and allowed Asia to eat our lunch. No effort to enforce fair trade laws. No effort to enforce safety laws. There was a great deal of pressure from businesses to allow ANY imports, as long as they were cheap (under the premise that the ability to buy 'cheap' was good for American business. Unfortunately, we're now learning that that is true only in the short run).

5. Fiscal matters. We allowed China to blatantly manipulate its currency for the past 3 decades, costing us billions of dollars in GNP and taxes as well as many millions of jobs. But it was good for importing businesses, so it was allowed. Now, it may well be too late to force China to allow their currency to float - although we should still be pushing a lot harder than we are.

I wouldn't be is such a hurry to criticize any country about safety issues. There a literally thousand of product recalls daily and they are right around your corner. http://www.foodsafety.gov/index.html

Maybe your car is on the list as well. http://www.recalls.gov/

And we worry about our neighbors half way around the world. Again, our backyards are just as filthy. http://usliberals.about.com/od/immig...lImmi.htm?rd=1
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