Originally Posted by neosum
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.
Originally Posted by AppleInsider
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.
Originally Posted by AppleInsider
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).
Originally Posted by AppleInsider
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?
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4
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.
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz
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.
Originally Posted by jr_b
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.
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU
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).
Originally Posted by ConradJoe
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?