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Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn settles with protesting employees - Page 2

post #41 of 48
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Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

Really, This is the level of your compassion? We're you abused as a child? It is hard enough to imagine a human being can be so callous about another, but to take the time to publicly demonstrate it is astounding. Looks like you may be CEO material, or maybe your just ignorant to the facts. I truly do hope the best for you.

Apple ][ is one of two things:

1- He's an unhappy, divorced (if he ever got married) person who is estranged from his children (if he ever had them), with no friends because he has repulsed them off with his know-it-all and condescending attitude. Honestly- who would want to be around that type of mentality.

2- He's doing this as a bit.


I used to hate Apple's posts and think him as an oblivious #1 (i.e.- I'm better than everyone else, thats why no one will be around me- they're intimidated). But the more he posts, I think it's #2- it's all a bit. In which case, Apple ][ became my favorite poster on here and is a genius. He knows just how to pull someone offsides and say something so ludicrous it elicits a response. It has to be a bit. So heres to you Apple ][! I like you now

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post #42 of 48
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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It was an exceedingly stupid move to respond to this manipulation by the workers.


You know over the years I've had the unfortunate experience of knowing people that offed themselves or tried too right here in the USA. Funny how nothing of note is said in the media about the places they worked. This excessive focus on a few suicides in china is morbid and frankly a form of trolling of the media by the left.

Not only that, but the media have completely misrepresented the situation. According to Wikipedia, Foxconn had 14 suicides over 10 months in a population of 800,000. Over a full year, we would have expected 14/10*12=16.8 suicides. Dividing that by 8 gives us 2.1 suicides per 100,000 people per year.

So, what's the suicide rate in the USA? Wikipedia has a helpful article on that, too. It's 11.8. That's right, in the USA, the suicide rate is more than five times higher than at Foxconn! So the headlines should have been, "How does Foxconn keep the suicide rate so low?". Instead, we got headlines of outrage. Makes one wonder how far to trust the next outraged headline.

There are some caveats here. The USA rates are for the general population in the USA whereas the Foxconn rates are for a population that does electronic manufacturing. It would be interesting to know the suicide rate for electronic manufacturing employees in the USA, but I don't have those numbers.

REFERENCES
Foxconn suicides: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn_suicides
Suicide rates by country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...y_suicide_rate
post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yowzer View Post

Not only that, but the media have completely misrepresented the situation. According to Wikipedia, Foxconn had 14 suicides over 10 months in a population of 800,000. Over a full year, we would have expected 14/10*12=16.8 suicides. Dividing that by 8 gives us 2.1 suicides per 100,000 people per year.

So, what's the suicide rate in the USA? Wikipedia has a helpful article on that, too. It's 11.8. That's right, in the USA, the suicide rate is more than five times higher than at Foxconn! So the headlines should have been, "How does Foxconn keep the suicide rate so low?". Instead, we got headlines of outrage. Makes one wonder how far to trust the next outraged headline.

There are some caveats here. The USA rates are for the general population in the USA whereas the Foxconn rates are for a population that does electronic manufacturing. It would be interesting to know the suicide rate for electronic manufacturing employees in the USA, but I don't have those numbers.

REFERENCES
Foxconn suicides: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn_suicides
Suicide rates by country: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...y_suicide_rate

Just like you don't count an entire country's population whn talking about workforce, I don't think you should count an entire country's population for suicide when comparing to workforce suicides.

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post #44 of 48
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Just like you don't count an entire country's population whn talking about workforce, I don't think you should count an entire country's population for suicide when comparing to workforce suicides.

I agree, and that's why I included the caveat in my posting. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I don't have the suicide rate for electronics manufacturing (or other manufacturing) in the USA. However, I think there is value in looking at the country-wide suicide rate to decide whether the Foxconn rate is outrageous or might be normal. None of the articles I came across about the Foxconn suicides even mentioned any other suicide rates and so there was no way to tell whether 14 suicides in ten months was a disaster, normal, or much better than normal. Every article, though, assumed the worst without any evidence to back it up. It took me just a few minutes to figure out that it looked like Foxconn's rates were remarkable low. (Granted, we really need the suicide rate for electronics manufacturing in the USA to be sure. And even then, we ought to look at other characteristics such as age, male versus female (female rates are much lower), and so on, because they all influence suicide rates. It's difficult to get a precise and accurate comparison.)

Another useful number to look at is the country-wide suicide rate for China, which is also in the Wikipedia article to which I linked in my previous post. That rate is 22.23, which is ten times the suicide rate at Foxconn. I don't recall any headlines about how Foxconn workers were ten times less likely to commit suicide than the general population in China.

What struck me most about the whole "scandal" was the poor reporting about it--just a few minutes of internet research would have shown that there wasn't really a scandal at all.
post #45 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yowzer View Post

I agree, and that's why I included the caveat in my posting. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, I don't have the suicide rate for electronics manufacturing (or other manufacturing) in the USA.

We can divide the number of people of working age by the number of suicides. I'm not sure if manufacturing is in itself a good measure. Are these jobs treated the same way across cultures? Are the conditions similar? I'm thinking they probably aren't.

Quote:
Another useful number to look at is the country-wide suicide rate for China, which is also in the Wikipedia article to which I linked in my previous post. That rate is 22.23, which is ten times the suicide rate at Foxconn. I don't recall any headlines about how Foxconn workers were ten times less likely to commit suicide than the general population in China.

That's an interesting statistic but I'm more interested in how Foxconn matches up to its competitors? I have to think depression is commonly a factor of suicide and that people who can't find jobs or work for various reasons may be more likely to get depressed.

Maybe that's the wrong to look at it but I would think that any single company should be lower. The one thing that is clear is its size brings a lot more focus that would otherwise not happen. I think Apple's mindshare and affiliation also affects this but to a lesser degree.

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post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

That's an interesting statistic but I'm more interested in how Foxconn matches up to its competitors? I have to think depression is commonly a factor of suicide and that people who can't find jobs or work for various reasons may be more likely to get depressed.

Wikipedia had this to say on suicide factors:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_suicide
Higher levels of social and national cohesion reduce suicide rates. Suicide levels are highest among the retired, unemployed, impoverished, divorced, the childless, urbanites, empty nesters, and other people who live alone. Suicide rates also rise during times of economic uncertainty (although poverty is not a direct cause, it can contribute to the risk of suicide). Epidemiological studies generally show a relationship between suicide or suicidal behaviors and socio-economic disadvantage, including limited educational achievement, homelessness, unemployment, economic dependence and contact with the police or justice system.[34] War is traditionally believed to be associated with a fall in suicide rates, however this has been questioned in recent studies, showing a more complex picture than previously conceived.[35][36] Unfortunately, it doesn't mention the degree to which the rates are affected by these factors.

The same article also considers gender:

In the United States, males are four times more likely to die by suicide than females, although more women than men report suicide attempts. Male suicide rates are higher than females in all age groups (the ratio varies from 3:1 to 10:1). In other western countries, males are also much more likely to die by suicide than females (usually by a factor of 34:1). It was the 8th leading cause of death for males, and 19th leading cause of death for females.[17] Excess male mortality from suicide is also evident from data from non-Western countries.

So, at the least, it would be handy to know the mix of male workers and female workers in the population at Foxconn, and any comparison with competitors would have to be adjusted for different mixes.

Likewise, race affects suicide rates, with asian rates significantly lower, but this is all within the USA so it's not clear whether this applies to people in China:

In 2003, in the United States, whites were nearly 2.5 times more likely to kill themselves than were blacks or Hispanics.[18] There is a marked divergence by age as seen in the chart below. In the eastern portion of the world (primarily in Asian or Pacific-Island countries) the numbers of reported suicides is growing every year.[19] Of all ethnic groups in the United States, Native Americans, Multiracial Americans, and Filipino Americans have the highest risk of suicide.[citation needed]

This does hint at some of the challenges when comparing suicide rates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Maybe that's the wrong to look at it but I would think that any single company should be lower. The one thing that is clear is its size brings a lot more focus that would otherwise not happen. I think Apple's mindshare and affiliation also affects this but to a lesser degree.

My gut feeling aligns with your comment--I suspect that the norm for a well run company should be lower than the country-wide rate. However, that's just a gut feel--a quick look on my part didn't turn up any relevant statistics.

This is an interesting discussion we've had. It's too bad that the newspaper coverage didn't consider any of this--they could have done a much better job of reporting than actually took place.
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yowzer View Post

[Lots of interesting statistics]

This is an interesting discussion we've had. It's too bad that the newspaper coverage didn't consider any of this--they could have done a much better job of reporting than actually took place.

In all fairness I'm sure we've played off each other's questions and comments a lot more than the original writers could. I know I didn't consider many aspects until you and others got me thinking about it.

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post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

In all fairness I'm sure we've played off each other's questions and comments a lot more than the original writers could.

I agree that expecting reporters to go through even just the basic analysis we did is probably unrealistic. However, I believe that they should have at least spent the few minutes to google "suicide rates" to quickly find the country-wide rates. Those rates should have made the reporters question whether the Foxconn rates were out of the ordinary, and thus tone down what got published. Then again, maybe we just have different expectations of our reporters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I know I didn't consider many aspects until you and others got me thinking about it.

Ditto, and thanks for that.
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