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Former executives accuse Apple of ignoring supplier labor abuses - Page 2

post #41 of 94
Anyone that does business in China should know labor abuse is an issue. How many "willingly" work 12-hr shifts here in U.S. for low wages and not go postal???
post #42 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by F1Ferrari View Post

Simply put, the US is now a nation of full of people who can't think past a sound bite.

I think you can safely extrapolate that observation to most of what we like to call the 'developed world'. It's no different over here in most of Europe. The collective wealth of developed nations turns people into complacent, ignorant, gullible and eventually mindless fools. Note that I'm not necessarily talking about education, intelligence or job skills. It's just that people get so used to all the stuff they take for granted (whether they can afford it themselves or not, it doesn't matter) that they forget about the big bad world outside that provides for it. For now at least...
post #43 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

I'm sure if you keep looking you can find people who have it a little worse, and a little worse still. But you could just say, "hey, they're alive, and that beats being dead!" Except for a lot of foxconn employees, who felt that that wasn't the case.

I would say, however, that both of these things are unfortunate, and shouldn't be defended as "Just" or "necessary" by any stretch of the imagination. Why is that so impossible to admit, to yourselves and to others?

It's pragmatism, plain and simple, the workers of Foxconn are a lot better off than the five year olds collecting plastic bags on rubbish dumps to sell in order to buy enough food so they don't starve to death, in which case no-one would really care.

C'est la vie.
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post #44 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daramouthe View Post

Though it's kind of unfair to blame just Apple. Pretty much almost all eletronics get there stuff done were its cheap. I guess only time will tell whether this will affect Apple in a big horrible way.

It's not just electronics. I've been in factories in China for all sorts of products and the conditions are abysmal.

The difference is that Apple is actually doing something about it. After the suicides at Foxconn, Chinese manufacturing executives reported that Apple was the ONLY American company that actually audited them or made any efforts to improve conditions. If Apple were like Dell or HP or any of the others, the conditions would be far worse.

Furthermore, from what I've read about working conditions at Foxconn, these sound like some of the best manufacturing jobs in China. Pay rates and working conditions are at the high end of the scale and people are lined up waiting for those jobs. So Apple is the only supplier auditing the plants for health and safety matters and their contractors offer some of the best jobs in China - yet the press is still attacking Apple????

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

It is about time Apple spent the $Bs in cash to built its own factories right here in the US. There are automated machine tools that can produce all kinds of glass structures, screws, circuit boards, etc as well as assemble them. It is an oxymoron to give $Bs to Samsung plus the designs of the microprocessors so they can build them in Texas. It looks like the entire destiny of Apple is dependent on the tender mercies of China.

Tax laws here need to be changed to favor domestic manufacturing. WTO? Right... dump that. We need fair trade.

In case you haven't noticed, it's not just Apple. It's a national problem affecting all companies and industries. And the solution won't come from one company. If Apple built factories in the U.S., they'd spend many billions of dollars for the necessary automation, but they'd still be buying most of the content from China because there aren't U.S. suppliers for much of what they'd buy. Plus, they would lose money from doing so which would damage the company and all its shareholders. How many iPhones do you think they'd sell at twice the price?

Beyond that, the problem goes far beyond a company's willingness to build plants here. There are MAJOR structural impediments to doing so:
- Tax structure
- Liability laws
- Health and safety laws
- Environmental laws
- Infrastructure costs
- Currency exchange rates
- Shipping costs
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it would cost more than twice as much to build things like this in the U.S. That is pretty close to what I saw when I was sourcing things from China.

We missed our chance 20-30 years ago when China started getting serious about manipulating their currency. If we had poor our foot down at the time, we wouldn't be in the bind we're in today. Getting out of it will be much harder. Personally, I think that we should have environmental and health and safety standards and should require that they be met for all imported products as well as products produced here. If the supplier can not prove via independent verification that they meet our standards, either the product should be rejected at the port or an import duty equal to the cost of meeting the standards should be applied. And we should demand an immediate cessation of currency manipulation. Those steps would be a start toward addressing the problem, but it would still take a long time. It took us decades to get into this mess and we're not going to get out of it easily.
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post #45 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

What Steve didn't know is that the restaurants served Taco Bell quality (Grade "D" or "medically ingestible") meat.

The USDA doesnt have a grading system for beef. There is no such thing as Grade D or Medically indigestible beef. It either passes or doesnt. Dairy is graded beef is not.
post #46 of 94
Here we go again, with the NYT-fed, condescending, biased swill.

All those anti-Apple, anti-Chinese sweatshop types, what are you typing on? What router are you using to send your grand thoughts out to the world? Where do you think the fiber optics that carried it got made? And where does NYT's electronics - that make stories like these magically appear in our living rooms and offices - come from?

What a bunch of hypocrites.
post #47 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

It's pragmatism, plain and simple, the workers of Foxconn are a lot better off than the five year olds collecting plastic bags on rubbish dumps to sell in order to buy enough food so they don't starve to death, in which case no-one would really care.

C'est la vie.

Spot on.
post #48 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daramouthe View Post

And now these former employees are just mentioning this information. Sounds fishy that they would start spilling these secrets right after Apple agrees to work with the FLA.

I for one believe that Apple along with other tech companies have made a pack with the devil to get the lowest manufacturing costs possible. It is the shame of the west and our incredible need to consume regardless of the conditions workers in countries without laws to protect these people's rights as workers.
There is just too much money to be made with the sweatshops of China (and elsewhere) for morality to prevail. These workers are subject to conditions that nobody in this country would stand for. Steve Jobs told President Obama that "those jobs will never return" and that is true until the US has abandoned all fair labor rules and laws and returns to business as usual circa 1901.
post #49 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

We could learn a lesson or two from the Chinese work ethic. We had it at one time....post WWII until the 70s....but we eventually got fat, spoiled and lazy. It's sad, really.



Naw. We had the Chinese system here from the post-civil war era until around the 1920's. Company towns and peonage were once common in the US, especially in extractive industries. Post-WWII, people actually were able to earn a living wage and had the mobility necessary to avoid abusive semi-slavery.
post #50 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Why? Is Apple guilty of everything they are accused of until we prove them innocent?
Or is it the job the shadowy accusers to bring the proof?


ISTM that consistent news of these abuses has appeared in a wide variety of fora. Is there reason to think that all of the consistent sources are all making up the same types of stories?
post #51 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Here, have a real windmill to tilt at.

India has an 80% rate of recycling, this is why.

The factory workers of China who make the things that fill your stores with cheap goods are living in luxury in comparison.


And a man who has a crushed hand is "living in luxury in comparison" to one with no legs. Is that relevant?
post #52 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

The difference is that Apple is actually doing something about it. After the suicides at Foxconn, Chinese manufacturing executives reported that Apple was the ONLY American company that actually audited them or made any efforts to improve conditions.

If turning the spotlight on Apple causes them to insist that the past abuses by suppliers be rectified, then we should all be very happy that the spotlight has been turned on Apple.

Indeed, we should turn the spotlight onto more companies as well.

Environmental issues used to be swept under the rug. Now every company knows that it must use reasonable care to protect the environment. Maybe labor practices will similarly benefit from public outcries.

I say Keep Up the Pressure.
post #53 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post

The USDA doesnt have a grading system for beef.

USDA Grades for Meat and Poultry

Beef

Beef is graded as whole carcasses in two ways:

quality grades - for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor; and

yield grades - for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass. There are eight quality grades for beef.

Quality grades are based on the amount of marbling (flecks of fat within the lean), color, and maturity.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/...ding/index.asp
post #54 of 94
It is supremely ironic that NYT happen to have these series about Apple timed as it is around an expected outstanding quarter of sales reported. Or not, depending how cynical you are. The NYT exists to sell ad space supported by news (note: it used to be the other way around in the beginning) - thus a series like this is uniquely planned and designed to leverage the most possible web hits and paper sales and media coverage out of Apple success. Are anonymous executives being interviewed for this immediately suspect in their motives and intentions? OF course they are and NYT is protecting them from possible legal responses by keeping them anonymous - and thus protected they can say anything they want. As former executives, they have no skin in the game and no inherent reason to be either truthful or lie, depending on their personal motivations, resulting in essentially a questionable source.

Are conditions in China worse than in the US for labor - of course. It's even worse in those regions where unemployment is very high - which is why so many are migrating to vie for line jobs in factories like FoxConn's in order to somehow raise themselves out of abject poverty. Is FoxConn (and other manufactories) exploiting them - absolutely. Again, China's government is responsible for this climate, not Apple. Apple alone among all the world's electronic companies is reviewing working conditions of those companies that compete to supply Apple devices, and asking these companies by leveraging their pull in the supply chain, to raise the bar. Is it a perfect or completely altruistic approach - of course not. Apple is not a non-profit organization dedicated to the ultimate wellbeing of every worker on the planet. Unfortunately a balance must be struck somewhere.

So when someone in the western countries smugly decry these abuses, lambasts commenters who challenge unrealistic criticism or the opportunistic media coverage to generate ad revenue for a failing media source, they are not standing on pristine moral high ground.

The whole of western civilization and its prosperity stands on the backs of exploited workers around the world. The entire structure of the comfort, the convenience of every aspect of western life is mired in this unfortunate fact. And unless these self-appointed critics are voluntarily surrendering all of their comforts and conveniences, from the food they eat to virtually every single manufactured item around them, they are part of the problem not a part of the solution, and ultimately hypocritical.

The west enjoys its accomplishments purely because not only were there companies willing to exploit workers, but workers who were willing to be exploited instead of starving or dying. You want to speak power to truth, put your most valued possessions on the line. Set aside your comfort and convenience and embrace an austere lifestyle sans Starbucks, sans modern transportation of all types, sans telecommunications, internet, and convenient grocery stores. No one in the west is empowered to judge others until they embrace a lifestyle that places them outside of the very culture that enables the comfort and prosperity on which they depend.
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post #55 of 94
I've used Apple products for more than 25 years, and I'm a devoted fanboy (and stockholder). But I'm not close-minded, either. Read the articles. If the main company profiled was M$, would you apologize for it as well?

My hope is that Apple and other companies demand better conditions for workers at its supplier companies. With this public shaming, those within the company who have advocated for change should have more leverage in the debate.

We may have to pay more for our goods, and they may take longer to produce. Then again, Apple may pay for the changes by not demanding annual price cuts from its suppliers.

Regardless, the ball is definitely in Apple's court. I await its increased action with interest.
post #56 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techboy View Post

Anyone that does business in China should know labor abuse is an issue. How many "willingly" work 12-hr shifts here in U.S. for low wages and not go postal???

They're called illegal immigrants and we hate their guts.
post #57 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

What Steve didn't know is that the restaurants served Taco Bell quality (Grade "D" or "medically ingestible") meat and the movie theater showed nothing but the worst Adam Sandler movies (that would otherwise be sitting on an idle Netflix server collecting dust) on a continuous loop. It's believed to be the cause of many Foxconn suicides, or failing that, a sense of empathy from Chinese workers for how some Americans spend Saturday nights.


Well Taco Bell did win the franchise wars...
post #58 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satorical View Post

I've used Apple products for more than 25 years, and I'm a devoted fanboy (and stockholder). But I'm not close-minded, either. Read the articles. If the main company profiled was M$, would you apologize for it as well?

Yes, unquestionably.

If Microsoft was actually leading the world forward in terms of working conditions and if Microsoft was the only one auditing their suppliers' plants and if Microsoft was the only one setting working condition requirements far in excess of what was standard for the region, then they would deserve praise, not criticism.
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post #59 of 94
The hypocrisy that underpins this article stinks to high heavens. But even more heinous is the obvious attempt to create a "meme" that smears Appe Inc. The "powers that be" who control nearly all Western media are frightened to death by Apple, which seriously threatens to destroy their whole rotten operation.
post #60 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-range View Post

I'm getting increasingly fed-up by all the news outlets spinning this issue in relation to Apple all of a sudden. My local newspaper had a similar horribly suggestive piece like this yesterday, conveniently using Apples blowout earnings (1 small column in the paper) report to fill half a page about how Apple was indirectly funding child labor, driving assembly workers to suicide, destroying the environment around the factories, etc.

I understand that stuff like this happens in the factories that make all the cheap shiny things we like to buy, and I'm all for changing that. But pinning this on Apple or using Apple as poster child for all that is wrong with Chinese labor conditions is the epitome of hypocrisy. The computers that were used to typeset and publish all these articles were probably made in the exact same factories. If the authors of said articles go shopping for whatever they are looking for, price will often be top of the list when it comes to buying decisions. Everyone is profiting from cheap stuff manufactured somewhere they have cheap labor.

The fact that Apple is now singled out as the prime example of a big bad western company exploiting Chinese factory workers is ridiculous. I advise anyone who disagrees to go have a look in (for example) the Chinese food processing industry, and see how employees are treated over there. Compared to that, working 70 hours a week behind a Foxconn assembly line is almost like retirement.

Moral of the story: if you are sincerely worried about labor conditions in most parts of Asia, go complain there, and vote with your wallet, instead of riding an individual company's success to make your point. And realize this probably means paying twice as much for electronics, toys, clothing, many processed food stuffs, and so on.

why pay twice as much? 100 billion in the bank, why can't they make due with 80 billion in the bank? we are expected to pay more to keep their high profit margins in place.
they can shove the greed where the sun doesn't shine.
post #61 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Here we go again, with the NYT-fed, condescending, biased swill.

All those anti-Apple, anti-Chinese sweatshop types, what are you typing on? What router are you using to send your grand thoughts out to the world? Where do you think the fiber optics that carried it got made? And where does NYT's electronics - that make stories like these magically appear in our living rooms and offices - come from?

What a bunch of hypocrites.

There was a point, friend, when the cotton in everyone's linens was picked by a slave. It was those that were complaining about it that brought about a change in the paradigm, not those that "voted with their wallets" (a ludicrous idea.) Certainly, saying "that's just capitalism" isn't striking a bold new path into the welcoming arms of prosperity for the huddled masses (now deprived of hands and eyes, no doubt.) But the United States, built as it was on slavery, has only managed to displace said slavery, and it isn't surprising that those who benefit most from it are eager to justify it by any possible means, even if their logic is so patently incongruous with reality, justice and reason as to call forth bile in the throats of any onlooker with a chance modicum of decency. That makes you all the more a fool, however, and an enemy of humanity, akin to the champions of slavery that preceded you. It is a shame that the champions of slavery, now and then, are usually the majority, and likewise immune to principled thinking.
post #62 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Yes, unquestionably.

If Microsoft was actually leading the world forward in terms of working conditions and if Microsoft was the only one auditing their suppliers' plants and if Microsoft was the only one setting working condition requirements far in excess of what was standard for the region, then they would deserve praise, not criticism.

Apple is NOT leading the world forward. The conditions at Foxconn are considerably more dire as a result of the squeeze Apple has put on manufacturers, who have to underbid each other in order to secure mass contracting opportunities. It is precisely this paradigm, and Apple's miserly practices where partners are concerned, that leads to higher suicide rates and deeper cruelties against our fellow humans.

It can be mentioned IN THE SAME BREATH that Microsoft's licensing fees, similarly pinching profit off hardware manufacturers a la Compaq and HP, effectively synthesize the Apple paradigm, to a less dire degree.

It seems to be the wisdom of these forums that murder would be permissible, so long as everyone was partaking in the activity.
post #63 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

If turning the spotlight on Apple causes them to insist that the past abuses by suppliers be rectified, then we should all be very happy that the spotlight has been turned on Apple.

Indeed, we should turn the spotlight onto more companies as well.

Environmental issues used to be swept under the rug. Now every company knows that it must use reasonable care to protect the environment. Maybe labor practices will similarly benefit from public outcries.

I say Keep Up the Pressure.

Solidarity, brother!
post #64 of 94
The thing is, improving working conditons in those factories cost very little - per device. Think about it, a factory can produce 10k device a day! That's $6MM US revenue! How much is a better ventilating system? Or better chairs? It's nothing compared to the output. The problem is that, the company owning the factory is earning only maybe at most 3% of that $6MM. That's only $180k a day, with that, there's no way they'd want to spend money on new ventilating system etc. See the problem? Apple is earning like 45% of that revenue (their margin), while the compoents worth another 30%, and then the rest needs to go to distribution/marketing/research etc, there's very little money left for wages and facilities of the factory.

It's really about whether Apple is willing to shrink the margin a little (maybe a couple %) and write a contract in while that money will only go to improving working condition and wages and won't directly pay the factory owner. That should help the situation a lot.
post #65 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

The thing is, improving working conditons in those factories cost very little - per device. Think about it, a factory can produce 10k device a day! That's $6MM US revenue! How much is a better ventilating system? Or better chairs? It's nothing compared to the output. The problem is that, the company owning the factory is earning only maybe at most 3% of that $6MM. That's only $180k a day, with that, there's no way they'd want to spend money on new ventilating system etc. See the problem? Apple is earning like 45% of that revenue (their margin), while the compoents worth another 30%, and then the rest needs to go to distribution/marketing/research etc, there's very little money left for wages and facilities of the factory.

It's really about whether Apple is willing to shrink the margin a little (maybe a couple %) and write a contract in while that money will only go to improving working condition and wages and won't directly pay the factory owner. That should help the situation a lot.

The outcome that you prescribe would be the only decent thing to do. Corporations are anything but, however.

Public outcry is the first step in legislating a solution that doesn't count on the decency of corporations (HA!) to prevent human rights violations. Eliminating demand can't come about from grass roots movements (the tired, "vote with your wallet" line,) but legislators can be swayed, perhaps, if they aren't completely bought and sold by said corporations (and which isn't, if we're honest?)

But we knew about Nike in the 90's, where have we gotten? They must have a veritable swarm of lobbyists keeping the status quo intact. With champions of Justice like those represented here, it probably is a completely hopeless struggle. (That doesn't make the state of things any less repugnant, mind you.)
post #66 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

I'm sure if you keep looking you can find people who have it a little worse, and a little worse still. But you could just say, "hey, they're alive, and that beats being dead!" Except for a lot of foxconn employees, who felt that that wasn't the case.

I would say, however, that both of these things are unfortunate, and shouldn't be defended as "Just" or "necessary" by any stretch of the imagination. Why is that so impossible to admit, to yourselves and to others?

First off, I believe it has been reasonably demonstrated that the Foxconn suicides as a percentage of total employees was right in line with the average Chinese suicide rate. American employees kill themselves here, too. It's not always because of work. Overly simplifying things to prove a point...

Second, your recent comparisons to slavery are far from apt. Have Americans forcibly conscripted Chinese citizens into labor camps? People work by choice. Having experience with a Chinese factory, many workers leave every CNY to go work at family farms, and new employees are hired. Conditions aren't really much different than turn of the 20th Century American conditions; Americans used to work more the 40 hours a week, too. The U.S. didn't have another country meddling; it changed on its own over time, perhaps too far.

Standards of living and costs of living vary greatly from locale to locale. Australians often make more income than Americans; are they more wealthy? No, their costs are higher. Costs of living are far cheaper in China, and what people make over there is probably not much less equivalently to working at McDonalds or any other minimum wage job (reality check, people making minimum wage often work 2-3 jobs, and far more than 40 hours a week).

But wait, someone appointed you, lord of the internets, as Lord Protector of the world, and for you to determine what is legal in another country. China's a big boy, they can handle their own thing. The U.S. gets in enough trouble by meddling in everyone's affairs already. Apple, as a "dumb" corporation, is just doing what it's supposed to do; I don't recall it breaking any laws.
post #67 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

The thing is, improving working conditons in those factories cost very little - per device. Think about it, a factory can produce 10k device a day! That's $6MM US revenue! How much is a better ventilating system? Or better chairs? It's nothing compared to the output. The problem is that, the company owning the factory is earning only maybe at most 3% of that $6MM. That's only $180k a day, with that, there's no way they'd want to spend money on new ventilating system etc. See the problem? Apple is earning like 45% of that revenue (their margin), while the compoents worth another 30%, and then the rest needs to go to distribution/marketing/research etc, there's very little money left for wages and facilities of the factory.

It's really about whether Apple is willing to shrink the margin a little (maybe a couple %) and write a contract in while that money will only go to improving working condition and wages and won't directly pay the factory owner. That should help the situation a lot.

Yeah, because the owners of the factory in question would automatically use those newfound profits to improve working conditions. Right.

Same logic applies to throwing money at various impoverished African countries and assuming wealth will magically be distributed.
post #68 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post

The truth is 99.9999% of those workers are thankful of Apple for their jobs. Their standard of living has increased tremendously since having worked in the rice paddies for a third of the pay.

You just keep telling yourself that. And enjoy your latest overpriced shiny toy.
post #69 of 94
Quote:
Putting a human cost on the iPad

A day after Apple announced record profits, a new report provides a detailed look at the conditions that workers at its suppliers in China have had to endure.

The company, which reported $13 billion in profits yesterday, has been plagued by reports of long hours, unsafe working conditions, and physical punishment of employees in factories that make parts for its popular devices. Dozens have been injured and a handful killed in explosions and other accidents at the plants.

In a seven-month span last year, two explosions at iPad factories in China, including at the Chengdu facility, killed four and injured 77, according to The New York Times. In an exhaustive profile, Times reporters Charles Duhigg and David Barboza put a name and a face to the human price sometimes paid for those profits, spotlighting the final months of one of those workers who died that day in Chengdu.

It's unclear whether these allegedly unsafe working conditions have been thoroughly addressed. Apple previously adopted a code of conduct for suppliers, but the Cupertino computer maker did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNET this evening.

The report focuses on an explosion at a plant in Chengdu, in southwest China, last May killed four and injured 18. Chinese TV showed clouds of dark smoke emanating from the building and there were fears that the building's collapse was imminent.

In late 2010, Lai Xiaodong, a 22-year-old with a degree, moved to Chengdu, a city of 12 million in southwest China that has become one of the world's most important manufacturing hubs. Lai landed a $22 a day job repairing machines at Foxconn Technology's factory, where the iPad was being produced. (Foxconn has plants throughout China and produces roughly 40 percent of the world's consumer electronics for companies such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony.)

Apple's Supplier Code of Conduct states that plant workers are not to work more than 60 hours a week, except under emergency or unusual circumstances. However, according to the Times:

Mr. Lai was soon spending 12 hours a day, six days a week inside the factory, according to his paychecks. Employees who arrived late were sometimes required to write confession letters and copy quotations. There were "continuous shifts," when workers were told to work two stretches in a row, according to interviews.

At the end of the day, Lai would retreat to a bedroom just large enough for a bed that he shared with his girlfriend. Many of his co-workers weren't so privileged; company dorms house 70,000 employees, often squeezing 20 people into a three-bedroom apartment, according to the report.

Following the lead of other tech companies, Apple decided in 2005 that it needed the Code of Conduct to ensure "that working conditions in Apple's supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible." The company, which conducts annual audits of its component suppliers, recently reported that it had increased its audits by 80 percent compared with 2010.
Related stories

Apple noted in its latest progress report (PDF), which was released after the Chengdu explosion, that it had "significantly" reduced instances of child labor but that the 60-hour work week rule was being observed only 38 percent of the time. The company also found "some violations" of its compliance code for environmental standards while examining 14 facilities, resulting in 58 facilities getting their air emissions systems treated.

Two weeks before the Chengdu explosion, an advocacy group warned of unsafe conditions (PDF) at the factory in a report. The group, Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, called the health and safety issues at Chengdu "alarming:"

"Workers do not have adequate training on usage of chemicals and do not have regular on-post health examination. Workers also highlight the problem of poor ventilation and inadequate personal protective equipment."

A copy of the report was sent to Cupertino, but the group never received a response, according to the Times.

Two hours into Lai's shift, a series of explosions rocked the building. Despite being burned over 90 percent of his body, Lai held on for two days. After delivering Lai's ashes to his family, Foxconn also wired a check for $150,000 to the family.

As unsettling as all this is, perhaps there's hope for overseas workers in Apple's announcement that it has joined the Fair Labor Association and that it will be providing more transparency when it comes to the making of its products.

In a recent report on why the success of some U.S. firms hasn't led to more U.S. jobs, The New York Times noted that almost all of the products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.

As a current unidentified Apple executive points out to the Times: "You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories, or you can reinvent the product every year, and make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards. And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China."

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57...t-on-the-ipad/

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post #70 of 94
Its called ethics Apple of which they have none.

Steve Jobs wasn't a proponent of philanthropy as was recently revealed.

A man made of Billions yet not contributing to charities is just morally wrong.

What is worse is that he encouraged his employees to give to charities, yet he himself didnt even bother to do so.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #71 of 94
dum da dum dum dumb.

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post #72 of 94

'reinvent the product every year'? only when someone else comes out with the idea beforehand...

this is old but still irritates me since was so stoked about lookinglass back then....

http://jonathanischwartz.wordpress.c...artists-steal/
post #73 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Apple is NOT leading the world forward. The conditions at Foxconn are considerably more dire as a result of the squeeze Apple has put on manufacturers, who have to underbid each other in order to secure mass contracting opportunities. It is precisely this paradigm, and Apple's miserly practices where partners are concerned, that leads to higher suicide rates and deeper cruelties against our fellow humans.

It can be mentioned IN THE SAME BREATH that Microsoft's licensing fees, similarly pinching profit off hardware manufacturers a la Compaq and HP, effectively synthesize the Apple paradigm, to a less dire degree.

It seems to be the wisdom of these forums that murder would be permissible, so long as everyone was partaking in the activity.

Your inability to assemble an intelligent, cogent argument is noted.

First, the suicide rates are a red herring. Foxconn's suicide rates were LOWER than the country as a whole.

Second, you keep arguing that Apple is at fault - yet Apple is the only multinational to actually audit the suppliers and to try to make things better. Apple has a corporate responsibility book which suppliers are required to agree to - and then Apple audits them. HP doesn't. Dell doesn't. Toshiba doesn't.

Sure, you can bitch and moan all you want that Apple doesn't pay the lowliest employee a million dollars a year and buy them a 10,000 square foot home to live in. But that's not Apple's job - nor should it be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Its called ethics Apple of which they have none.

Wrong. Apple is the only major multinational to have a corporate ethics guide - and to insist that its suppliers follow it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

Steve Jobs wasn't a proponent of philanthropy as was recently revealed.

So? What does that have to do with working conditions in China?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

A man made of Billions yet not contributing to charities is just morally wrong.

Really? You know for a fact that he never contributed to charity? Perhaps he simply made his donations anonymously. Plus, of course, his personal choice has absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand.

Maybe you'll also comment on the fact that Newt Gingrich made millions last year and donated less than 3% to charity. Heck, I gave more than that when I was in college and working at minimum wage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

What is worse is that he encouraged his employees to give to charities, yet he himself didnt even bother to do so.

Neither of those claims is supported by evidence. And even if it were true, what does it have to do with working conditions in China?

It really amazes me what passes for a relevant argument in an Apple-basher's mind.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #74 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Yeah, because the owners of the factory in question would automatically use those newfound profits to improve working conditions. Right.

Same logic applies to throwing money at various impoverished African countries and assuming wealth will magically be distributed.

Please read my post again, I already said, separate the money given to factory owner and those used for improving working condition and workers's wage. Apple has the ability to make contracts that way, they're the one with bargaining power here. If the factory owners try to abuses the workers, instead of eliminating the contract, they can just compensate the workers and deduct whatever $ used from the factory owners' receipt. It's really simple concept.

The problem is, would Apple be willing to sacrifice the margin a bit, and probably produce fewer devices because of this.
post #75 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

<--rant about "the enemies of humanity" omitted-->

not sure if serious...

The difference between anonymous whistleblowers and anonymous forum posters is that one is making accusations, and the other is trying to decide whether those accusations have any validity. You've already decided Apple is guilty as accused, so your rant is about why anonymous forums members are giving Apple a free pass to commit mass murder, right? And what we must do to stop the killing fields of Foxconn.

Well, since I'm anonymous, perhaps I can interest you in accepting other accusations without proof. I accuse the US government of covering up the truth about Bigfoot's existence. The Moon landing was a hoax. The CIA traveled back in time to assassinate JFK.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #76 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

You just keep telling yourself that. And enjoy your latest overpriced shiny toy.

Then defend your point. Educate us. You think these people would better off without the Foxconn jobs yet they are not forced to work there. They are not slaves who can not look for other places to work. So tell us, Oh Wise One, why are they doing the very things that makes them worse off than not working at Foxconn?

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #77 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Then defend your point. Educate us. You think these people would better off without the Foxconn jobs yet they are not forced to work there. They are not slaves who can not look for other places to work. So tell us, Oh Wise One, why are they doing the very things that makes them worse off than not working at Foxconn?

Well just because they're better off working at Foxconn than not, doesn't mean it's a good situation for them either way. They could be in a terrible situation without working at Foxconn, got a little better by working there, yet the working condition there is still extremely bad by any civilized country standard. It's not contradictory by any means. Now of course you can then say "well then Foxconn did them a favor by making them better off", true, but saving someone's life then use that person as a slave isn't really something to glorify about.
post #78 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satorical View Post

I've used Apple products for more than 25 years, and I'm a devoted fanboy (and stockholder). But I'm not close-minded, either. Read the articles. If the main company profiled was M$, would you apologize for it as well?

My hope is that Apple and other companies demand better conditions for workers at its supplier companies. With this public shaming, those within the company who have advocated for change should have more leverage in the debate.

We may have to pay more for our goods, and they may take longer to produce. Then again, Apple may pay for the changes by not demanding annual price cuts from its suppliers.

Regardless, the ball is definitely in Apple's court. I await its increased action with interest.

Did you mention Microsoft?
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post #79 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Well just because they're better off working at Foxconn than not, doesn't mean it's a good situation for them either way. They could be in a terrible situation without working at Foxconn, got a little better by working there, yet the working condition there is still extremely bad by any civilized country standard. It's not contradictory by any means. Now of course you can then say "well then Foxconn did them a favor by making them better off", true, but saving someone's life then use that person as a slave isn't really something to glorify about.

It's not about what is good or bad, but if they are better off or worse off. The latter can be quantified. Since they are not slaves who are forced to work they can leave so if they are worse off as a whole by having Foxconn providing jobs then no one would be working there. This is not a question about whether the Chinese labour laws or Chinese culture is good or bad.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #80 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

It is supremely ironic that NYT happen to have these series about Apple timed as it is around an expected outstanding quarter of sales reported. Or not, depending how cynical you are. The NYT exists to sell ad space supported by news (note: it used to be the other way around in the beginning) - thus a series like this is uniquely planned and designed to leverage the most possible web hits and paper sales and media coverage out of Apple success. Are anonymous executives being interviewed for this immediately suspect in their motives and intentions? OF course they are and NYT is protecting them from possible legal responses by keeping them anonymous - and thus protected they can say anything they want. As former executives, they have no skin in the game and no inherent reason to be either truthful or lie, depending on their personal motivations, resulting in essentially a questionable source.

Are conditions in China worse than in the US for labor - of course. It's even worse in those regions where unemployment is very high - which is why so many are migrating to vie for line jobs in factories like FoxConn's in order to somehow raise themselves out of abject poverty. Is FoxConn (and other manufactories) exploiting them - absolutely. Again, China's government is responsible for this climate, not Apple. Apple alone among all the world's electronic companies is reviewing working conditions of those companies that compete to supply Apple devices, and asking these companies by leveraging their pull in the supply chain, to raise the bar. Is it a perfect or completely altruistic approach - of course not. Apple is not a non-profit organization dedicated to the ultimate wellbeing of every worker on the planet. Unfortunately a balance must be struck somewhere.

So when someone in the western countries smugly decry these abuses, lambasts commenters who challenge unrealistic criticism or the opportunistic media coverage to generate ad revenue for a failing media source, they are not standing on pristine moral high ground.

The whole of western civilization and its prosperity stands on the backs of exploited workers around the world. The entire structure of the comfort, the convenience of every aspect of western life is mired in this unfortunate fact. And unless these self-appointed critics are voluntarily surrendering all of their comforts and conveniences, from the food they eat to virtually every single manufactured item around them, they are part of the problem not a part of the solution, and ultimately hypocritical.

The west enjoys its accomplishments purely because not only were there companies willing to exploit workers, but workers who were willing to be exploited instead of starving or dying. You want to speak power to truth, put your most valued possessions on the line. Set aside your comfort and convenience and embrace an austere lifestyle sans Starbucks, sans modern transportation of all types, sans telecommunications, internet, and convenient grocery stores. No one in the west is empowered to judge others until they embrace a lifestyle that places them outside of the very culture that enables the comfort and prosperity on which they depend.

There was a time about 100 years ago when homes of the upper middle class and upward had live in servants that worked for very little. These were almost always immigrants. When the things changed after "the great war" opportunities opened for this class of workers, union were born and those in our society that enjoyed the comfort of cheap labor and servants lost something to the masses and growing middle class. China is 100 years behind the west in human rights, labor and environmental matters. Apple like all business's are propelled to make a profit at the end of the day, or quarter. Apple exist in a super competitive business and has become a super corporation. It is unlikely that Apple would suddenly change its policies regarding who the company gives its business to strictly on such ethical issues. It will take government intervention for something to change or dramatic riot, mass suicides at these plants for the world to take notice. I believe a lot of what has happened at these factories is hushed by the Chinese and many of the companies that use them. The day we are willing to pay what things really cost is the day Chinese workers conditions will change. Until then it is business as usual.
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