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Foxconn workers question why hours are being cut after FLA review

post #1 of 206
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Workers at Apple supplier Foxconn are reportedly worried after it has been announced that their hours will be cut following an audit of its facilities.

Twenty-three-year-old Wu Jun is used to working long overtime hours to earn the bulk of her income. But after Foxconn announced it will cut hours for its employees, she and other employees expressed concern to Reuters that they won't make enough money to support their families.

Foxconn announced on Thursday that it would reduce employee working hours to 49 per week, including overtime. That change is one of a number made in response to violations found by the Fair Labor Association, which audited Foxconn's facilities at the request of Apple.

FLA issued its report on Thursday, revealing that it discovered excess working times and various code violations at three Foxconn factories that were investigated. The audit reviewed 3,000 staff hours and more than 35,000 workers.

But with the changes implemented by Foxconn, employees are now concerned that their wages will also be cut. "If we work less overtime, it would mean less money," said Wu, an employee from China's Hunan province.

Another worker from Hunan, 25-year-old Chen Yamei, said she and others are there to "work and not to play." She has been an employee at Foxconn for four years, and earns about $634 per month.

"We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime," she said. "I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little."


Apple CEO Tim Cook touring an iPhone production line at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China, via MIC Gadget.


The FLA audit came about because Apple opted to join the association in January, making it the first technology company to do so. Apple's membership came as the company found itself under fire for its alignment with Foxconn.

Apple also conducts its own audits of its overseas partners. Last year, a total of 229 audits were conducted, representing an 80 percent increase over 2010.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook himself even visited a Foxconn iPhone plant during his recent trip to China. Cook stopped by the production line at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, where 120,000 people are employed.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 206
Good intentions pave a lot of roads.
post #3 of 206
Perfect. Ignorant and arrogant westerners trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. It is truly amazing how little we know and understand about other countries and cultures. Stupidity abounds. Oh, but it's for their own good don't you know.
post #4 of 206
But the conditions are better now¡

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post #5 of 206
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Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Perfect. Ignorant and arrogant westerners trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. It is truly amazing how little we know and understand about other countries and cultures. Stupidity abounds. Oh, but it's for their own good don't you know.

I actually some were foolish enough to except Foxconn to start paying them the minimum of the country/state they reside in.

If they can't allow people to work as many hours then you build more dorms and hire more people. We saw the number of people lining up. Of course, now you have more idle young adults and a lot more of them in a much more crowded space. Will these myopic westerners consider the dangers of that situation?

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post #6 of 206
Wonder if this will be in Mike Daisy's show, how truly helpful he is.
post #7 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Perfect. Ignorant and arrogant westerners trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. It is truly amazing how little we know and understand about other countries and cultures. Stupidity abounds. Oh, but it's for their own good don't you know.

i find it much more distressing that ignorant and arrogant westerners believe that the media presents balanced viewpoints.
post #8 of 206
They can blame righteous Americans..
post #9 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

i find it much more distressing that ignorant and arrogant westerners believe that the media presents balanced viewpoints.



What's that got to do with the price of tea in China?
na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #10 of 206
Oops.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #11 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Perfect. Ignorant and arrogant westerners trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. It is truly amazing how little we know and understand about other countries and cultures. Stupidity abounds. Oh, but it's for their own good don't you know.

Thank you! If a people have problems, they can solve them themselves.

Every time we hear Foxconn, we get this Apocalypto image of people being dragged from their quaint peaceful neighborhoods to forcefully work for Apple's fat American customers. When in reality, people flock to Foxconn in buses and wait for days on end for an opportunity to work there, they even fake their own IDs just to be admitted.
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post #12 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Perfect. Ignorant and arrogant westerners trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. It is truly amazing how little we know and understand about other countries and cultures. Stupidity abounds. Oh, but it's for their own good don't you know.

Actually, we kind of do know what we're doing. There is such a thing as repetitive stress injury (RSI) that will occur if these people continue to work assembly lines 60+ hours/week. If you want your iPhone so cheap that you want workers in another country maimed for life, you are sub-human. There is nothing whatsoever stupid about cutting their time to 49 hours a week. Oh, and by the way, 49 hours/week is the law there. So your objection about westerners not knowing about eastern cultures falls badly flat. Grow up and learn something.
post #13 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Good intentions pave a lot of roads.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions
post #14 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Thank you! If a people have problems, they can solve them themselves.

They did solve it themselves. The law there says they should only be working 49 hours/week. Way to ignore this fundamental fact of the situation.
post #15 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

They did solve it themselves. The law there says they should only be working 49 hours/week. Way to ignore this fundamental fact of the situation.

However, regardless of whatever law was passed by whomever. The people directly affected are now wondering why they can't work more hours. This is also a "fundamental fact of the situation."

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #16 of 206
This is so stupid. Some Chinese workers want to make more money so they can give it back to their parents. If their hours are reduced they could work a second job. I wonder why FLA did not know this possibility?

In US, the news has reported that many San Jose police work as security guards for private companies. I wonder what is the answer of FLA for this?

Law that limit numbers of working hours is directed at employers so they can not exploit workers. It is not the situation here. I wonder FLA really understand the law. I really think many people have their own secret selfish agenda against Apple.
post #17 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

They did solve it themselves. The law there says they should only be working 49 hours/week. Way to ignore this fundamental fact of the situation.

I didn't say that they did or didn't nor was what you quoted referring to Chinese people in particular, hence the term "a people".
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post #18 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Perfect. Ignorant and arrogant westerners trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. It is truly amazing how little we know and understand about other countries and cultures. Stupidity abounds. Oh, but it's for their own good don't you know.

Just to nitpick a bit -- I don't think it has anything to do with culture. I think it's a lack of hard-headedness on the part of people with good intentions.

I remember a story about a first lady back in the 19th century who was upset by the low quality housing that poor people had in a part of DC. She led a campaign to solve the problem by tearing down the houses, but without doing anything to provide better houses. Unbelievably, she didn't consider that maybe a crappy house is better than none at all.

This Foxconn thing strikes me as a similar situation. This isn't slavery or prison labor. That is, these folks are choosing to work at Foxconn because it's a better option than anything else they could do. If you're going to lead a campaign to take their jobs away from them, then you better also be leading a campaign to get them a better job. But obviously that's a lot of work -- far easier to just whine.
post #19 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Actually, we kind of do know what we're doing. There is such a thing as repetitive stress injury (RSI) that will occur if these people continue to work assembly lines 60+ hours/week. If you want your iPhone so cheap that you want workers in another country maimed for life, you are sub-human. There is nothing whatsoever stupid about cutting their time to 49 hours a week. Oh, and by the way, 49 hours/week is the law there. So your objection about westerners not knowing about eastern cultures falls badly flat. Grow up and learn something.

Ah yes, welcome to the selfrightious and ignorant class. I've got big news for you. Everyone that works long hours doesn't get repetitive stress injuries. Further some people who work "normal hours" get RSI. I've worked in both auto plants and steel mills in the US and worked way more than 49 hour weeks on a regular basis and was damn glad to have the work. And don't even try to talk about what is "legal" in China as you are truly showing your ignorance of the culture. I'm an American living and teaching in China and can assure you that the last thing these workers need is your 2 cents from the soapbox.
post #20 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Just to nitpick a bit -- I don't think it has anything to do with culture. I think it's a lack of hard-headedness on the part of people with good intentions.

I remember a story about a first lady back in the 19th century who was upset by the low quality housing that poor people had in a part of DC. She led a campaign to solve the problem by tearing down the houses, but without doing anything to provide better houses. Unbelievably, she didn't consider that maybe a crappy house is better than none at all.

This Foxconn thing strikes me as a similar situation. This isn't slavery or prison labor. That is, these folks are choosing to work at Foxconn because it's a better option than anything else they could do. If you're going to lead a campaign to take their jobs away from them, then you better also be leading a campaign to get them a better job. But obviously that's a lot of work -- far easier to just whine.

This.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #21 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

Perfect. Ignorant and arrogant westerners trying to tell the rest of the world how they should live. It is truly amazing how little we know and understand about other countries and cultures. Stupidity abounds. Oh, but it's for their own good don't you know.

amen! why don't we just raise prices on all goods manufactured outside U.S. so those idiots concerned about working conditions abroad are happy.
post #22 of 206
Hey look at that America! People who actually want to work and improve their economy and position in life and realize that they are not entitled to the good life but have to work for it. People who don't complain about every little nitpicky detail about their workplace. Wow!

Disclosure: I'm an American.
post #23 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmora View Post

amen! why don't we just raise prices on all goods manufactured outside U.S. so those idiots concerned about working conditions abroad are happy.

It is not about making workers abroad happy, it is about making them uncompetitive in a futile attempt to make jobs come back to US.
post #24 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPT View Post

It is not about making workers abroad happy, it is about making them uncompetitive in a futile attempt to make jobs come back to US.

First, that's not going to happen (and who on earth wants it to?!?! )

Second, why do you hate the Chinese people so much that you want to put them out of work and knock them off the ladder they're using to climb out of poverty?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #25 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

First, that's not going to happen (and who on earth wants it to?!?! )

Second, why do you hate the Chinese people so much that you want to put them out of work and knock them off the ladder they're using to climb out of poverty?

Have you ever heard about irony?
post #26 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

They can blame righteous Americans..

No, blame the rapidly growing set of socialist Americans that feel everyone needs to be forced to live by a set of government mandated rules rather than by personal choice.
John
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post #27 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Actually, we kind of do know what we're doing. There is such a thing as repetitive stress injury (RSI) that will occur if these people continue to work assembly lines 60+ hours/week. If you want your iPhone so cheap that you want workers in another country maimed for life, you are sub-human. There is nothing whatsoever stupid about cutting their time to 49 hours a week. Oh, and by the way, 49 hours/week is the law there. So your objection about westerners not knowing about eastern cultures falls badly flat. Grow up and learn something.

LOL!! Well, looks like it's Whiteman's Burden all over again.. all coming from the know-it-all condescending western liberals.
post #28 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

But the conditions are better now¡

Yes؟

They'll be able to employ more people now, too.
post #29 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPT View Post

Have you ever heard about irony?

Yes. You?

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #30 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Yes؟

They'll be able to employ more people now, too.

Oh dear.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #31 of 206
Here's a likely outcome: Apple's costs may actually fall, since there is less overtime (which is usually paid at >1x of standard wages)!

Ah, the irony.

The unintended consequences that do-gooders leave behind never ceases to amaze me....
post #32 of 206
There will be wage increases as well, to compensate them.

They really should just have an Apple employee there to run things so everything is fair.
post #33 of 206
I detested the Mike Daisy furor and believe that when you remove his lies, everything else he talked about was public knowledge and on Apple's radar.
That said, I'm even more disgusted by the commentors here who are saying that its none of our business. Nonsense. Its the ability of Chinese companies to exploit their workers (among all of the other 'externalities' that they are able to entice American companies with) that have decimated American manufacturing. Its in our interest to use every bit of leverage we have to force them in every way possible to improve not only labor conditions and wages, but pollution as well.
This is the best article and news I've seen in years.
Go Apple, even if it did take a bit of a kick in the pants.
post #34 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Oh dear.

Read closely.
post #35 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Here's a likely outcome: Apple's costs may actually fall, since there is less overtime (which is usually paid at >1x of standard wages)!

Ah, the irony.

The unintended consequences that do-gooders leave behind never ceases to amaze me....

Overtime is usually the least expensive time an employer pays for because it is a marginal cost, and other expenses increases little which more than compensates for the additional pay.
post #36 of 206
What would Daisy say?
post #37 of 206
Let them work what they want. Sheese.
post #38 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I actually some were foolish enough to except Foxconn to start paying them the minimum of the country/state they reside in.

If they can't allow people to work as many hours then you build more dorms and hire more people. We saw the number of people lining up. Of course, now you have more idle young adults and a lot more of them in a much more crowded space. Will these myopic westerners consider the dangers of that situation?

Like it or not, the situation in these countries is very different than it is here. These people can be hundreds of miles from their families, and even the wages they make are far higher than what they would make at home. So sure, many don't mind working what we would consider to be backbreaking hours. They're used to that.

If not in a factory, they would be working 12 hours a day on the farm for far less. But that's how developing countries move up into the developed world. It's only once they get there that people don't want to work hard anymore.

So here, people can't wait to finish their 8 hours and run home to do nothing of import. But there, they'd rather be working.

I keep saying that our standards are not theirs, and we have no right to try to make it so. So, safe working conditions, minimum wages and benefits, yes. But otherwise, we should leave them alone.

We look at Europe, and see some countries where working conditions are, from our viewpoint in the US, ridiculous. We think that it's one of the causes of their problems. They often get 8 weeks vacation, 6 weeks sick leave. Retire after 20 years, etc. they think we're barbarians because WE work too hard. So, it's all relative.
post #39 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

Let them work what they want. Sheese.

If Chinese law limits a work week to 49 hours then that should be respected, for better or worse.

I take no issue with the law being followed by I do take issue with those that wanted to see hours reduced for the benefit of the Foxconn workers. Are things really better for them if they make less money, have more free time between shifts in a factory town, and there are 25% more employees needed within the same space to take up the slack now created by a reduction of working hours? It's good for those workers that are trying to get into Foxconn, but I see issues for those already gainful employed.

How much of a weekly wage lose is it? If workers try to save up while working at Foxconn for 2 years how much longer will they have to work in order to save up the same amount?

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post #40 of 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Actually, we kind of do know what we're doing. There is such a thing as repetitive stress injury (RSI) that will occur if these people continue to work assembly lines 60+ hours/week. If you want your iPhone so cheap that you want workers in another country maimed for life, you are sub-human. There is nothing whatsoever stupid about cutting their time to 49 hours a week. Oh, and by the way, 49 hours/week is the law there. So your objection about westerners not knowing about eastern cultures falls badly flat. Grow up and learn something.

Oh please. We have the same problem here. If we can't fix these problems here first, we have no right to insist they do it there.

This is up to the Chinese government, if they really want things to change, in a dictatorship, they can easily force that change. The courts are politically controlled. They execute people for doing things we consider to be a 5 year sentence. If they REALLY thought this was so bad, they would have stopped it. But the truth is that they don't. The laws there are a crock.
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