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Foxconn workers protest wages, threaten to jump off factory roof [u]

post #1 of 90
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About 200 workers threatened to take their own lives on Friday at a building owned by Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn over purported wage disputes and workplace conditions.

Update: To clarify, Foxconn's Wuhan factory is responsible for building Microsoft's Xbox 360 and isn't associated with Apple hardware.

The protest comes less than a month after both Apple and Foxconn signed agreements to reform the wages, workplace conditions and working hours at the giant Chinese electronics manufacturer, reports Reuters.

According to Hong Kong-based human rights organization Information Centre for Human Rights, roughly 200 people warned they would jump off the roof of a Wuhan factory owned by Foxconn, a threat that a number of workers followed through with in 2010.

Simon Tsing, spokesman for Hon Hai Precision, which publicly trades as Foxconn, said the incident involved workers new to the plant who disagreed with certain workplace adjustments. He was quick to point out that it was not a strike and no one was injured during the negotiations.

"The dispute has already been settled after some negotiations involving the human resources and legal departments as well as the local government," Tsing said.

He reiterated that no one had jumped off the factory building, but fell short of disclosing the nature of the protest or the exact number of employees involved. The Information Centre for Human Rights claims the main complaint was that workers earned less in Wuhan than at previous jobs.

Foxconn


In response to widespread media coverage of a spate of suicides at Foxconn plants in 2010, Apple joined the independent Fair Labor Association to conduct an audit of the Chinese manufacturing facilities.

The FLA's findings were published in March, and although much of Foxconn's operation seemed to be in order, the organization called for certain adjustments regarding overtime pay, working conditions and basic salary concerns.

Foxconn currently employs some 1.2 million workers in China, many of whom are part of assembly lines for Apple products including the iPad, iPhone and Mac. The Chinese company also has contracts with other large tech entities like Microsoft, Amazon and Sony.

Recent reports out of Brazil claim that over 2,500 employees at Foxconn's new Jundia? plant, where versions of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are made, have complained of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water. The workers have vowed to strike if an agreement is not reached by May 3.
post #2 of 90

Of course they're earning less, since the do gooders stepped in to "help" them, they aren't allowed to do as much overtime.

 

I'd protest too.

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post #3 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Of course they're earning less, since the do gooders stepped in to "help" them, they aren't allowed to do as much overtime.

 

I'd protest too.

 

If you're referring to the Chinese situation, the overtime limits aren't scheduled to take effect until next year IIRC

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post #4 of 90

This is more of a Chinese cultural problem than a Foxconn/Apple problem. They're going to threaten suicide no matter what. They don't get a lot of say, so they feel like this is the only way they'll be heard.

post #5 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

 

 

If you're referring to the Chinese situation, the overtime limits aren't scheduled to take effect until next year IIRC

 

Here's a solution, offer them transfers to the factories that aren't subject to scrutiny where all the other companies that use Foxconn have their stuff made.

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post #6 of 90

Where was all the concern about Foxconn workers 20 years ago?

 

Did the great devil USA finally grow a heart? or did the shame of exploiting foreign workers finally catch up to society?

 

Apple may be leading the headlines, but dozens of US-based tech companies have been using Foxconn for manufacturing dating back into the '70s. I am sure conditions have only improved since then.

 

Imagine the conditions of the rest of the Chinese made products US citizens buy everyday in Target and Wal-mart... At least the tech companies have *some* amount of profit to trickle down, but that $5.99 kitchen mop at Target, made in China, doesnt come close to having the same luxury. Where is the exposé on *that* product segment?!?

 

 

 

...this has been happening for decades people... and we're the reason why.

post #7 of 90

Sounds like the Chinese are learning to use the media to their advantage to get what they want.  

post #8 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

 

Here's a solution, offer them transfers to the factories that aren't subject to scrutiny where all the other companies that use Foxconn have their stuff made.

 

The agreement was made with Foxconn and not Apple and thus the same rules should apply to all of Foxconn's Chinese operations as far as I know.

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post #9 of 90

What these people don't realize is how much better their lives are compared with working back in their home village.

post #10 of 90

I do not really understand the worker's threat of "killing themselves".  I mean, the goal of protesting is to prove how valuable you are to the company, and therefore they decide to up your salary and you CONTINUE TO WORK FOR THEM.......  if you kill yourself, you have kind of defeated the purpose of your protest...  I understand that they are making a statement, but like I said, if "wages" are your issue, death probably will not help much.....

post #11 of 90

YEP: Lets all go to work tomorrow and threaten to jump if we don't get a raise. Then 6 months later we can do it again. The know it all westerners complained about overtime and now we make less.... MAYBE we wanted to work overtime. 

post #12 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

What these people don't realize is how much better their lives are compared with working back in their home village.

 

Huh? So as long as they're doing relatively better, they should just stop trying to fight for their pay? We all try to fight for our pay, that's just normal, yes we won't threaten to jump of buildings, but this is China, there's no rule of law, you can't fight for your pay using legal actions. 

post #13 of 90

Sounds like all of these people need to be rounded up and fired immediately. 200 workers out of 1/2 million? Fire them.

 

You have the right to disapprove of how much you are being paid, but you are not guaranteed a job.

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post #14 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

 

 

Huh? So as long as they're doing relatively better, they should just stop trying to fight for their pay? We all try to fight for our pay, that's just normal, yes we won't threaten to jump of buildings, but this is China, there's no rule of law, you can't fight for your pay using legal actions. 

 

You have no idea what you're talking about. The cost of labor has been on the rise in China for years. This is why some of these Foxconn operations are going overseas (relative to China).

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post #15 of 90

So how is this gonna work now- Foxconn is expected to automatically increase pay whenever workers 'threaten' to jump off a roof? And won't they keep using the same tactic if it works once? Noone is fucking forcing them to work there. Meanwhile, tens of thousands are desperate for a job at Foxconn. Thats the reality. 

post #16 of 90
Pat yourselves on the back, myopic activists, and tell yourself "Job well done."

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post #17 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

 

Here's a solution, offer them transfers to the factories that aren't subject to scrutiny where all the other companies that use Foxconn have their stuff made.

 

I'm sure the great benevolent leaders of China have already offered them transfers to where they can breath fresh air, get a lot of sun, while working with nature. At this new location, far from the smelly cities, they will be happy... that is to say, no one dares to complain. Ever. More then once.

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post #18 of 90

Obviously the conditions are very bad, and the pay is very low.  That anyone is trying to argue otherwise is a sign of the moral decay in the US/UK.  Anyone with integrity would be wishing all their best to people in a tough spot; people who are trying to make their lives a little better, however they can.  The xenophobia and unveiled hatred is depressing; I don't want my kids growing up in this country of moral/mental abortions.

post #19 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Obviously the conditions are very bad, and the pay is very low.  That anyone is trying to argue otherwise is a sign of the moral decay in the US/UK.  Anyone with integrity would be wishing all their best to people in a tough spot; people who are trying to make their lives a little better, however they can.  The xenophobia and unveiled hatred is depressing; I don't want my kids growing up in this country of moral/mental abortions.

 

This attitude is inane. 

1.  What gives us the right to dictate their working conditions? I thought we believed in a free market?
2. China IS a different country than the U.S. Cost of living is different. Working conditions are different. Their opportunities are different. For the majority of Chinese, this is one of the best jobs they can get - even before everyone demanded that Foxconn raise their wages.

3.  If you're going to argue that one country has the right to dictate working conditions to another one, perhaps Canada should be pressuring the U.S. to offer a year of paid maternity leave since that's standard there. The Netherlands should be pushing the U.S. to offer 8 weeks vacation per year to all employees. France should be pushing us for a 32 hour work week. The UK should be insisting on free health care for all Americans. Scandinavian countries should demand free college education for all Americans. After all, if we can dictate our standards to China, why can't other countries do the same to us?

4. There's an inherent disconnect here. Apple does not have any employees in factories in China. Why are people complaining about Apple? Why not Walmart?
5. Even if you want to go after companies that hire Chinese subcontractors, why is Apple singled out when ever other major electronics company in the U.S. uses the same subcontractors?
6. The people who took these jobs freely entered an agreement to work for  Foxconn. Why do they think they have the right to demand more? If they don't like the agreement, they shouldn't have signed it. Or, if they signed it and later found that it was unacceptable, they should quit and leave the job to someone who really wants it.

In any event, if you don't want your kids growing up in this country, you're free to leave at any time. You see, you can make choices - just as the Foxconn employees can make choices. So pack your bags and leave.



As an aside - if there's a moderator reading this, please change this silly bulletin board. cmd-L on the Mac highlights the URL field of your browser - and does so on every browser. It's been the standard for a long time. On this bulletin board, cmd-L calls up a preferences window which is very annoying. 

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post #20 of 90

As employee's their options are: a) work and be grateful to have a job; b) go on strike; c) find a new job; or d) commit suicide, so when they do make things better they're not here to enjoy it and break their families hearts. And these people might choose (C) and I'm supposed to feel bad for 'em? If conditions are truly bad, they need to be fixed ASAP, but killing one's self may benefit others, but darn sure is not going to benefit the jumper.
 


Edited by mesomorphicman - 4/27/12 at 4:36pm
post #21 of 90

This is getting old. Lets move on to other news....

post #22 of 90

We shouldn’t rush to judge traditions in another country. Threatening to jump off the roof of Foxconn is a time-honored tradition, and one which we must respect. They should have a national Say You Will Jump Off of Foxconn day to honor it, in fact. They should have an Angry Birds Seasons level pack for it.

 

Meanwhile, I do hope conditions continue to improve for those who don’t actually jump. Thanks to Apple, Foxconn seems to be the best of all electronics makers to work for in China—and needs to continue improving as well. But what about non-Apple Foxconn workers? I know Apple has some say over those as well, but I doubt they can fully control Foxconn’s terms with other electronics companies; Microsoft etc.

 

Do we have any reason to think these are Apple-related workers? The last suicide-threat story from Foxconn was Xbox workers.

post #23 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandor View Post

Where was all the concern about Foxconn workers 20 years ago?

 

Did the great devil USA finally grow a heart? or did the shame of exploiting foreign workers finally catch up to society?

 

Apple may be leading the headlines, but dozens of US-based tech companies have been using Foxconn for manufacturing dating back into the '70s. I am sure conditions have only improved since then.

 

Imagine the conditions of the rest of the Chinese made products US citizens buy everyday in Target and Wal-mart... At least the tech companies have *some* amount of profit to trickle down, but that $5.99 kitchen mop at Target, made in China, doesnt come close to having the same luxury. Where is the exposé on *that* product segment?!?

 

 

 

...this has been happening for decades people... and we're the reason why.

 

Excellent post.

 

++1.

post #24 of 90

Then they should just be fired for mental instability and replaced by some of the thousands that apply every day

post #25 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Obviously the conditions are very bad, and the pay is very low.  That anyone is trying to argue otherwise is a sign of the moral decay in the US/UK.  Anyone with integrity would be wishing all their best to people in a tough spot; people who are trying to make their lives a little better, however they can.  The xenophobia and unveiled hatred is depressing; I don't want my kids growing up in this country of moral/mental abortions.

The irony is that your post is highly xenophobic.

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post #26 of 90

 

An employee should know what the job entails before they take the job.  

 

 

If they don't like the job description then don't take the job.

If they realize they made a mistake after they joined, then they can quit.

If they threaten to commit suicide, then fire their asses.

 

Yes.  I said fire their asses.  Let them jump off of some other building.

 
Some people in the US would gladly take the manufacturing jobs.
 

Some people will take advantage because Foxconn has given in to some global pressures.

 

 

 

 

post #27 of 90

Foxconn Brazil could do a little more.  It shouldn't have water supply problems.

post #28 of 90

If you do a bit of searching on the internet you will find that once again these weren't workers on an Apple line. Apple's name gets hits so the the media always links Foxconn issues with Apple. For the media it is not really about the human condition but it is all about the money. Apple's name is used by the media as a means to generate income pure and simple even when Apple has nothing to do with the immediate issue.

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10915_3-57423492-8/correction-different-workers-in-foxconn-protest/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=


Edited by Realistic - 4/27/12 at 5:42pm

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post #29 of 90

how is this a apple story..

post #30 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

... Do we have any reason to think these are Apple-related workers? The last suicide-threat story from Foxconn was Xbox workers.

 

No once again these weren't workers on an Apple line but without Apple's name being mentioned the readership would be nil.

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10915_3-57423492-8/correction-different-workers-in-foxconn-protest/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=


Edited by Realistic - 4/27/12 at 5:41pm

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post #31 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

3.  If you're going to argue that one country has the right to dictate working conditions to another one, perhaps Canada should be pressuring the U.S. to offer a year of paid maternity leave since that's standard there. The Netherlands should be pushing the U.S. to offer 8 weeks vacation per year to all employees. France should be pushing us for a 32 hour work week. The UK should be insisting on free health care for all Americans. Scandinavian countries should demand free college education for all Americans. After all, if we can dictate our standards to China, why can't other countries do the same to us?

 

Weird thing is... Every single one of those ideas are better than what currently exists in the US.

post #32 of 90

Wrong - according to the most recent Apple report they have already started to take effect.

post #33 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



This attitude is inane. 


1.  What gives us the right to dictate their working conditions? I thought we believed in a free market?

2. China IS a different country than the U.S. Cost of living is different. Working conditions are different. Their opportunities are different. For the majority of Chinese, this is one of the best jobs they can get - even before everyone demanded that Foxconn raise their wages.
3.  If you're going to argue that one country has the right to dictate working conditions to another one, perhaps Canada should be pressuring the U.S. to offer a year of paid maternity leave since that's standard there. The Netherlands should be pushing the U.S. to offer 8 weeks vacation per year to all employees. France should be pushing us for a 32 hour work week. The UK should be insisting on free health care for all Americans. Scandinavian countries should demand free college education for all Americans. After all, if we can dictate our standards to China, why can't other countries do the same to us?
4. There's an inherent disconnect here. Apple does not have any employees in factories in China. Why are people complaining about Apple? Why not Walmart?

5. Even if you want to go after companies that hire Chinese subcontractors, why is Apple singled out when ever other major electronics company in the U.S. uses the same subcontractors?

6. The people who took these jobs freely entered an agreement to work for  Foxconn. Why do they think they have the right to demand more? If they don't like the agreement, they shouldn't have signed it. Or, if they signed it and later found that it was unacceptable, they should quit and leave the job to someone who really wants it.


In any event, if you don't want your kids growing up in this country, you're free to leave at any time. You see, you can make choices - just as the Foxconn employees can make choices. So pack your bags and leave.



As an aside - if there's a moderator reading this, please change this silly bulletin board. cmd-L on the Mac highlights the URL field of your browser - and does so on every browser. It's been the standard for a long time. On this bulletin board, cmd-L calls up a preferences window which is very annoying. 

I at no point said the USA should do anything.

And no, you do not have a choice to go live where ever you would like. If I could drop the scarlet letter of (US) American citizenship and live in a CIVILIZED country, hell, even CANADA, I'd be all for it, but that isn't how it works, as any idiot knows.

My point, and my only point, was that decent people have a concern for the little guy. Internet tough guys seem to imagine they sound cool by presenting themselves as sociopathic business-boys (maybe you imagine it comes off a little Steve Jobs-ish?) but ultimately it just makes any self-respecting person lament the decline of the American education system.

Get a tech job, work 80 hour weeks and die of heart disease. And that only if you're lucky! And for what? So some anemic trust-funder can rock 6 yachts and a golden toilet that your 80 hours funded. If anyone mentions that things could be different you spout off about how people are lazy these days, when in reality the people that fight back are something loftier, and at any rate aren't inveterate SLAVES like you sorry lot. That's what it is to be an American! The best corporate slaves in all the world! Eager to see the whole world bleed out its ears, if only "our team" is the one kicking it to death. Go Team! Ra! Ra! Ra!

Well, here's to anyone with any other idea! It would be hard to out-do the obscenity of this rigged game!

P.S. Xenophobia is fear of foreigners. An American cannot, therefore, be xenophobic against Americans. They are not foreign, and thus the accusation is without sense.
post #34 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Obviously the conditions are very bad, and the pay is very low.  That anyone is trying to argue otherwise is a sign of the moral decay in the US/UK.  Anyone with integrity would be wishing all their best to people in a tough spot; people who are trying to make their lives a little better, however they can.  The xenophobia and unveiled hatred is depressing; I don't want my kids growing up in this country of moral/mental abortions.

 

What total bullshit! The reality is that even before the most recent raises at Foxconn Chinese factory worker wages have more than tripled in the last few years. Further, this recent rapid rise in incomes is causing huge inflation across the country. In March alone inflation for consumer goods was up over 6% - at our local fresh market in Xiamen food rose 20% in one month, pork was up over 50% last year and continues to rise. Foxconn workers are in fact paid above average wages for factory workers in China and have far better working conditions than most. I am an American living and teaching in China and see these issues first hand. This total situation has been blown totally out of proportion and is being fed by American ignorance and arrogance.

post #35 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post


P.S. Xenophobia is fear of foreigners. An American cannot, therefore, be xenophobic against Americans. They are not foreign, and thus the accusation is without sense.

"intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries."

So you are both from the US and the UK?

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post #36 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

 

 

If you're referring to the Chinese situation, the overtime limits aren't scheduled to take effect until next year IIRC

 

What is never reported by our press is the fact that there are NO legal restrictions on hours worked per week, month or day in the US. Further, there are no legal restrictions on MANDATORY overtime. We are the ultimate hypocrites and ought to shut up and fix our own problems, like our dysfunctional government and political system that we seem to love so much, bought and paid for by lobbyists.

post #37 of 90
Yeah, you must be right. People regularly threaten suicide when they have other means for expressing their discontent. First thing I always go for. Couldn't possibly be some grounds for concern, because inflation is up (which, as we all know, is a function of foxconn wages, and no other factor) and therefore everything is on the up and up.

Thanks for clearing that up.
post #38 of 90
I mention, in passing, the moral decay in the UK (which reflects that which afflicts the US.)
post #39 of 90
[Hmm. My quote vanished.]
post #40 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post

Yeah, you must be right. People regularly threaten suicide when they have other means for expressing their discontent. First thing I always go for. Couldn't possibly be some grounds for concern, because inflation is up (which, as we all know, is a function of foxconn wages, and no other factor) and therefore everything is on the up and up.
Thanks for clearing that up.

 

Like I said "the ignorance and arrogance of Americans" - your total lack of understanding of the real issues, the Chinese economy, society and living conditions just breeds more ignorance. The reality is that China is still a country of around 800 million peasant farmers. The Foxconn workers are in fact making more than anyone else in their families by far, are saving into their own bank accounts, as well as sending money home to support their poor rural families. And somehow you know better what's best for them, or what their issues might be? There are literally 10,000's of thousands of protests in China every year so people do have means of "expressing their discontent". 

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