Originally Posted by manfrommars
60 hours a week is a brutal week, especially if you work in a factory.
Some focus on the fact that the low prices we pay for a vast array of the products we buy is thanks to the absurdly low wages these workers receive for these brutal schedules. But this overlooks the staggering profits companies like Apple enjoy.
Yes, we should think twice about products being built in miserable conditions by people with no alternatives to the grueling hours of a factory. Just as much as companies like Apple and others should question if the astronomical profits they make on the backs of these people are necessary. Apple could be every bit as successful with lower profit margins, and we could be every bit as comfortable paying slightly more for products, all in the interest of reducing hours worked, raising wages and ultimately improving life for workers.
The reality is that we could manufacture these products in the U.S. in unionized shops with strict labor and environmental controls. The prices would go up and profits would be reduced, but in my view, that's EXACTLY what should happen. Apple doesn't need the cash reserves it currently has to be successful. Its profits are unheard of.
The conditions in China are the ones we fought to change here in the U.S. 100 years ago. They are conditions none of use would willingly accept for ourselves
. And they are conditions neither Apple nor its customers should tolerate.
I disagree completely. Those are conditions that many of us routinely accept for ourselves all the time. It has not been uncommon for me to work 60-70 hours per week in my career - often more. When I was in college, I worked 40 hours per week, plus a greater-than-fulltime course load - plus a lot of extracurricular activities. Now, in a management position, I routinely work more than 60 hours.
On top of that, why is everyone assuming that all of these people work 60 hours? The data says that they work no more than 60 hours. Many probably work less.
Finally, it's not our job to dictate working conditions. A lot of people work two jobs when they're young in this country to get ahead (as I worked while I was in college). It's a choice they make. Similarly, these employees make a choice to work at Foxconn in order to get ahead. Why should we stand in the way of their opportunity or the conditions that they agree to?
How would we feel if France started boycotting US companies because we make employees work more than their 32-35 hours per week? How would we feel if the Netherlands started boycotting US companies because we don't give a minimum of 4-6 weeks vacation per year? How would we feel if Canada started boycotting US companies because we don't give a year of paid maternity leave? How would we feel if the rest of the flipping world started boycotting US companies because we don't have paid national health care? Unless you'd be happy with all of that, you have no right to complain about how China chooses to run their own country.