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post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

They are probably undocumented. They may work on a piece-meal basis so their time involved is not documented. For example, children that are given a quota. If they don't make quota they are sent to the bordillo to work. Always incentivise your workers.

If they are undocumented, how would Foxconn know that they're working more than 60 hours per week?

Clearly, 3% of the workers are documented to work over 60 hours per week from this data.
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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"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #42 of 50
But did you hear the rumor that at the Foxconn factory employees have been photographed trashing and overturning their supervisors BMWs, Landcruisers, and Porsches while they were in putting in that overtime? The story is that that Foxconn security guards have retaliated by going into the corporately provided apartment buildings and "confiscating" designer furniture from the public lobbies and locking the free fitness centers Foxconn provides, in order to keep those employees from looting. One angry working man is reported to have shouted at a newsman, "If they take my Eames chair, or my Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona lounge, I'm going to take MY skinny ass back to the rice fields." He was later over heard ranting that, "This is BS, they (Foxconn) let supervisors have OT so they can buy Porsches, and I can't even afford a new Bimmer!" Mitt Romney's campaign weighed in on the news saying that if "American companies didn't "force Foxconn to import US laborers to work in Chinese factories" that he would "buy them and dismantle them piece by piece," to put those "commie (inglorious) bastards" out of business. The story grows by the minute. Stay tuned!
post #43 of 50
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.
post #44 of 50
You are an educated and successful person in a wealthy country. You have options. The people who stand in a factory all day assembling the phone you use do not. It is very one sided. Your personal life experiences do not apply in Chinese factories.
post #45 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by manfrommars View Post

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.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #46 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by manfrommars View Post

60 hours a week is a brutal week, especially if you work in a factory.

There are really bad posts, and then ones like yours.

Where do you think these employees work -- in an iron-smelting facility? Do you have even a vague clue as to what these workers do?
post #47 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by manfrommars View Post

You are an educated and successful person in a wealthy country. You have options. The people who stand in a factory all day assembling the phone you use do not. It is very one sided. Your personal life experiences do not apply in Chinese factories.

Actually, they do.

First, most of them have the option to stay on their farms. Second, while there was a massive labor surplus in China a decade ago, it is mostly gone and workers do not greatly outnumber jobs. They could look for jobs in other factories. (Of course, going to college is another option, albeit not one that all of them can use).

In the end, people are lined up for these jobs. They are among the best jobs in China for people with no particular skills.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Sure, in an ideal world.  It's not an ideal world.  There are too many variables to iron out.  In the US where unemployment is rampant, many people do work their backsides off simply because they know how ugly it is to get another job, or they know if they don't "put out", their are plenty of other applicants that would gladly take that job.  It sucks, but that's how it is.


I lived in Germany for about 5 years and I loved how businesses essentially shut down at 5-6pm.  It's all personal, and family time afterwards.  That was great. That kind of relaxed schedule plus all the stronger labor laws did come at a price thought ihmo regarding socialism and stuff, but that's for another thread.

If I may say so, i sense we are in complete agreement. You value the position Europe has attained on this as do I. It is just that the US (and China etc.) have not got there yet. I was not trying to wave a magic wand and pretend it should be instantly different in the US, I was merely noting this is something for the US to work on. For now the various factors you mention conspire against movement on this. There is an inevitability to improvement over time though as people become more aware of what is important in life and it goes from 'fighting for survival' against a background of unemployment and the need to deal with other priorities etc. to a more considered position.

For clarity, I also note that I have no problem at all with Apple manufacturing in China. It would be anomalous to deny work to people who have a norm of 60 hours per week when that is so prevalent in the US. And Apple are in the vanguard, as a highly reputable company, and one for which its Customers have high expectations, of improving pay and conditions for a significant body of people in China. To pull out of China would negate the positive benefits Apple have been proactively bringing to the workers of their suppliers. The media should give Apple their support for all this and focus the negative column inches on those large organisations not as involved as Apple is in promoting fairer pay and conditions for Chinese people as a way to really help those workers more rather than undermining the clearest example of a large business that actually cares!
post #49 of 50

Lots of people in the U.S. would love to have work weeks not exceeding 60 hours.

post #50 of 50

The real scandal should be that China "mandates" employees to work 60 hours a week. That's 10 hours a day, 6 days a week; or 12 hours a day 5 days a week, and in most factory jobs they are required to live in company dorms that are often locked at night to prevent employees from "contract jumping." The pressure should be on China to reform, not on Apple to keep from taking advantage of situation. Look, the international banking cartels are already trying to impose longer work days on Greece. They could soon do it here too -- unless we start saying no now. 

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