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Foxconn: iPod factories get Apple approval

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by jamezog
Apple may be able to turn this into some positive PR in the long run. Let's hope they can pull it off.

It's good to see you have your priorities in order. Who cares about the people working the extra 80 hours, as long as Apple comes out smelling like a rose.

Let's cross our fingers about Apple being able to spin this in their favor! Hate to have the stock dip a couple of points, or have to pay an additional $10 for a video iPod!
post #2 of 27
YAY... This topic has gone out of order...

Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Does Adobe require anyone to sleep on company grounds in Adobe housing?

Adobe housing would be kinda cool though...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
The thing that I find rather amusing, is when I saw the picture of 'military style exercise drills', I thought 'company provided calisthenics'.

Such things were compulsory and common in Japan in the 80s... a morning exercise routine was thought to wake every one up, and get them a minimum amount of exercise in their day. I can't really argue with it - if we had such a system here where I work, I can't say I'd complain.

Spin is everything though... tag it with 'military style', and you can guarantee a large segment of the readership will be up in arms. No pun intended. No secondary pun intended either.

I had the same thought when I read that caption. I guess most people out there don't remember the 1986 Michael Keaton comedy, "Gung Ho!"
post #4 of 27
Yeah, like Apple would admit to using people like slaves in military-style "factories". Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. Again.
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #5 of 27
I bet a lot of Apple campus employees are snickering right now... how many of them do you think work 60 hours a week or more?

OMG teh Apple is a sl4ve dr1vr c0mpny!
post #6 of 27
Apple Computer sent a special team overseas to investigate claims of unfair work environments within the Chinese manufacturing facilities that build its iPod digital music players but has found no problems, says Foxconn, the owner of facilities.

According to a report by China CSR, Foxconn spokesperson Li Zong said the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) complicated salary structure has caused misunderstanding among the media.

The spokesperson said the company has paid its workers according to the minimum salary standards of the Shenzhen local government.

At the same time, the China CSR report -- which is unclear in some of its source attributions -- said the Taiwanese manufacturer is now admitting that its employees work about 80 extra hours each month, which would place it in violation of Chinese labor laws.

In China, a company is considered to have broken the law if it asks employees to work more than 36 extra hours each month, the report states.

However, Zong said Apple "sent a special team" to the site of the factories to investigate the matter, but "found no problem."

Foxconn had previously denied any claims of wrongdoing, saying it was in full compliance with Chinese labor laws.

Both Foxconn and Apple have come under scrutiny after Britain's The Mail on Sunday this month published an exclusive report based on a first-hand account from within Foxconn's factories.

The report alleged that Apple's iPods are built primary by female workers who labor 15-hour work days for as little as $50 a month. Some workers were reported to live in rooms occupied by 99 other employees and where visits from the outside world were prohibited.

Last week, Apple announced a probe into the matter.

"Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible," the company said.

Dormitory at Foxconn's E3 factory | Image copyright Mail on Sunday.

Military-style drills on the roof top at Foxconn | Image copyright Mail on Sunday.
post #7 of 27
Do we really know those photos are legit?

And I assume the line about working 80 hours a MONTH is a typo? Most people would kill to work that little.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
80 extra hours each month

emphasis mine.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
Do we really know those photos are legit?

And I assume the line about working 80 hours a MONTH is a typo? Most people would kill to work that little.

Read it again. They worked 80 EXTRA hours a month.

Is Apple guilty? Or was Foxconn hiding their real operations, like many Asain factories do when the clients come to town? Time will tell.

None of this is good news for Apple, at least in the short run. But if they handle it properly, and show that they will not tolderate abusive labor, then they have an oppertunity to prove themselves AND influence the industry.
post #10 of 27
"found no problems," if true, does not mean problems didn't exist up until the inspection.

The part about being locked away from visitors is insane. Apple should do random, UNannounced checks or FoxConn can just play nice on the day of the inspection.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by sandboxface

Is Apple guilty? Or was Foxconn hiding their real operations, like many Asain factories do when the clients come to town? Time will tell.

None of this is good news for Apple, at least in the short run. But if they handle it properly, and show that they will not tolderate abusive labor, then they have an oppertunity to prove themselves AND influence the industry.

Perhaps time will tell. Perhaps not - this is a Chinese company operating in China, after all. There's a lot of stuff about the Soviet era that many of us still know little (if anything) about.

I do agree that the folks at Apple have the opportunity to prove themselves by this situation. Regardless of the credibility of the claims, Apple may be able to turn this into some positive PR in the long run. Let's hope they can pull it off.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by jamezog
Perhaps time will tell. Perhaps not - this is a Chinese company operating in China, after all. There's a lot of stuff about the Soviet era that many of us still know little (if anything) about.

We didn't have the internet in the Soviet era, nor did we have picture phones. I don't think you could compare the two. Our communication system are more sophisticated and are available to anyone who can afford it.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
The part about being locked away from visitors is insane.

Oh, so you can knock at the door of, say, Adobe's headquarters and they'll just let you in?
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by sandboxface
Read it again. They worked 80 EXTRA hours a month.

Don't tell me to read it again, jackass. THEY CHANGED THE ARTICLE.

It originally said "80 hours a month", the line after it is also new.


I guess next time I'll be sure to quote the orignal article in my post.
post #15 of 27
Chineese Labor Law = do whatever you want as long as the Communist state isnt upset. This is Pure P.R. Bullsh from Apple and Foxcon. Apple QA has plummeted since going made in China.
VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENTS! Its the only way we can clean up Congress.
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
Don't tell me to read it again, jackass. THEY CHANGED THE ARTICLE.

It originally said "80 hours a month", the line after it is also new.


I guess next time I'll be sure to quote the orignal article in my post.

calm down there, buddy! How was he to know that they changed the article and you hadn't just misread?
...
post #17 of 27
has nothing to do with the Chinese government or the party, it's all about money. If the Chinese factories won't meet the price point, the operation will move to Bangladesh or Ghana or wherever

Chinese workers also have a strange mentality about these things. If they need more money to feed their families they are as likely to strike for more hours as they are to strike for higher pay. This is no joke, they have (and will) strike to have their limits on hours lifted.

Things are very different in China. People do what they must to get by. Working conditions will only improve when unions and *every government* gets involved.

Google around for "race to the bottom".
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
I guess next time I'll be sure to quote the orignal article in my post.

Who's the jackass?
post #19 of 27
The labor issues in China are something that Apple ought to deal with when it comes to image. While it's important to keep costs low, it must also be far cheaper to improve the quality of life there, than it is to improve the quality of life here in the US. I would hope that Apple would move to make some improvements and to make sure that unannounced spot inspections occur. Apple can not afford to be seen running sweat shops.

As for the iPods, what is up with the lack of quality in the iPods of late? Several of my friends (read - more than 6) have had to turn in iPods because they froze and couldn't be restored. Four of them have had to turn in more than one iPod in less than a year. My dad is on his fourth right now and he baby's them. Can anyone explain why it is that so many of my friends have so many issues with the new iPods? As it is I'm holding back from purchasing a new one and keeping my 40 GB Photo iPod which hasn't let me down. I won't buy a new one until I see quality control go back up.
Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
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Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
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post #20 of 27
If Apple didn't know of this officially, would Steve pull the contract, even if it caused an iPod shortage?

Would be interesting, no?
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post #21 of 27
The thing that I find rather amusing, is when I saw the picture of 'military style exercise drills', I thought 'company provided calisthenics'.

Such things were compulsory and common in Japan in the 80s... a morning exercise routine was thought to wake every one up, and get them a minimum amount of exercise in their day. I can't really argue with it - if we had such a system here where I work, I can't say I'd complain.

Spin is everything though... tag it with 'military style', and you can guarantee a large segment of the readership will be up in arms. No pun intended. No secondary pun intended either.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #22 of 27
Since when is any company responsible for labor issues of one of its subcontractors?

Especially a company in another country!!!

How would any of you like for a foreign entity to send a team to the U.S.A. to investigate one of our companies labor policies? - and then catch hell from their constituents because they can't "reel us in and make us dance"

For what it's worth here are the labor laws of China: http://www.usmra.com/china/Labour%20Law.htm

Maybe Foxconn is in violation, but IT'S A PRC vs FOXCONN problem, not an Apple problem.
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by Chucker
Oh, so you can knock at the door of, say, Adobe's headquarters and they'll just let you in?

Does Adobe require anyone to sleep on company grounds in Adobe housing?
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by BuzDots
Maybe Foxconn is in violation, but IT'S A PRC vs FOXCONN problem, not an Apple problem.

That's just the legal dimension. Then there's ethics, human rights and public relations concerns as well. Apple has an acceptable minimum code of ethics concerning human rights that suppliers agree to abide by as a condition of becoming a supplier. If they don't like the code of ethics, then other manufacturers can take their place. I'm glad that Apple does have those standards.
post #25 of 27
1. "military style drills" are very similar to what most U.K. and U.S. people experienced as calisthenic exercises while attending their secondary school's physical education classes. Are the employees compelled or shamed into participating? Well, that hasn't been addressed by the article. (I think a lot of lazy, overweight, car-commuting Yanks and Brits should be compelled to do similar exercises so as to keep health costs down!)

2. Outsiders are not allowed into the dormitories, and goodness for that. If you lived in an open style dorm, would you want the dorm to have open access for anyone to walk in and rummage through your stuff? BTW, Walmart's night-time employees are LOCKED IN to their work premises, just so that mega profit corporation doesn't have to pay for night supervisors! Is Apple going to send a team to check on that? Oh, no. We already know that behavior conforms to state labor laws for some fantastic reason.

3. There are many issues to Chinese labor conditions, but the most compelling is the guilt many iPod purchasers and Apple fans have when they realize that their current consumerist lifestyle is an anomaly in the history of mankind. Reports of Chinese labor conditions force them to be aware of the realities in which the majority of humanity manages to survive.

Globalization is an educator, when we allow the light to shine in.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Does Adobe require anyone to sleep on company grounds in Adobe housing?

Many tech companies supply a cot to their programmers, and they are expected to use it as necessary, if they want to keep their jobs.

The news article was entirely too fact-free to be making sweeping judgments.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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post #27 of 27
Looks like the Creative + Mail combination didn't work as well as the Nike+iPod one is supposed to.

Not defending Foxconn here but what even says those pictures, are current, real, of the same factory, or even in china?

I can say anything I want too.

"Apple contractor Foxconn is also known to be using illegal cutting edge technology and is harvesting Stem Cells from small children for use in the latest iPod revision.
An insider recently visted the factory and watched as a Mother had her unborn child ripped from her womb.


The Stem Cells were then harvested for the iPods.

After extraction the Stem Cells were inserted into a robot iPod to supply it with life.

After leaving work for the day an employee could be seen crying outside the factory walls, guilty over what he had done."


See? It's easy. If this iPod thing were really true or insane all media outlets would be jumping all over it, not just a random publication like the mail.
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