Worker commits suicide after iPhone prototype goes missing - reports

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  • Reply 101 of 176
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I'm against compulsory unionization for workers (ex: SAG, AFL-CIO, etc.). But voluntarily joining a union, I'm completely fine with that. Also, collective bargaining is a legitimate tool for workers to gain advantage in negotiations, HOWEVER it cannot guarantee employment when faced with new competitive pressures, such as a failing economy or foreign competition. I'm 100% against bailouts from the government to "save" businesses that have failed to stay competitive for whatever reason.



    Oh, agreed. I'm not against unions. They're really the first line and last line of defense workers have from a runaway Capitalist system. The problem is that the power of Unions has grown to nearly uncontrollable proportions. And workers expect more and more from employers, above and beyond a fair wage, and quite frankly, in some sectors workers should not be getting as much as they are to begin with.
  • Reply 102 of 176
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    It helps to look at the dirt on your OWN doorstep first, before you criticize what's on everyone else's.



    We know about China and labour laws. That's a given. How about what we're doing right here at home? What are we doing to encourage the situtation? It all boils down to our consumerist attitudes and our sense of entitlement.



    If you think there is no problem, ask the average family to buy luxury items only when they can actually afford them instead of relying on credit. You'll get more than a few dirty looks. We're sick out of our tree when to comes to spending. Savings? No one has any. And kids grow up wanting Escalades and Xboxes ASAP. Parents want to give their children what they "never had", and measure their self worth in terms of providing an ever-increasing number of consumer goods to their children and families. A common result is a mountain of debt. No wonder accounts recovery (bill collecting) is a booming industry. I spent about 5 years in it. And these attitudes translate beautifully to what we expect in the workplace. Employers have become the industrial equivalent of sugardaddies. At some point this system will break down, and we're seeing it happen.



    Not to mention that 65 year olds of today expect the workers of today to fund their retirement for 25 some odd years.



    65 year olds of 50 years ago expected a couple years of retirement paid by the government.



    You want to know how much government funded retirement I expect when I hit 65 (I'm 30)? Zero.



    Talk about greedy...



    Within the next 10 years the retirement age will be moved from 65 to 80 or this country will be out of business by 2050.



    Read the Economist if you want numbers.



    http://www.economist.com/specialrepo...ry_id=13887861
  • Reply 103 of 176
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,429member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Oh, agreed. I'm not against unions. They're really the first line and last line of defense workers have from a runaway Capitalist system. The problem is that the power of Unions has grown to nearly uncontrollable proportions. And workers expect more and more from employers, above and beyond a fair wage.



    "Runaway" capitalism? Oh, dear. We've never really had full-fledged free-market style capitalism. We are currently suffering under a corporatist-pseudo-socialist-government-for-government's-sake system. Basically, the whole viper's nest needs to collapse before any progress can be made. People are essentially getting what they want out of tax 'n' theft pocketbook politics.
  • Reply 104 of 176
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    That's one hell of a "remote wipe" implementation!
  • Reply 105 of 176
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,429member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Not to mention that 65 year olds of today expect the workers of today to fund their retirement for 25 some odd years.



    65 year olds of 50 years ago expected a couple years of retirement paid by the government.



    You want to know how much government funded retirement I expect when I hit 65 (I'm 30)? Zero.



    Talk about greedy...



    Within the next 10 years the retirement age will be moved from 65 to 80 or this country will be out of business by 2050.



    Read the Economist if you want numbers.



    http://www.economist.com/specialrepo...ry_id=13887861



    I've been screaming about the coming demographic disaster of too few workers to support too many retirees for lo, these many years. It's a mathematical certainty. Short of the importation of massive numbers of new taxpayers, and the wholesale slashing of the size of government... we're looking at a crisis far larger than this recession/depression in our future. Stock up on guns and food (enough to last you for the rest of your life ).
  • Reply 106 of 176
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,342member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MH01 View Post


    WTF? He was an engineer that lost a prototype.... who the hell puts someone in Jail for that. You get fired for something like that but not put in jail. If he stole/sold the protoype you can look at legal action. Read the article. The only jab at apple is the last paragraph, they use factories that abuse thier workers.....but so does everyone else in china. Frankly i wish Apple products were made somewhere else.



    Had you bothered to comprehend my post, I did not say the individual should have received jailtime. In my post, I stated that he must not have received jail time since he had the time to go up to a roof and jump. If he did indeed receive jailtime, it must have been a small amount of time.



    The article is vague on the specifics. Did this individual truly "lose" the prototype or was there a bigger conspiracy going on?



    If his intentions were sincere and he got sloppy and misplaced the prototype, arguably he should have just been fired and be done with. It would be ridiculous to receive jail time for that. However, if there was something bigger going on like an attempt to forward the prototype to a competitor or leak it to a news site, then harsher punishment (legal) should be administered. At the minimum, it sounds like what FoxConn did was blatant and disregarded his basic human rights.



    It's unfortunate what happened to him. Of course, where China is concerned... I wonder how much help he received to keep all the doors unlocked that led to the roof and armed-guards following him the entire time to make sure he actually jumped.
  • Reply 107 of 176
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dfiler View Post


    That's one hell of a "remote wipe" implementation!



    Your post *might* have been insensitive earlier in the thread, but your timing is perfect! Nice one.
  • Reply 108 of 176
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post


    True. They haven't lost any sales yet. But this isn't going to be the last story about Apple and abuses in China. I'm suggesting that Apple jump out in front of the issue, and at least give people a sense that they're taking action, even if that action is ultimately futile.



    And it's not the FIRST story about abuses in a factory manufacturing Apple products. Quick poll: anyone remember the last one? No? Didn't think so.



    Ok, on this board, I'm sure there will be a handful of us that remember it, but the point still stands. How Apple reacts to this will have absolutely no impact on how the majority of people view Apple or it's products because two months from now, nobody will remember this incident.



    If the pattern of previous incidents hold, Apple will put pressure on Foxconn to make changes. And the lives of the workers will incrementailly improve. Apple could abandon Foxconn, or even abandon Chinese production all together. But it would make no difference to the vast, vast majority of Apple's customers if their iPhone was made in China or Wichita, as long as the price doesn't go up (which is most surely would).



    And to what benefit to the factory workers in China? They lose their jobs? Another US company comes in and since they don't have a history with Foxconn, the workers lose the improvements Apple insisted on in the past, pushing them back to square one? Perhaps the best course of action for Apple is to continue in a long-term, stable relationship with Foxconn and to continue taking incidents like these seriously and as opportunities to improve the working conditions in the factories. The Chinese government obviously doesn't care. As long as they can bring in foreign capital on the backs of their people, they will continue to do so. Because they view that as the path to their perceived destiny as the dominant world superpower.
  • Reply 109 of 176
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    At the minimum, it sounds like what FoxConn did was blatant and disregarded his basic human rights.



    We have no indication that "FoxConn" is to blame. What if the inappropriate actions were conceived and enacted by a handful of individuals? Do you really think FoxConn has a policy advising solitary confinement and illegal searches? We have very few facts so we shouldn't be condemning anyone's actions quite yet.
  • Reply 110 of 176
    capnbobcapnbob Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by veloboldie View Post


    I wonder if they used the bamboo under the finger nail torture, or the water drip on your forehead torture.



    Totally off-topic... I'd always laughed at that one - drip, drip, drip - how tough can it be? Then I saw it on Spooks (MI5) season 6 when Ros was being tortured and it looked surprisingly nasty. Dripping slowly on your forehead, head held back, looking up into the drips... very unpleasant over time...



    resume normal service...
  • Reply 111 of 176
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    We know about China and labour laws. That's a given.



    Do we? Is it? If so, why is it a given?



    There's a huge disparity in labor protections and rights in western countries compared to China. It boggles my mind that some think the better standard is their way, not ours. For whatever flaws you might find with our labor laws, with the history of our labor unions, the simple fact remains that we have real labor laws, we have the right to freely unionize, including the right to strike. They don't. That is the underlying issue here. The same could be said for environmental protection, but we don't need to go there.
  • Reply 112 of 176
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    And it's not the FIRST story about abuses in a factory manufacturing Apple products. Quick poll: anyone remember the last one? No? Didn't think so.



    Ok, on this board, I'm sure there will be a handful of us that remember it, but the point still stands. How Apple reacts to this will have absolutely no impact on how the majority of people view Apple or it's products because two months from now, nobody will remember this incident.



    The average consumer's opinion about Apple is ultimately influenced by whether the product works right and how they are treated by Apple if it doesn't. Done.
  • Reply 113 of 176
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Do you even have to ask?



    Democracy!



    People who don't know history or economics are doomed to sound clueless when talking about international trade.



    And how do you propose that be accomplished? Should we start an online petition insisting the the Chinese goverment hereto and forthwith act as a democracy? Or do you have a magic wand you'd like to wave?
  • Reply 114 of 176
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    And how do you propose that be accomplished? Should we start an online petition insisting the the Chinese goverment hereto and forthwith act as a democracy? Or do you have a magic wand you'd like to wave?



    You missed my point. My post was sarcastic. It's a joke, that the response to how to fix China's human rights problems is the knee jerk reply, 'democracy.'
  • Reply 115 of 176
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    The problem is, I've never seen you cite anything. All I've ever seen you do is criticize others for not citing sources, or criticize the source they do cite. Ironically, we are making the same point, which is that living and working conditions for factory workers in China are abominable. Workers are treated as expendable units. This is something most people don't know about China. But I need to cite my source for that, and you don't? Who made that rule?



    How can you say that, when my last three posts had specific data on unionization, unemployment, and the Gini coefficient all of which can be specifically looked up? (A couple of those are such obvious data items, and can be easily googled or looked up in a basic source such as the US Statistical Abstract -- I could give it to you if you wish; the Gini coefficient was a more non-obvious one, so I provided the specific cite).



    On the issue of Chinese income growth, I specifically said "I'd venture a guess....." and cameronj provided a cite. I was not making a bland assertion like you were. On the issue of urban worker dorms in China and the conditions there, I thought we were both in agreement, so I did not provide a cite. There are literally dozens, but I would recommend one above all: "China Inc." by Ted Fishman (http://www.chinainc-book.com/aboutBook.html). One of the best books on modern urban China's emergence and conditions, in my view. (Incidentally, I would not go far enough to say that workers are "treated like expendable units;" that is again your uncited claim).
  • Reply 116 of 176
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Do we? Is it? If so, why is it a given?



    There's a huge disparity in labor protections and rights in western countries compared to China. It boggles my mind that some think the better standard is their way, not ours. For whatever flaws you might find with our labor laws, with the history of our labor unions, the simple fact remains that we have real labor laws, we have the right to freely unionize, including the right to strike. They don't. That is the underlying issue here. The same could be said for environmental protection, but we don't need to go there.



    China and its human rights issues are a matter of public record. It isn't a big secret.



    But looking at our OWN attitudes and admitting that our domestic issues are also to blame isn't so easy. Never easy to admit that even we, personally, collectively, are just as much to blame. that might mean rethinking something we take for granted, or worse (apparently), giving something up.



    I don't think anyone here said the better standard is China's. Our standards, however, could use some overhaul. And, uncomfortable as it might seem, it really starts with what our expectations are when it comes to "living standards." We can even forget unions for the time being and start with widespread consumer credit abuse and the attitudes and expectations that lead to it. Working outwards from there, we'll eventually hit unions, and then get to the reasons for jobs being shipped overseas. Those reasons include, but are not limited to, Chinese labour laws (or the lack thereof.)
  • Reply 117 of 176
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    Greed on the part of manufacturers is the reason the jobs left.



    I would amend that by saying that greed on the part of the shareholders is the reason the jobs left. Public companies have a board of directors who are elected by the shareholders. I've seen companies with missions statement that don't once mention their customers, but include the goal of "maximizing shareholder value".



    As long as shareholders insist on maximizing profit, that's what the company is going to do.
  • Reply 118 of 176
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    The article didn't mention whether the prototype iPhone was ever recovered. Obviously the individual was let go without jailtime since he was able to go up to a roof and jump.



    What gives?



    Since he was never arrested, how would he have received jail time.

    He was held by FoxConn security, not police.
  • Reply 119 of 176
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MH01 View Post


    You really think taking your life is the easy way out? Cowardly even? Go easy on the poor fella, it takes more guts to go his way.



    It's takes more guts to commit suicide therefore he took the harder way out of the situation?

    Why would someone intentiaonally choose the more difficult way out of something?
  • Reply 120 of 176
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post


    The real question is not whether or not Apple is to blame for this guy's death. It obviously isn't. The question is, how will Apple react to Foxconn's obviously over-the-top methods of keeping company secrets?



    The decent thing, which happens to be the best marketing solution as well, is to immediately halt all business with Foxconn and pick another manufacturer for iPhones. That may cause shortages for a while, but it would be worth it. Who is going to argue that they can't get an iPhone when the reason they can't is that Apple cares about the people who make them? It's a win-win for everyone. China gets a message that this sort of behavior won't be tolerated. Apple gets to keep it's shiny reputation.



    It's only a matter of time before more and more of these horror stories come out of China. It's obvious someone is gunning for Apple specifically, now, too. This sort of thing happens all the time, and we think nothing of it, because we want cheap goods. But Apple, unlike many other companies, is more likely to care about its reputation.



    It all comes down to consumer pressure.



    Apple didn't give a flying f**k about the environment until consumers started showing an interest. Now Apple is ALL ABOUT the environment and harps on about it at every possible opportunity.



    Once consumers start asking Apple about their sub-contractors operate, you'll start to see Apple changing the way they do business (and attempting to take the moral high ground at the same time).
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