Foxconn workers protest pay as company denies white iPhone 4 part sales

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Chinese workers of Foxconn, Apple's overseas manufacturing partner, protested their wages and proposed relocation plans this week. Also, the company denied its employees sold white iPhone 4 parts that allowed a high school student to assemble and sell them.



Foxconn workers stage large protest



Workers at a Foxconn factory in Foshan, China, staged a protest this week over wages, according to Reuters. Employees were reportedly upset over their pay, as well as plans to relocate some of them to inland factories.



Many companies in China have moved their manufacturing operations away from the coast and inland, where the labor and land costs are less. Workers claimed their demonstration had between 6,000 and 7,000 employees, and that the company threatened to fire anyone who would strike.



One worker said the factory pays wages of 1,100 yuan, or $165.80, per month. He said that wage is less than what Foxconn and its parent company, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., agreed to pay employees when it recently raised wages.



The protest isn't the first time this year wages with Foxconn have come under scrutiny. Earlier this year, Apple was compelled to make a public statement after a rash of suicides occurred at the manufacturing hub of Foxconn in Shenzhen, China.



The iPhone maker began auditing its plants in 2006 after a newspaper report suggested workers at a Foxconn plant were treated unfairly and forced to operate under sweatshop-like conditions. Apple now conducts an annual audit of its overseas manufacturing partners. Last year it found that more than half weren't paying their workers valid overtime rates.



This week, Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, the eighth richest man in the world, indicated he wants to court Apple to assemble its products in Brazil. The businessman who made his fortune in the mining industry is looking to fill 90 square miles of space at the Port of Acu.



Hon Hai denies involvement in white iPhone 4 part sales



Also Friday, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. denied that Foxconn workers had sold white iPhone 4 components. The company said so in a formal statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg.



This week, a 17-year-old high school student in New York gained attention when it was revealed that he made as much as $130,000 buying white iPhone 4 replacement parts from overseas, and building his own models of Apple's smartphone. Hon Hai's statement came in response to reports that the components were bought from Foxconn workers.



The story isn't the first time Hon Hai has been forced to address its security and ability to protect Apple's secrets. Last year, Foxconn made headlines when a worker committed suicide after a fourth-generation iPhone prototype he was responsible for reportedly went missing.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    It's nice to see Chinese workers becoming somewhat Americanized when it comes to their attitude to improve their lives though better wages and grouping together against their employer.



    On another side note, personally I could care less if they are protesting because foxconn is doing a little corporate restructuring, get used to it people... that's business !
  • Reply 2 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Chinese workers of Foxconn, Apple's overseas manufacturing partner, protested their wages and proposed relocation plans this week.







    Apple ensures that the factories they use pay fair wages and provide adequate accommodations. I'm not sure what these guys are doing.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post


    It's nice to see Chinese workers becoming somewhat Americanized when it comes to their attitude to improve their lives though better wages and grouping together against their employer.



    On another side note, personally I could care less if they are protesting because foxconn is doing a little corporate restructuring, get used to it people... that's business !



    China is actually facing a skilled labor shortage, similar to what has been happening everywhere else in the world.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post


    Apple ensures that the factories they use pay fair wages and provide adequate accommodations. I'm not sure what these guys are doing.



    No Apple does not, they do audits to see if the factories are in compliance if they are not they give a warning to the supplier, that is all that is really happening. Foxconn is still violating, for example, over time pay wage laws and what has Apple done? Nothing.



    Perhaps you should actually read the report below to actually get an idea of what these Foxconn workers lives are like. I think if you were in there shoes I think you would have quit on the very first day.



    http://sacom.hk/wp-content/uploads/2...nes_sacom3.pdf
  • Reply 5 of 40
    Well, I can live an hour on their monthly salary.
  • Reply 6 of 40
    $135 a month is downright awful.



    Now, not to justify this amount; but, I wonder...do the employees get free housing and food? If not, how do they survive? I guess that is the point.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post


    that's business !



    Yeah? Well then "business" sucks.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Noliving View Post


    No Apple does not, they do audits to see if the factories are in compliance if they are not they give a warning to the supplier, that is all that is really happening. Foxconn is still violating, for example, over time pay wage laws and what has Apple done? Nothing.



    Perhaps you should actually read the report below to actually get an idea of what these Foxconn workers lives are like. I think if you were in there shoes I think you would have quit on the very first day.



    http://sacom.hk/wp-content/uploads/2...nes_sacom3.pdf







    Would the moral thing be to boycott all Foxconn products until they improve their policies? Or should we all just sit back and enjoy business as usual?



    It is truly amazing that Foxconn can make the iPad so cheaply.
  • Reply 9 of 40
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    $135 a month is downright awful.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    Well, I can live an hour on their monthly salary.



    In China, that's a very attractive salary.
  • Reply 10 of 40
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,387member
    Assuming security wasn't an issue, I'd be curious to know how much it would cost to manufacture an iPhone or iPad in the U.S.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    citycity Posts: 522member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    $135 a month is downright awful.



    Now, not to justify this amount; but, I wonder...do the employees get free housing and food? If not, how do they survive? I guess that is the point.



    Would $165.80 work for you?
  • Reply 12 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    $135 a month is downright awful.



    Now, not to justify this amount; but, I wonder...do the employees get free housing and food? If not, how do they survive? I guess that is the point.



    No, it's a very good wage. Also, as is typical with most medium sized or large factories, they provide free or subsidized food and housing for their workers.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    LOL. Maybe you can get Apple to get you a job over there so you can experience the so called fair wages. I used to work in the garment industry. My job was to go to factories to make sure garments were being made properly. Most Americans would prefer to die then work under the condition third world workers endure. I would.



    You do understand that Apple closed down factories in every country that values human rights, right? To be fair, every American company has done so and as such Apple had little choice. Why not, so called Free Trade laws give huge tax incentives for companies to relocate overseas. Further, you can take advantage of slave labor in third world countries that do not value human rights. It used to be the case that import laws would tax imports that utilized slave labor so that Americans wouldn't have to try to compete with countries without the same values. The taxes coming into the country would pay for government services.



    Apple largely relies on company self reporting (in other words FoxConn monitors itself) and Chinese government guidelines to make those determinations. When ever there is a stink, Apple sends somebody over to check things out, but that is like an announced inspection. Further, Apple needs Foxconn. There aren't many operations capable of building Apple's products. America has lost the ability to manufacture anything similar.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post


    Apple ensures that the factories they use pay fair wages and provide adequate accommodations. I'm not sure what these guys are doing.



  • Reply 14 of 40
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    LOL. Have you been to China? I doubt it. I have. They work long hours, with no overtime pay. Further, the subsidized housing is to compensate from not being paid enough to afford anything else. Forget having a family as you live in a big dorm room with multiple bunks.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    No, it's a very good wage. Also, as is typical with most medium sized or large factories, they provide free or subsidized food and housing for their workers.



  • Reply 15 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post


    get used to it people... that's business !



    No, that's exploitation!
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    No, it's a very good wage. Also, as is typical with most medium sized or large factories, they provide free or subsidized food and housing for their workers.



    This is pure rationalization. No wonder we ship jobs to countries like this. They exploit the workforce, and we rationalize it.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post


    This is pure rationalization. No wonder we ship jobs to countries like this. They exploit the workforce, and we rationalize it.



    The term "rationalization" is often used to make perfectly valid arguments "go away".



    In very real terms, these factory workers may very well be better off at Foxconn than they were previously, or would be should they leave Foxconn. This doesn't excuse any inhumane treatment, but to assume that people chose to work there and stay working there when it is not advantageous to them, is tantamount of accusing the workers of stupidity.



    I'm all for the right to collective bargaining, and also regulations. I would also support some sort of certification process that companies like Apple, etc.. could meet to assure that their devices and components are assembled by workers receiving basic levels of humane treatment. However not every assumption that we have about how things "should" be done in a working environment, translate to other cultures and political, economic and industrial level realities that are different than our own.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    It's hard for any country to maintain cheap labor as it progresses.



    Here in America, we used to export things like clothing, shoes, cotton, what have you, and people would work these jobs for pennies a day. Now our nation has much more complex exports, like software development or even advertising!



    Who knows how long this planet will have third world countries that are willing to sew our pants, or make our shoes? If every country does well, these jobs won't pay enough anywhere.



    The solution? iRobot.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Any salary in China is attractive. Doesn't mean it is fair.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    In China, that's a very attractive salary.



  • Reply 20 of 40
    I know this will never happen but....."BRING IT HOME! Create jobs in the US and make the stuff here! Or put the plant in Mexico, where it's way closer, and we can work on illegal immigration at the same time.



    I know everyone will scream..."Do you want it to cost $900 dollars instead of $200? Because after paying a regular person's wages that's what will happen?"



    To which I will reply as I always do-NO, it should still only costs $200, because rather than the Average guy taking a hit, maybe the CEOs of these companies can only make $300 million a year instead of $500 or whatever ridiculous amount they are paid,



    I do think that unions have some faults, but in the end- The white collar crime and the amount that these CEOS make could pay for 1,000 of new jobs and keep the costs of products down.
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