Explosion kills 2 at iPad manufacturing plant of Apple partner Foxconn

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  • Reply 61 of 90
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    When was the last time you heard of employees in a major US factory committing suicide in large numbers? Enough said.



    Let's see. Sadly, ten out of nearly 500,000 workers at Foxcom committed suicide last year. That would equate to 20 per a population of million or 400 per 20 million.



    Good thing that they weren't attending an American college or university were nearly 1100* out of 20 million students will take their own lives this year.



    Interesting that some of the arguments presented here contravene the recent findings that the the happier the place , the higher the suicide rates.?



    * http://www.stateuniversity.com/blog/...-Students.html

    ? http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-hph042111.php
  • Reply 62 of 90
    That's what they get for screwing around with the X-49 istope uranium space MODULATOR.
  • Reply 63 of 90
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    You certainly are entitled to your opinion (At least for now here in the US and Canada ). I also think my view is logically sound. In a nutshell, it is unfair to force people from western oriented societies like the United States to compete with people from societies that are vastly different culturally like far east oriented societies. There is nothing bigoted about that.



    Further, you are reading things into my post that aren't there. When I wrote "we" I wasn't referring to you and I specifically. My post is being made in a public forum that undoubtedly is filled with "westerners." There are probably many Americans like myself. I was using "we" in the collective sense. I intended "we" to include americans and/or those from western oriented cultures. If you and I were captains of two opposing football teams, I might shake your hand before the game and say to you, "we are going to kick your butt." In such a scenario, it is clear I do not intend you to be part of the "we" I am referring to even though I am directing my comments at you.



    As you say, I do not know you well enough to make any assumptions about you. Yet, you hypocritically assume all these things about me by my use of the word "we." Is it possible you made a common mistake many people make nowadays, myself included occasionally? Namely, presume to understand what another person intended without seeking further clarification. Often times multiple meanings can be read into somebody's comments.



    Moreover, I never said Chinese people don't have values. My comments were directed at the Chinese government specifically. As a culture, however, the Chinese have values that are very different then Americans. Are you really going to suggest that isn't true? There are countless examples that can be made as to how this is the case. I also don't recall suggesting American values as a whole are better or without fault. Though I would argue that from a workers' perspective, the western system is far friendlier and in turn benefits the greater amount of people.



    Moreover, I also prefaced my comments by pointing out I have done extensive work in both China and the US, as well as other Countries. I have visited many factories in the US as well as other places. That is to point out that my opinion is grounded in some actual experience in the topic at hand. Trust me a Ford parts factory in the US or Canada is a much different place then a Ford parts factory in China. You don't' read stories like this occurring in the US or any other western based societies.



    That is because in western based societies we as a culture have developed values that differ from the values of far east based societies like China (again that is the collective "we"). For instance, the whole labor movement in the US sparked many of those culturally accepted values that are more friendly to workers in the United States then in a typical far east country. With the boom of mass manufacturing in China, perhaps over time, China will develop some of the ideals currently held here in western societies. Now they are very different.



    From my actual experience, China's system treats manufacturing workers harsh by western standards. That again brings me to my overall point: western based societies shouldn't be forced by their own governments to compete with systems vastly different then their own. It undermines our own system to the detriment of the greater number of our own people.



    Finally, twelve suicides in a half of year at one company seems high. Have you read about anything like that happening in Canada recently? How about any other western based societies? Didn't think so. Read Apple's report outlining the deficiencies at FoxConn. Those concerns wouldn't happen at factories operating legally in the US. Perhaps at the illegal sweat shops I am familiar with in places like New York and New Jersey. Not in legitimate factories though.



    Interestingly enough, Foxconn's CEO wants worker protection laws in Brazil to be changed as a condition of going to Brazil. In other words, Foxconn can't compete operating in a society that has laws that value basic human rights, such as providing a safe working environment, protecting children, and outlining what Brazilians would consider reasonable working conditions.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Sorry. I appreciate your attempt to be logical and make a defence of your earlier statements but this just reads even *more* like plain old bigotry to me.



    "China does not believe in what we as a country believe?" What hubris! What gall!



    Aside from being meaningless to talk about "what China believes" your assuming here that:



    - I'm an American

    - "we" are all Americans

    - the American way is somehow better than China's



    (all incorrect BTW)



    The sentiments are in between the lines of everything you write. I think you'd be good to take some time off in the wilderness and seriously examine some of the concepts that underlie your thoughts here. Your taking lots for granted here at best.



    In reference to my comments about having worked in some factories that have appalling conditions and those factories not being in China ... again you assume I'm talking about the US (I'm not), and assume further that I'm talking about illegal immigrants or some such (I'm not).



    I'm talking about middle class white people working in factories in "western countries" (Europe and Canada are my personal examples), and you don't have to go far to find said conditions. If you think that all countries outside of China (and a few illegal companies in the US) have great working conditions then you are mistaken.



    Factory work is mind-numbingly dull and repetitious. Most don't do it unless they have no other option and are the classic "downtrodden" of a particular society. It's not work that anyone on this forum is likely to have much experience at because it's the work the "poor" do and almost everyone here is guaranteed to have come from an upper middle class background at minimum.



    Americans don't have the market cornered on "values," other countries had them before America was a glint in the colonialists eyes. That kind of pig-headedness is why Americans are often reviled around the world. America's "values" are also not uniformly admired around the world, neither are they some kind of gold standard to be adhered to.



    For the record, I live in Canada (the "other" America just to your north), and a lot of us up here think a lot of your core American "values" are pretty twisted in fact. We have a better record on Human Rights than you do, and a better constitution that provides for much more freedoms than you Americans enjoy. We have a stronger, fairer economy, better working conditions in our factories and a better standard of living all around.



    No one knows these things of course because, well .. it's Canada. We don't go around the world pretending like we own it, lording it over everyone else or acting as if we are the only one's that matter or have any idea what "values" are.



    PS - I can't believe that you brought up the suicide dodge. "suicide in large numbers?" your exaggerations speak for themselves.



  • Reply 64 of 90
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Perhaps you are correct. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to fight the good fight. I used to live in New York City working for several big name fashion manufacturing companies. Currently, I practice bankruptcy law. Doctors, lawyers, pilots, teachers, professors, and the list goes on. I see the effect of our embrace of Chinese values first hand on a daily basis. It effects everybody. Our government tells us the economy is growing. This is judged by job creation. What isn't mentioned is career jobs are being replaced by grocery clerk jobs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    This is off topic, hopefully it won't start a flame war, but you've come to the wrong site Bud. You presume we don't have China values... we'll, we're getting there fast... unfortunately IMO. .



  • Reply 65 of 90
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,154member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by isaidso View Post


    Really? you found an article about Foxconn that specifically lists the other companies besides Apple, that Foxconn contracts for. "An" article? You show me that article; I'll show you 1000 that portray foxconn as being virtually a "branch" of Apple Inc., with Apple being (indirectly) responsible for suicides, slave labor, and squalid conditions. (and just give it a couple days, They'll be "responsible" for this tragedy as well)

    I'll make it simple for you: forget your "google machine" just do a search for "foxconn" on this website we're on; or MacDaily news, 9to5, MacNN; Hell, just search Macsurfer.com. Search Bloomberg, CNN, BBC, CBS.

    And then show me how many articles on Foxconn start or include something akin to:

    "in todays news: Foxconn; contract manufacturer for Dell, Sony, Nokia, and Apple, among others... blah blah."

    I'll wait your 15 seconds.



    The media only typically mentions Foxconn in relation to Apple because anything about Apple draws readers. Mention Foxcomm and any other company and there will be far less readers hence the media follows the money like normal. If you believe what you read at face value without researching it then you are as gullible as anyone could possibly be.



    From Wikipedia:

    Foxconn makes consumer electronics for a number of well-known companies, including:




    * Apple Inc. (United States)[19][5][20]

    * Acer Inc. (Taiwan)

    * Amazon.com (United States)

    * Asus (Taiwan)

    * Intel (United States)

    * Cisco (United States)

    * Hewlett-Packard (United States)[21][20]

    * Dell (United States)

    * Nintendo (Japan)

    * Nokia (Finland)[19]

    * Microsoft (United States)

    * Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)[20]

    * Vizio (United States)
  • Reply 66 of 90
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Tragic.



    As long as we're all happy buying goods from countries with weak labour laws, this is going to keep happening.
  • Reply 67 of 90
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    From my actual experience, China's system treats manufacturing workers harsh by western standards. That again brings me to my overall point: western based societies shouldn't be forced by their own governments to compete with systems vastly different then their own. It undermines our own system to the detriment of the greater number of our own people.



    Finally, twelve suicides in a half of year at one company seems high. Have you read about anything like that happening in Canada recently? How about any other western based societies? Didn't think so. Read Apple's report outlining the deficiencies at FoxConn. Those concerns wouldn't happen at factories operating legally in the US. Perhaps at the illegal sweat shops I am familiar with in places like New York and New Jersey. Not in legitimate factories though.



    Interestingly enough, Foxconn's CEO wants worker protection laws in Brazil to be changed as a condition of going to Brazil. In other words, Foxconn can't compete operating in a society that has laws that value basic human rights, such as providing a safe working environment, protecting children, and outlining what Brazilians would consider reasonable working conditions.



    You keep bringing up the suicide rates. And I am not sure where you are getting your figures from. However, lets put them in perspective, even using your numbers.



    Foxcom (your figures): 24 out of half a million = 5 per 100,000 a year

    USA: 11 per 100,000 a year

    US Military: 20 per 100,000 a year

    US Colleges: 22.5 per 100,000 a year



    Now WIRED recently reported in their, "1 Million Workers. 90 Million iPhones. 17 Suicides. Who’s to Blame?" article* a rate of 0.17 per 100,000 a year. Go figure.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    In the companies defense, these types of factories here are forced to use illegal workers to compete with the foreign factories because illegal workers are the the only ones desperate enough to be treated so miserably by being paid so little. For example, one factory I had the pleasure of inspecting hired illegal Chinese immigrants. They worked over twelve hours days, six days a week, with a half hour break, for a fixed daily rate. The workers had no health care coverage, and the factories did away with standard safety equipment. The Company would be out of business if it tried to pay somebody minimum wage and compete with an actual Chinese Company. Sadly enough the workers in these factories would say this type of arrangement was better then the actual Chinese factories, which unfortunately I know to be true.



    Sounds like you are describing the typical American business owner, except in many cases, as in mine, it was16-18 hours every day of the week. Unfortunately, I didn't go to law school were I could have helped make those laws that make so many of us work as such to pay for blood sucking legal fees.



    Not sure what the suicide rates are for businessmen vs. lawyers. I do know that nearly 300 per thousand attempts are made daily in the US and it wouldn't surprise me if there were an equal or more people who would think about assisting their lawyers if they ever ventured as such.



    * Great article by the way: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/0...linchina/all/1
  • Reply 68 of 90
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Old ranch owner John farmed a small ranch in Montana.



    The Montana Wage and Hour Department claimed he was not paying proper wages to his workers and sent an agent out to interview him.



    'I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,' demanded the agent.



    'Well,' replied old John,



    'There's my ranch hand who's been with me for 3 years. I pay him $600 a week plus free room and board.



    The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $500 a week plus free room and board.



    Then there's the half-wit who works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night.'





    'That's the guy I want to talk to, the half-wit,' says the agent.





    'That would be me,' replied old rancher John.
  • Reply 69 of 90
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Old ranch owner John farmed a small ranch in Montana.



    The Montana Wage and Hour Department claimed he was not paying proper wages to his workers and sent an agent out to interview him.



    'I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,' demanded the agent.



    'Well,' replied old John,



    'There's my ranch hand who's been with me for 3 years. I pay him $600 a week plus free room and board.



    The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $500 a week plus free room and board.



    Then there's the half-wit who works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night.'





    'That's the guy I want to talk to, the half-wit,' says the agent.





    'That would be me,' replied old rancher John.



    You found me out.
  • Reply 70 of 90
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,614member
    Regardless of whether the incidence of explosions in Chinese factories is greater or lesser than average, this is still a tragedy. And even though Foxconn does contract with many other companies other than Apple, this will be reported by the press as an explosion at an Apple factory and Apple will wind up taking some of the blame, especially if it's discovered that the "polishing" operation had anything to do with the manufacture of Apple products. To the general public, the distinction that Foxconn is a contractor for Apple won't make any difference to the negative perception.



    All of these side debates about how the workers are treated are not relevant, because even if the Chinese workers were paid double what they now make and worked half the hours, such an explosion still could have happened.



    While they probably couldn't do this in China (they might be able to do this in India), my opinion is that Apple should own their overseas factories. Failing that, they should still contract, but Apple management employees should directly oversee their operation onsite.



    It's very easy to say that Apple should move production back to the U.S. or Ireland, where they once were, but virtually no one would be willing to pay the resulting product prices. This is not the fault of government regulations or tax policy, but simply that U.S. minimum wage is still about 9.7x the wages of Chinese workers, yet it's almost impossible to live on U.S. minimum wage in most parts of this country. In an ideal world, products would be manufactured in the regions where they are sold so that communities would have the benefits of the jobs for the products they buy and so carbon footprints would be reduced because the products would be manufactured closer to market, reducing shipping distances. But it's never going to be an ideal world (besides, isn't it ending today?)



    For all the criticism, would you be willing to pay double for each Apple product? (And I suspect the price differential might be more, although I don't know how many worker hours it takes to make each product.)
  • Reply 71 of 90
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    For all the criticism, would you be willing to pay double for each Apple product? (And I suspect the price differential might be more, although I don't know how many worker hours it takes to make each product.)



    I doubt that labour is the biggest cost in producing an iPad. The cost of the components is probably far greater and don't forget that Apple usually aims for a 40% profit margin. An iPad produced in, say, Ireland is unlikely to cost double that of one produced in China.



    Remember that there's still companies manufacturing electronic goods in first world countries - Samsung, Nokia, Sony, Intel, etc. It's probably impossible to compete if a product's primary feature is its low price but that's never been Apple's game. There's no reason why high end electrical goods can't be produced in a developed nation.
  • Reply 72 of 90
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    * Great article by the way: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/0...linchina/all/1



    It is good, but I think leaves a major issue off the table.



    The Chinese labor market of today is reminiscent of the U.S. labor market during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time in the U.S. labor flooded from rural areas, where the demand for farm labor was declining, to the cities, where factory labor was in demand. This provided an endless supply of expendable labor for the factories and predictably poor wages and horrific working conditions.



    But that's where the similarity ends. The difference between the two is really huge. In the U.S., some semblance of balance was restored through labor organizing. It took decades of acrimonious and sometimes violent conflicts between owners and labor, but ultimately labor was able to take a stand. Why? Because the right to organize was protected by law. In China it is not, and it's difficult to see how this changes when basic political rights are denied to the Chinese people.



    In China the government and industry are joined at the hip. They are close in ways that would give even the most fervent promoter in this country of "the business of government is business" theory reason to pause. A real danger to China and the world economy is if this imbalance between industry and labor continues. Discontent could boil over into major political unrest of the kind that would make the Pullman Strike look like a church picnic.
  • Reply 73 of 90
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    It is good, but I think leaves a major issue off the table.



    The Chinese labor market of today is reminiscent of the U.S. labor market during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time in the U.S. labor flooded from rural areas, where the demand for farm labor was declining, to the cities, where factory labor was in demand. This provided an endless supply of expendable labor for the factories and predictably poor wages and horrific working conditions.



    But that's where the similarity ends. The difference between the two is really huge. In the U.S., some semblance of balance was restored through labor organizing. It took decades of acrimonious and sometimes violent conflicts between owners and labor, but ultimately labor was able to take a stand. Why? Because the right to organize was protected by law. In China it is not, and it's difficult to see how this changes when basic political rights are denied to the Chinese people.



    In China the government and industry are joined at the hip. They are close in ways that would give even the most fervent promoter in this country of "the business of government is business" theory reason to pause. A real danger to China and the world economy is if this imbalance between industry and labor continues. Discontent could boil over into major political unrest of the kind that would make the Pullman Strike look like a church picnic.



    Amazing what a few hundred years can do.



    China has accomplished a lot in just over a half century and some will say it is progressing faster than the 300 plus years it has taken America to get where it is today.
  • Reply 74 of 90
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    Amazing what a few hundred years can do.



    China has accomplished a lot in just over a half century and some will say it is progressing faster than the 300 plus years it has taken America to get where it is today.



    Not sure what you mean. The industrial revolution in China was delayed probably by 50-60 years by communism. What they've accomplished in the last couple of decades is the result of authoritarian capitalism. Their methods should make us cringe at least as much as admire.
  • Reply 75 of 90
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Not sure what you mean. The industrial revolution in China was delayed probably by 50-60 years by communism. What they've accomplished in the last couple of decades is the result of authoritarian capitalism. Their methods should make us cringe at least as much as admire.



    China wasn't involved in the 'first modern' Industrial revolution which started in the 18th century and ended well before China was recognized (by the UN).



    As has been said, "What took 150 years, today's China is attempting to do in 20."
  • Reply 76 of 90
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    China wasn't involved in the 'first modern' Industrial revolution which started in the 18th century and ended well before China was recognized (by the UN).



    As has been said, "What took 150 years, today's China is attempting to do in 20."



    Not sure what recognition by the UN has to do with anything, given that China was a nation long before most in the West could say the same.



    Taking a look at history, I think you'll find that the industrial transformations in Western nations occurred primarily over a period of just a few decades. So what is happening now in China isn't really extraordinary in historical terms, it's more that none of who are alive today have witnessed such a transformation. We also haven't witnessed the blending of authoritarianism and capitalism on any similar scale. As I've been saying this is the real difference, and the one we ought to be watching very closely. It could play out very badly, and not just for the Chinese people.
  • Reply 77 of 90
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Not sure what recognition by the UN has to do with anything, given that China was a nation long before most in the West could say the same.



    Taking a look at history, I think you'll find that the industrial transformations in Western nations occurred primarily over a period of just a few decades. So what is happening now in China isn't really extraordinary in historical terms, it's more that none of who are alive today have witnessed such a transformation. We also haven't witnessed the blending of authoritarianism and capitalism on any similar scale. As I've been saying this is the real difference, and the one we ought to be watching very closely. It could play out very badly, and not just for the Chinese people.



    You have to be kidding. The Peoples' Reublic of China was not recognized until 1971.



    China 's industrial revolution didn't start till 1978* well after the west?



    Interesting that some view China's Capitalism Better than the U.S. **



    And if there is any indication who is a leader in a technology sector that most perceive China to be one of the worst, "China Recognized as One of the Top Clean Technology Producers?"***



    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_economic_reform

    ? http://www.victorianweb.org/technology/ir/irchron.html

    ** http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...043235,00.html

    *** http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011...wildlife-fund/
  • Reply 78 of 90
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post


    You have to be kidding. The Peoples' Reublic of China was not recognized until 1971.



    China 's industrial revolution didn't start till 1978* well after the west?



    Interesting that some view China's Capitalism Better than the U.S. **



    And if there is any indication who is a leader in a technology sector that most perceive China to be one of the worst, "China Recognized as One of the Top Clean Technology Producers?"***



    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_economic_reform

    ? http://www.victorianweb.org/technology/ir/irchron.html

    ** http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...043235,00.html

    *** http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011...wildlife-fund/



    That is a series of non sequiturs that ignore or misconstrue every single point that Dr. Millmoss has been making.



    China's status according to the United Nations or any other international body has nothing to do with their approach to industrialization. The (obvious) fact that China's push towards industrialization comes a century or more after the Industrial Revolution doesn't tell us much one way or the other about the relative human cost of same, and China's ability to foster "green" technologies isn't what is in contention.
  • Reply 79 of 90
    hiker275hiker275 Posts: 53member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    I hope that no safety shortcuts were taken in order to increase iPad production.



    That happens everywhere. Maybe not all the time... but it happens EVERYWHERE. I'd bet if you looked hard enough you could find some sort of safety violation at the OSHA headquarters in DC. The idea isn't to be perfect, but to stomp out those being flagrantly bad.
  • Reply 80 of 90
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Apple should be ashamed of themselves for associating their proud image of state-of-the-art technology with lack of safety enforced third party OEMs.



    There are plenty of workers here in the US with better safety standards.



    Why arent they hiring people here in America? In fact, why arent they building a factory here in America?



    Oh right cost.



    They are willing to cut jobs and hire unstable, safety standards dismissing third party OEMs (who jeapordize the workers lives, living conditions and health) in order to save a buck or two on their latest and greatest.



    Whats even more sad is that, even after this type of event, Apple still wont budge from its Foxconn supplier because its helping them reek in the money for billions of profits.



    Seems like Apple has no ethics in its business model. The only "social good" that they emphasize(through marketing no less) is the recyclability of the materials that they use. They would be doing a much greater "social good" if they start bringing jobs here in the USA.



    Yes, I would be willing to pay more for products that I know helps others workers in the US bring food to their families tables. Those who think otherwise should be castrated.



    Also, by shifting production to Asia, Apple is exposing themselves to potential intellectual property thefts by the notorious Chinese.



    These things should be a well guarded secret held only by Apple, no one else. What Apple is doing is digging their own graves! To rely on the Chinese intellectual property



    enforcement arm is ridiculous. We all know that they are commies and are willing to help their state owned or partially state owned companies prosper. This is why we see



    mandatory joint ventures in almost every industry in China, so that the Chinese can learn/steal knowledge from developed nations and use those acquired knowledge to use



    against countries/companies like Apple in the future!!



    WAKE UP APPLE. Pull out of China NOW!
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