1,000 workers strike at Apple keyboard supplier over long hours

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Workers at a factory in southern China that supplies parts to Apple went on strike this week with complaints of grueling overtime requirements.



Owned by Taiwan's Jingyuan Computer group, the 3,000-worker plant provides Apple and IBM with components, including keyboards. A labor rights group reported that roughly 1,000 workers blocked a local highway during the protest, as noted by the Associated Foreign Press on Thursday.



The employees' grievances included complaints of nightly overtime demands, common workplace injuries, layoffs of older workers, lack of benefits and verbal abuse by managers, according to U.S.-based China Labor Watch. They halted the strike after company officials agreed to reduce overtime at the plant.



In a statement regarding the issue, the rights group called on Apple to "take responsibility, as there are more than 300 workers working on the Apple keyboard assembly line."



According to the report, several other Chinese manufacturing facilities have also seen worker incidents in recent weeks. Earlier this week, 400 workers at a bra factory also in Shenzhen protested after a manager told one to "jump off a roof and go to hell." Last week, 7,000 workers at a factory supplying shoes to New Balance, Adidas and Nike protested layoffs and wage cuts.



Apple has faced increasing scrutiny over its relationship with suppliers in China. The company recently met with representatives from five Chinese environmental groups over pollution concerns regarding its suppliers.



Since Apple tends to keep a tight lid on its list of partners, watchdog groups must do their own research to track them down. Among 27 alleged Apple suppliers that environmental groups had identified as excessive polluters, Apple told groups that only 15 of them were actual suppliers for the company. Apple has asked 11 of the 15 to reform and has promised to communicate with the other four.



The Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker conducts regular audits of its suppliers to monitor their working conditions and environmental impact. Last year,the company conducted 97 first-time audits and 30 repeat audits of its partners. Apple's 2011 supplier report found a number of instances of underage workers, as well as one case of bribery.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    Good for them, I hope they get what they want. No one should have to work in a place where they can't feel safe and have a division between home and work.
  • Reply 2 of 118
    Safety First!



    However Apple should consider moving some of those jobs back to the U.S. where many Americans are out of jobs.
  • Reply 3 of 118
    Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment. Apple hired them to produce a product in return for payment thats it. Its not their responsibility to "babysit" a work ethic in another country. If they can't get the job done, get another company in China to do it. Let the Chinese fix worker problems in China.
  • Reply 4 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post


    Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment. Apple hired them to produce a product in return for payment thats it. Its not their responsibility to "babysit" a work ethic in another country. If they can't get the job done, get another company in China to do it. Let the Chinese fix worker problems in China.



    *sighs* \
  • Reply 5 of 118
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,428member
    Well, it seems as if the strike is over, so now they can get back to work making those keyboards.



    And speaking of keyboards, I'll probably order a new wireless keyboard from Apple on Friday, since I could use another one and those things are never on sale anywhere afaik. I might get another magic trackpad too, because you can never have too many of those, especially if you have more than one machine.



    As for the bra-strike, I prefer females without bras, as long as they are attractive, so I'm not overly concerned about any bra strike. Women should go topless more often if you ask me. I also thought that what the manager told the worker was pretty funny.
  • Reply 6 of 118
    neosumneosum Posts: 111member
    For every person with a job in China, there's at least a hundred without. They'll just fire them and hire new workers, then they'll be sorry they participated in the strike. Harsh, but that's the reality over there.



    Those jobs are there for a reason, cheap labor. Bringing it to the states wouldn't make sense from a business perspective. No company is out to do a public service. They're all in the business to make money.



    For the ones who complain, why don't they start such a company and bring the jobs here instead of expecting someone else to do it. Then see how it fares with stock holders and earnings calls.



    Americans take these things for granted. Even here in the states, for every person who is unhappy with their job, there are plenty who are late in bills or unemployed and would love to have it.
  • Reply 7 of 118
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,016member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neosum View Post


    For every person with a job in China, there's at least a hundred without. They'll just fire them and hire new workers, then they'll be sorry they participated in the strike. Harsh, but that's the reality over there.



    Those jobs are there for a reason, cheap labor. Bringing it to the states wouldn't make sense from a business perspective. No company is out to do a public service. They're all in the business to make money.



    For the ones who complain, why don't they start such a company and bring the jobs here instead of expecting someone else to do it. Then see how it fares with stock holders and earnings calls.



    Americans take these things for granted. Even here in the states, for every person who is unhappy with their job, there are plenty who are late in bills or unemployed and would love to have it.



    Hitting quarterly targets is great but at the end of the day there has to be someone to buy the product. And you need a job to buy the product. When all the manufacturing jobs are gone there's going to be a lot of people in the first world without a job.



    I don't have the answers but to my mind companies should be part of a broader social contract in the regions te operate in.
  • Reply 8 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post


    Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment. Apple hired them to produce a product in return for payment thats it. Its not their responsibility to "babysit" a work ethic in another country. If they can't get the job done, get another company in China to do it. Let the Chinese fix worker problems in China.



    Because if you hire dirt bags that treat people like shit you're part of the problem.



    I haven't been too critical of apple on this issue but I do hope they take the lead. There's lots of companies that use the same factories there but apple probably has more pull. Probably more to lose/more to gain in the public eye too.
  • Reply 9 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    ...snip...



    Shallow and offensive. Congratulations. You must be proud.
  • Reply 10 of 118
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    What kind of people are we. We send jobs over to china then expect them to produce our products at insane low wages then the factory owners get greedy and chinese people suffer and then strike. And yes we are greedy too. But we were the ones that allowed the jobs to be sent over seas in the first place. In my opinion this is a very dangerous situation. A so called super power relying on a communist country?
  • Reply 11 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post


    Because if you hire dirt bags that treat people like shit you're part of the problem.



    I haven't been too critical of apple on this issue but I do hope they take the lead. There's lots of companies that use the same factories there but apple probably has more pull. Probably more to lose/more to gain in the public eye too.





    Meh, happens here as well...I happen to work in a environment were workers are treated like shit. Low wages and no benefits, but yet it's still slowy bein outsourced.



    If your curious who I work for? Due to a non disclosure agreement all I can say is it rhymes with foogle and they are known as a global search conglomerate .
  • Reply 12 of 118
    Here we go again with the famous Apple double standard and reporting of every negative issue (real or imagined) with respect to it's manufacturing. Never mind that these stories almost always involve every other major tech company; only Apple is held accountable and the tech media and "USA only" honks lather up over Apple abusing the workers and how they should be making all their stuff in their USA, etc. -sigh- First off, even if the honks got their way and the parts were manufactured in the USA with double or triple the end consumer price, the chances of getting environmental permits to open the factories would be slim to none these days. Wake up to your hypocrisy tech pundits.
  • Reply 13 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post


    Meh, happens here as well...I happen to work in a environment were workers are treated like shit. Low wages and no benefits, but yet it's still slowy bein outsourced.



    If your curious who I work for? Due to a non disclosure agreement all I can say is it rhymes with foogle and they are known as a global search conglomerate .



    I don't think this foogle company should treat you poorly either. Although I suspect you're a tad bit better off than a Chinese factory worker.
  • Reply 14 of 118
    I've read workers are treated like dirt at Amazon warehouses in the US too.



    I also remember the time Apple had factories in US, Mexico, and Europe. I remember the prices of Apple computers too! Was not really competitive. I think Apple would not object having factories in the US, if they can make things at competitive prices. That takes giving a lot of benefits when companies want to create factories. Then there's the problem of finding enough people to work there.



    Thing also is, all Apple components come from Asia. If Apple had factories in the US, first those components had to be shipped to the US, at huge cost + taxes. Then Apple had to ship from the US to worldwide, again at higher cost + taxes than shipping from China.



    It is a difficult world. Yes, I would like to have more Made in USA, made in Europe stuff. If I have the choice, I buy clothing and stuff made in Western countries.
  • Reply 15 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post


    If your curious who I work for? Due to a non disclosure agreement all I can say is it rhymes with foogle and they are known as a global search conglomerate .



    Boogle?
  • Reply 16 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post


    Safety First!



    However Apple should consider moving some of those jobs back to the U.S. where many Americans are out of jobs.



    Jobs will not be moved to the US, but to India or Vietnam instead.
  • Reply 17 of 118
    Bottom line matters more in capitalism than anything else.



    Anything that doesn't help the bottom line is looked down upon.



    Lowering profit levels by manufacturing everything in the US? Corporate blasphemy.
  • Reply 18 of 118
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Workers at a factory in southern China that supplies parts to Apple went on strike this week with complaints of grueling overtime requirements.






    What these guys don't understand is that they are better off working for Apple's supplier than they are doing other jobs, or more likely, being unemployed. They should be grateful that Apple hires them.
  • Reply 19 of 118
    zozmanzozman Posts: 391member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post


    Someone explain to me why it is Apple's responsibility to oversee another country's work environment. Apple hired them to produce a product in return for payment thats it. Its not their responsibility to "babysit" a work ethic in another country. If they can't get the job done, get another company in China to do it. Let the Chinese fix worker problems in China.



    You are 100% correct sir, thats how outsourcing works.
  • Reply 20 of 118
    jr_bjr_b Posts: 63member
    Don't you just hate those "Unions"?



    Without Unions, we would have the same working conditions in the United States of America today. I'm not saying that Unions are perfect. They are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but without them, American workers, what's left of them, would have the same working conditions, if not worse.



    There are more important things than money and material things.
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