Labor advocate challenges accuracy of NYT report on Apple, Foxconn

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  • Reply 101 of 122
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    That's absolute B.S. Let's say there are no unions and all a company has to pay is federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and offer absolutely no benefits. Let's say the employees have a mandatory one-hour lunch which they don't get paid for, 10 holidays which they don't get paid for and 2-weeks off which they don't get pair for.



    That still works out to $12,180 per year (which no one can live on in the U.S. anyway. In most places, housing costs alone would eat all of it.)



    Chinese manufacturing workers are reputed to work up to 60 hours a week for $130 per month ($1560 per year.) Let's say within a few years, Chinese workers DOUBLE their pay to $3120 per year and only work 35 hours per week. That's still only 26% of a U.S. worker's minimum wage with no benefits.



    That's why manufacturing has left the U.S. Not because of unions. Unions do suck in many ways, but they also helped to create the middle-class in the U.S. And now, there's fewer than 15 million American workers covered by unions, mostly public workers.



    Even that's an oversimplification. Manufacturing has left the US for MANY reasons - and labor costs are only a part of it.



    If you're making t-shirts, labor is a major component. If you're building iPhones, labor is a much smaller factor. The bigger factors which drive the decision as to where to manufacture are:

    - Corporate income tax rates

    - Currency exchange rates (manipulated by foreign governments in some cases)

    - Availability of workers and other resources

    - Proximity to world markets (less than half of Apple's sales were U.S.)

    - Health, safety, and environmental regulations

    - Liability laws and risks (few, if any, countries love to sue as much as the U.S.)

    - Worker flexibility

    - Local government rules

    - And many, many other factors.



    Most of those factors are entirely beyond the control of manufacturers and most are unrelated to direct labor rates. Even if labor were free in the U.S., there are many products that would STILL not make sense to manufacture here.
  • Reply 102 of 122
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Even that's an oversimplification. Manufacturing has left the US for MANY reasons - and labor costs are only a part of it.



    If you're making t-shirts, labor is a major component. If you're building iPhones, labor is a much smaller factor. The bigger factors which drive the decision as to where to manufacture are:

    - Corporate income tax rates

    - Currency exchange rates (manipulated by foreign governments in some cases)

    - Availability of workers and other resources

    - Proximity to world markets (less than half of Apple's sales were U.S.)

    - Health, safety, and environmental regulations

    - Liability laws and risks (few, if any, countries love to sue as much as the U.S.)

    - Worker flexibility

    - Local government rules

    - And many, many other factors.



    Most of those factors are entirely beyond the control of manufacturers and most are unrelated to direct labor rates. Even if labor were free in the U.S., there are many products that would STILL not make sense to manufacture here.



    Informative...thank you.





    But his reply was more so to counteract GregInPrague's asinine post.
  • Reply 103 of 122
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 922member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    Chinese manufacturing workers are reputed to work up to 60 hours a week for $130 per month ($1560 per year.) Let's say within a few years, Chinese workers DOUBLE their pay to $3120 per year and only work 35 hours per week. That's still only 26% of a U.S. worker's minimum wage with no benefits.



    I believe most of these companies provide room and board for the employees, so add that into the compensation. I don't know if they cover food or clothing in any way. Also not sure what kind of health care is provided. So there may be/is quite a bit of compensation beyond wages.



    For many working in these factories, the choices are pretty grim. Work 60+ hours in these factory towns, or live out in a village subsistence farming. There are millions of people in China living in mud huts with dirt floors scratching a meager life out of the ground. Living & working in the modern conditions of the factory towns is a big step up from where they could be.



    Now, that does not justify treating the workers as cattle/slaves. But working & living standards is something the culture and society needs to work out for itself. And when working conditions and costs go up enough, manufacturing will move to some other country with an abundance of near-starvation population willing to work 60+ hours for the promise of a warm bed and full belly.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 104 of 122
    rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    Dear Tim Cook,



    How about you put your goddamn money where your mouth is! The best way to solve this issue to take a piece of Apple's War Chest (you know, the one with more money than the US government) and create a production facility in the United States. That way you have better control of your supply chain, and create American jobs.



    Clearly from your email, you're only interested in words and not actions. Profits, but not solutions.



    Sincerely,



    The World
  • Reply 105 of 122
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Leave it to slap-happy to use one of the most ridiculous arguments possible.



    So you determine the truth of something based on how many people say it?



    Let's vote on evolution. That means that evolution occurred in Massachusetts, but did not occur in Oklahoma. After all, more people deny it in OK than in MA.



    The story is either true or it's fabricated. The number of people who copy it doesn't tell you a thing - other than the fact that people like to knock a front-runner off it's perch.



    What the heck, let's vote on gravity......



    Well, asking to vote for gravity is a bit more ridiculous than a justified boycott of Apple products.
  • Reply 106 of 122
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    Dear Tim Cook,



    How about you put your goddamn money where your mouth is! The best way to solve this issue to take a piece of Apple's War Chest (you know, the one with more money than the US government) and create a production facility in the United States. That way you have better control of your supply chain, and create American jobs.



    Clearly from your email, you're only interested in words and not actions. Profits, but not solutions.



    Sincerely,



    The World



    No, "the world" is not saying this. People who have no idea what they're talking about are, however.
  • Reply 107 of 122
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post


    Well, asking to vote for gravity is a bit more ridiculous than a justified boycott of Apple products.



    If there were a justified boycott of Apple products, you might be right. But there isn't.



    Furthermore, asking people to vote on gravity is not much different than your assertion that just because more media outlets say something that it must be true.
  • Reply 108 of 122
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    Dear Tim Cook,



    How about you put your goddamn money where your mouth is! The best way to solve this issue to take a piece of Apple's War Chest (you know, the one with more money than the US government) and create a production facility in the United States. That way you have better control of your supply chain, and create American jobs.



    Clearly from your email, you're only interested in words and not actions. Profits, but not solutions.



    Sincerely,



    The World



    I hereby resign from your World.



    By now you should have figured out that mobile electronics "production facilities" as you call them (manufacturing or assembly or what?) are part of an ecosystem that only exists in Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, Thailand, etc.



    That's where the parts come from, the expertise in manufacturing is there -- generations of making stuff like video cameras that never were made in America -- so are you asking Tim Cook to buy Asia and import it to Texas?



    Why is this so hard to grasp? I believe people in this miserable media-flogged country can only think in memes, slogans and sound bites.



    Try to think in terms of systems -- you'll be happier. Or just try to think.



    Foxconn did it in Brazil? Ok, get Foxconn to build an ASSEMBLY PLANT in the third-world country of Texas. That I could believe logistically, but not the economics of it.
  • Reply 109 of 122
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    For another view - from someone who has direct experience:

    http://techpinions.com/made-in-china...-be-wrong/5140
  • Reply 110 of 122
    From our friends at 9 to 5 Mac.

  • Reply 111 of 122
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    People died while building the Brooklyn Bridge, due to working conditions deemed acceptable for the time and place, is the analogy misplaced because the workers were brought to the work rather than the work being sent to the workers?



    No, because if that was my thinking, it would be nitpicking



    This is my rationale: The Brooklyn Bridge construction is over. Boycotting it won't bring back the dead and won't prevent any more construction-related deaths on it. Boycotting Apple products might force the company to do more, and might actually prevent some deaths.



    But, as mentioned elsewhere, I believe targeting Apple is hypocritical, unless we look at all our purchases and target every single company linked to labor abuse.
  • Reply 112 of 122
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


    I hereby resign from your World.



    By now you should have figured out that mobile electronics "production facilities" as you call them (manufacturing or assembly or what?) are part of an ecosystem that only exists in Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, Thailand, etc.



    That's where the parts come from, the expertise in manufacturing is there -- generations of making stuff like video cameras that never were made in America -- so are you asking Tim Cook to buy Asia and import it to Texas?



    Why is this so hard to grasp? I believe people in this miserable media-flogged country can only think in memes, slogans and sound bites.



    Try to think in terms of systems -- you'll be happier. Or just try to think.



    Foxconn did it in Brazil? Ok, get Foxconn to build an ASSEMBLY PLANT in the third-world country of Texas. That I could believe logistically, but not the economics of it.



    Some believe Apple is taking steps to domesticate manufacturing: http://www.appleoutsider.com/2012/01/04/components/. Not saying I believe it, but it's an interesting theory. Furthermore, if it happens, it will only happen to specific components and specific steps in the manufacturing process.
  • Reply 113 of 122
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post


    If Apple, or any other company, decides to censor news media, that's the last time I'll buy anything from them.



    Free Press is free, period. If you don't like it, feel free to move to Venezuela, or China for that matter.



    Banning an app from the App Store has nothing to do with censoring the news. You are confused about the definition of "censor".
  • Reply 114 of 122
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joguide View Post


    Regrettably, this is the way of the world. Steve Jobs realized this when he told Obama, those jobs are not coming back to the U.S. and eventually will be gone in China. Assembly jobs are going to be done by machines working 24/7. No worries about vacation, rest, benefits, or strike. They don't need heating, A/C or even lights. The whole assembly can be done with the lights off. There is no way that even the lowest paid human workers can compete at this massive level of industrialization.



    The question for each nation is what do you do with millions of unemployed hardworking people who want to work but have no jobs.



    China's economy will eventually expand and grow to serve a majority of internal customers (i.e. Chinese citizens) as they continue to grow beyond manufacturing, as long as they are able to avoid internal political collapse... and there's no proof they will be able to avoid collapse yet. If their country's economic progress slows too drastically, it will cause mass unrest. They already know this. You cannot bring their people into the modern era and expect them to simply roll over if there is economic trouble. They will explode in revolution. The recent crisis of mass self-immolations in Tibet is a harbinger of possible bad times ahead.
  • Reply 115 of 122
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    Dear Tim Cook,



    How about you put your goddamn money where your mouth is! The best way to solve this issue to take a piece of Apple's War Chest (you know, the one with more money than the US government) and create a production facility in the United States. That way you have better control of your supply chain, and create American jobs.



    Clearly from your email, you're only interested in words and not actions. Profits, but not solutions.



    Sincerely,



    The World



    Don't be ridiculous.
  • Reply 116 of 122
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Some believe Apple is taking steps to domesticate manufacturing: http://www.appleoutsider.com/2012/01/04/components/. Not saying I believe it, but it's an interesting theory. Furthermore, if it happens, it will only happen to specific components and specific steps in the manufacturing process.



    No doubt Apple is going to do something really new and interesting with their 100B, and I have a feeling that they'd like the goodwill that would come with doing it in the neighborhood. They've already founded a couple of new industries here lately: mobile apps, and book publishing. Previously they founded desktop publishing and desktop movie editing.



    What's next? Wearable computers and displays may offer an opportunity for some U.S. input. The one technology that is still being done here in a more or less current form is chip design and fabrication. Shrinking the portable phone/computer/camera down to wrist size, and displays down to eyeglasses size, may be the kind of adventurous micro designing that Apple and Silicon Valley are historically good at. The manufacturing might have to be part of the technology from the beginning, like it was with large scale ICs in the early days, before Samsung.



    Oh, and I think Matt Drance is being overly dramatic about the Apple-Samsung legal "battle." Both sides probably privately concede that this has nothing to do with the processor side of their business, and everything to do with establishing design boundaries. Apple is making it expensive to copy is all.
  • Reply 117 of 122
    rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    How about you get bent. If you're going to have the nerve to disagree with me, be less lazy next time and back up your disagreement with something besides insults.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    No, "the world" is not saying this. People who have no idea what they're talking about are, however.



  • Reply 118 of 122
    rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    I think about this stuff all the time. Small minds produce even smaller results.



    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/t...w/11130977.cms



    Look, change has to begin somewhere. Manufacturing must return to the US for our long term health. The A5 chip is built in Texas. That's a start. Over time, we'll build up our expertise, and more parts can be built here. But someone has to lead the charge.



    Why any of you would support overseas factories is beyond me. It's bad for jobs and our economy as a whole. Apple already makes an obscene profit margin on it's products. Moving manufacturing to the US would reduce those profits, which I'm sure you greedy stockholders can't stomach.



    In other words, typical republican thinking. Worry about yourself and screw everyone else.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post


    I hereby resign from your World.



    By now you should have figured out that mobile electronics "production facilities" as you call them (manufacturing or assembly or what?) are part of an ecosystem that only exists in Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, Thailand, etc.



    That's where the parts come from, the expertise in manufacturing is there -- generations of making stuff like video cameras that never were made in America -- so are you asking Tim Cook to buy Asia and import it to Texas?



    Why is this so hard to grasp? I believe people in this miserable media-flogged country can only think in memes, slogans and sound bites.



    Try to think in terms of systems -- you'll be happier. Or just try to think.



    Foxconn did it in Brazil? Ok, get Foxconn to build an ASSEMBLY PLANT in the third-world country of Texas. That I could believe logistically, but not the economics of it.



  • Reply 119 of 122
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    How about you get bent. If you're going to have the nerve to disagree with me, be less lazy next time and back up your disagreement with something besides insults.



    Have the nerve? Really?
  • Reply 120 of 122
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post


    I think about this stuff all the time. Small minds produce even smaller results.



    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/t...w/11130977.cms



    Look, change has to begin somewhere. Manufacturing must return to the US for our long term health. The A5 chip is built in Texas. That's a start. Over time, we'll build up our expertise, and more parts can be built here. But someone has to lead the charge.



    Why any of you would support overseas factories is beyond me. It's bad for jobs and our economy as a whole. Apple already makes an obscene profit margin on it's products. Moving manufacturing to the US would reduce those profits, which I'm sure you greedy stockholders can't stomach.



    In other words, typical republican thinking. Worry about yourself and screw everyone else.



    1) Proof that all A5 PoPs are produced in Texas?



    2) I'd argue it's the small mind that thinks only about his nation an not how it funcrions in a global economy.



    3) Be careful what you wih for. For Foxconn to find 1.3 million US workers that are more financially viable that Chinese or Brazialian counterparts would mean the US is in dire times.
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