CNN investigates Foxconn iPad factory conditions, Apple responds



  • Reply 101 of 147
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

    I disagree....for an American company they should base their jobs in the US. It does everything for them and the US......As far as profit goes. Apple has more cash than they know what to do with. At some point American corporations as a whole need to stop offshoring jobs. I do not fault Apple or any other copr for doing well. But you can't argue and say that would hurt it would not slow down sales at all. I agree it would hurt the bottom line by either raising prices slightly or lowering profit margins

    What we need to remember is that America is made up of primarily consumers. It also has unskilled/semi-skilled people out of a job.

    But there are, for better or worse, many more consumers than there are out-of-work factory folks.

    We need to choose wisely. we get a very good economic deal by outsourcing labor. But we pay in other ways.

    What can be done right now is to encourage all the American manufacturers who use foreign labor to do more to improve conditions there.

    And here, we need to do the jobs that illiterate peasants cannot do. We can't race them to the bottom for robot-work.
  • Reply 102 of 147
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Originally Posted by xsu View Post

    Bet you didn't do 60 hours of repetitive labor sitting in one chair.

    Or standing in one place in an assembly line repeatedly setting the same component in place 1000x an hour.
  • Reply 103 of 147
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

    Apple could address this issue very easily by mandating in their supplier contracts a maximum working week and a minimum hourly wage. Apple could easily survive with a bit less profit every quarter. They don't do anything meaningful with their cash pile anyway so why not give a little back to give these people a better life.

    That is exactly right, IMO. In the grand scheme of things, it would cost Apple very little.

    For example, if 100 of the processes used in iPad manufacturing were to cost 10 cents more, Apple would have additional costs of $10. But 10 cents more for every screen polish, every battery insertion, every snapping together the outside case, and the supplier(s) could easily create better conditions for the workers.

    IMO, Apple should do some sort of huge PR blitz about hos they are taking proactive steps to improve conditions. The can and should be a leader. Most of their customers would like that.
  • Reply 104 of 147
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    A new report features a woman who works 60 hours per week assembling iPad components in China,...

    I wonder if CNN would be reporting her plight if she was only getting 20 hours a week instead of the 40 hours promised because she worked for the Dell Streak division, or the Motorola Xoom division or the Samsung Galaxy Tab division!



  • Reply 105 of 147
    Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

    I'm tired of these articles, unfairly singling out Apple merely because it's the biggest name in the game -- and (unfortunately) Apple needs to nip this in the bud now before it snowballs out of control.

    I abhor Chinese labor practices, and try to avoid "Made in China" when I can. But that's no reason to single out Apple for criticism; in fact (as few of these articles point out) Apple is one of the few companies actively trying to improve its Chinese working conditions. Do the NY Times and CNN, et al, really think that their shoes Made in China, and clothes Made in China, and other electronics, toys, dog food, etc. Made in China is made any differently than these working conditions?

    Even though these poor working conditions are endemic to China, there have been enough of these stories now that they could take on a life of their own and unfairly impact Apple's reputation. Apple needs to work fast, now, to nip these in the bud and shed light on the overall Chinese working situation.

    All good points. The problem seems to be industry-wide.

    But Apple is getting the attention, because their brand has such power.

    Apple needs to step up, and fast. I think that they likely will.
  • Reply 106 of 147
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Originally Posted by CityGuide View Post

    Just a side note: Back when "banker's hours" meant they closed at three in the afternoon, I worked for a bank's back office where the all the day's deposits were received. They had to be collected, delivered, counted, reconciled and sent to other banks by midnight every day but Friday, else credit had to be given for checks regardless of whether we could verify them or not. Because of this (and other reasons) we had a little quirk called mandatory overtime. You could opt out once per year. It was repetitious and dull - kind of like assembly-line work. If one couldn't hack it one left the job, but it paid well and had benefits. It paid my way through college. Many of my co-workers were immigrants, and it paid for homes for their families. I guess I'm thinking about it because a friend told me unions would have fixed that problem, and I was thinking "What problem?"

    When I used to live in Iowa, I spent 3 years working for United Natural Foods, the supplier for Whole Foods and several other organic groceries. We worked 4 10 hr days, which was nice, but you also had to stay until all the trucks were loaded. I'd been there 9 months when they closed another warehouse and we took on their orders. They misjudged how many people they would need and we suddenly spiked to working minimum 12 hour days, usually 13 or 14. Luckily I wasn't there the few Thursdays they hit 15 or 16 hours as I worked Sun-Wed. You spent your first day off basically recuperating from those 4 days in a row. It paid pretty well tho all things considered. It wasn't easy work, but it could have been a lot worse. We did have a union too.

    Mandatory overtime isn't fun, but you know upfront it is a part of the job. Now it's possible Foxconn neglects to tell people then springs it on them, but most likely it gets mentioned earlier and people are just happy to get jobs so they say sure and figure it just means a few extra hours now and then.

    Originally Posted by eric475 View Post

    If the yuan is floated without any currency controls in place and higher Chinese labor costs coupled with sky-high oil prices make it cheaper to manufacture in America, then you'll probably see a big chunk of those manufacturing jobs returning to America.

    Not really. There is no infrastructure to support the level of manufacturing that occurs over in China here in America anymore. A lot of places that used to have a bunch of manufacturing facilities now have strip malls and McDonald's where they once stood. It would be a concerted effort, large upfront expenditures and there would have to be a sea change in a number of different public policies here in the US to bring those jobs back

    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

    All good points. The problem seems to be industry-wide.

    But Apple is getting the attention, because their brand has such power.

    Apple needs to step up, and fast. I think that they likely will.

    Which is funny b/c Apple has been practically the ONLY company stepping up for the last few years and they are always the ones who get attacked over this. What other major tech corporation is part of the Fair Labor Association? Oh yeah, nobody.
  • Reply 107 of 147
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

    Please don't feed the animals.

    Yes, how horrible, a 60 hour work week! I must be a vile animal for looking at all of the available facts and noticing that the working conditions are just fine. Clearly, an informed "animal" is much more enlightened than an ignorant liberal such as yourself.

    If I'm an "animal", what does that make Apple and yourself? You are the one who is financing such horrid work conditions with all of your Apple purchases and Apple is the one who is paying billions to Foxconn so that they can "abuse" their slave labor.

    You should go out and protest in front of an Apple store sometime, to show your true outrage. I don't contract any of those workers, Apple contracts Foxconn, which in turn hires the workers.

    Hypocrite much?
  • Reply 108 of 147
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

    BTW, why does she have to work 60 hours per week? Why not hire two people and make them each work 30 hours per week? It's not like there's a shortage of workers and Foxconn can't find any additional people. I doubt she's being "forced" to work 60 hours, and she probably would prefer 60 to 30 (and half pay).

    These are Factory Towns. The employer's costs include dorm space, meals, hot water, etc.

    It would not advantage the employer to double the labor force. Likely that is the reason.

    Here in the US, there used to be many such arrangements with workers, largely in the extractive industries. I'm not sure whether Foxcon's workers are selling their souls to the Company Store or not.
  • Reply 109 of 147
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    Or standing in one place in an assembly line repeatedly setting the same component in place 1000x an hour.

    Standing (or sitting) in one place in an assembly line repeatedly setting the same component in place 1000x an hour is what is needed to put together as many iPads to meet demand. Are you saying Americans will or will not do that type of work?



  • Reply 110 of 147
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,198member
    Reporters and money-grubbing dramatists alike are failing to report that Foxconn originally had an "incentive program" for employees to commit suicide: a sizable fortune paid in compensation to each family of a suicide victim. The company eliminated these massive payments and (surprise!) the suicides stopped. But who wants to ruin an entertaining story?
  • Reply 111 of 147
    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

    Apple really is doomed now. Just wait and watch the bloodbath.


    McDonalds and Nike are each stronger due to their scrutiny. It is good business for Apple to concentrate harder on this very real issue, and devise a solution that makes things better for both Apple and for everyone else.

    Plenty of companies get huge mileage by being conspicuously "Green". Apple likely will make "Good Labor Conditions" the new Green.

    The Made in Detroit folks could easily capitalize on that too.
  • Reply 112 of 147
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Originally Posted by sblanford View Post

    I put in 60 hours in my job all the time in a week. That is normal practice.

    It is common practice in the US for companies to demand OT for their hourly workers. In many cases if you are excempt the demands are even greater with no pay. Even at that 60 hors a week isn't a lot, it amounts to ten hours a week six days a week.

    As far as going out to eat at a restaurant I'm not even sure why that is brought up, mst factory workers in the US have a hard time doing that and frankly might not do so at all if they have kids at home. I do think the reporting here shows a heavy bias and a bit of ignorance because if you work in a factory in the US conditions are very similar.

    All we really have here is a bunch of liberals, that have never worked a day in their lives, trying to harm Apple for their own greedy needs. Instead they should be looking at why The work ethic in this country has dried up an what their part in that degeneracy is. It is through industry that a country gains strength, the liberal drive to off shore any sort of activity that is dirty, dangerous or simple requires manual labor is not good for the country.
  • Reply 113 of 147
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

    Since when does CNN care about factory workers in China?

    I hope that they do not care. They should be dispassionate about the subjects they report on.

    That being said, no media outlet is dispassionate about everything. instead, they care a whole lot about one thing - advertising revenue. With few exceptions, everything they do is geared towards driving ad revenue.

    And I hope that their choice of stories is not driven largely by what they "care about". They are there to serve the viewers what they want, and not for reasons of bias or propaganda (except on the editorial type shows).
  • Reply 114 of 147
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

    (Largest software group at Apple: Siri, soon to be much larger, guaranteed.)

    That's astounding. If Apple can pull off something great with Siri, they will be fulfilling a promise first dreamed of decades ago.
  • Reply 115 of 147
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

    Actually $1 is a 20.48% increase over 83 cents. (.17/.83)

    Does China have minimum wage laws or worker's rights? If not, get on China to improve their citizen's standard of living. Apple is far from the only company using Foxconn.

    In many cases people working in these factories are massively improving their standard of living. This is something many in e US can't even grasp, people flock to Foxconn factories because it is an improvement in their lives. In many cases it is a significant step up from living off the land and eating bugs.

    As to the overtime what do you think would happen if a product is more successful than expected? I've worked in different places in the US for over 30 years now and the story is always the same if something sells better than expected expect some overtime. Really people think about it how do you meet demand otherwise? Long term you build another production line but short term your options are really limited to overtime and improved processes.
  • Reply 116 of 147
    Originally Posted by danyak View Post

    This type of reporting simply fuels prejudice and hostility ....

    Don't worry. The prejudice and the hostility resulting from such ignorant reporting (CNN, NYT) will be somehow blamed on Apple too.
  • Reply 117 of 147
    Some of you guys are missing the whole point of the problem. Go read more than just one story if you want to comment on how correct this problem is. The New York Times would be a good start.

    Would you allow you son or daughter to work in these conditions? Apple and FC agreed to install nets on the outside of the buildings to stop the suicide drops! The main problem or complaint is that Apple puts a huge demand of FC to produce a certain # of devices a day and they demand the rock bottom price. In other words, Apple asks the premium price of there products but fights tooth and nail to not pay anything to the suppliers. I believe that is called greed.

    I'm all for making a profit. I'm a business owner myself, employing over 200 people. There have been many times I would have liked to purchased parts and supplies for a cheaper price but chose not to because of the negatives of doing so.

    Just my .02!
  • Reply 118 of 147
    That is a 60 hour work week on a hourly wage. You can't compare a salary position to hourly. Some of you guys are so blinded by your love for Apple it is amusing.

    Yes, FC makes products for many other companies. Those other companies are not making the demands upon FC as Apple does. This is the jest of the entire problem!
  • Reply 119 of 147
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

    I see your point, but, that's one of the downsides of being a big company, and it's also a way that society can drive change that is beneficial to peoples lives. If Apple are pressured into pressuring Foxconn, Foxconn will do something. If one of Foxconns much smaller customers tries to pressure them, Foxconn will ignore them and willingly lose the business.

    It's probably not "fair" that Apple are placed with that additional responsibility, but it's the nature of the beast and it's probably better they have that problem than they go back to being a tiny player that nobody cares about what they do.

    Apple is a business first and foremost as I said Apple's responsibility and ability to IMPROVE WORKING CONDITIONS in other lands like China is extremely LIMITED--these stupid media is actually BARKING ON THE WRONG TREE--they should bark on the Chinese government to LEGISLATE stronger LAWS TO PROTECT THEIR OWN CITIZENS! Since Apple contributes gazillions of dollars to the Chinese economy, so the CHINESE GOVERNMENT in turn should ensure that their citizens are well-protected and NOT exploited!
  • Reply 120 of 147
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,154member
    Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

    We should bring those jobs here to the U.S.!!!!

    Apple can afford to bring those jobs here to the US. I am not faulting them for doing well..I support Apple by buying their products. But with billions in cash reserves they should bring those jobs to the U.S.

    It would be nice to have the jobs in he USA but that won't happen.

    It was said that she was making a dollar an hour. So how much more would the same product cost if made here in the USA? Being very conservative say 5 times as much. Who would buy the higher priced products?
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