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MacRumors
Jun 27, 2006, 02:59 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

The Mac web is buzzing with a report yesterday by ChinaCSR (http://www.chinacsr.com/2006/06/26/foxconn-admits-breaking-labor-laws-in-china/) , a corporate social responsibility website focused on China, which claimed that iPod manufacturer Foxconn had admitted that their employees work about 80 extra hours each month, which is 44 hours over the maximum 36 hours overtime work allowed in Chinese law. The site also claimed that Apple's special investigatory team had signed off on the factory conditions, apparently even after the news broke (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/06/20060614153017.shtml).

Despite many sites having run the story (AppleInsider, Engadget, Inquirer, etc), it appears that ChinaCSR is the only and original source for the story. MacRumors cannot independently confirm the story's contents, and given its brevity and lack of supporting quotations, we have some doubts about some of the assertions made (although we cannot rule out its accuracy either).

Last week, Foxconn denied claims (http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20060619A2007.html) that it was running an 'iPod sweatshop' in its factories in China. Apple has sent a team to investigate the conditions but has not officially reported any findings.

cait-sith
Jun 27, 2006, 03:00 PM
So.. we've learned... nothing? :confused: :confused:

840quadra
Jun 27, 2006, 03:01 PM
I am with Macrumors on the feelings behind this, it would be nice to see pictures or get some quotes from people involved in this.

Foxconn could do itself good by doing an official statement with regards to this report, as opposed to the tight lipped no comment approach.

::EDIT::

It appears Foxconn has an official statement.


Edmund Ding, spokesman for Foxconn -- a chief maker of iPods -- said there were huge discrepancies between the truth and the claims in the report, which he said seems like a vicious attack on the company. He added that the company reserves the right to take legal actions over the report.

rye9
Jun 27, 2006, 03:02 PM
So.. we've learned... nothing? :confused: :confused:

pretty much

WillMak
Jun 27, 2006, 03:09 PM
Edmund Ding, spokesman for Foxconn -- a chief maker of iPods

Was the asian spokesperson here chosen on purpose to represent foxconn for PR reasons?

fixyourthinking
Jun 27, 2006, 03:13 PM
With great power comes great responsibility

MacRumors.com has great power these days amongst the Mac Web ... I applaud them for having the courage to post a truthful (and doubtful) eye on this story which has seemed like it was concocted by Apple's competition from the beginning.

Stella
Jun 27, 2006, 03:13 PM
"Foxconn had admitted that their employees work about 80 extra hours each month, which is 44 hours over the maximum 36 hours overtime work allowed in Chinese law."

So.. a sweat shop. 80 extra hours a week??!!!!

lonepilgrim
Jun 27, 2006, 03:13 PM
MacRumors cannot independently confirm the story's contents, and given its brevity and lack of supporting quotations, we have some doubts about some of the assertions made (although we cannot rule out its accuracy either). ... Apple has sent a team to investigate the conditions but has not officially reported any findings.
It's a plea always hopeless in the face of frantic impatience: but, without relieving any of the pressure for these companies to do the right thing out of this situation, it might be an idea to wait for an official, corroborated statement.

bigandy
Jun 27, 2006, 03:14 PM
but hours are set by province, not by central government...

i thought the hours worked in Foxconn didn't actually go over the province's limits....?

harveypooka
Jun 27, 2006, 03:14 PM
We have to find out about this. But then most, if not all products we receive are built in places where labour is very, very cheap. What to do? I think Apple should answer at least....

iGary
Jun 27, 2006, 03:15 PM
"Foxconn had admitted that their employees work about 80 extra hours each month, which is 44 hours over the maximum 36 hours overtime work allowed in Chinese law."

So.. a sweat shop. 80 extra hours a week??!!!!

Read it again.

N.J.
Jun 27, 2006, 03:26 PM
I thought that sweatshops were part of the new partnership with Nike
:D

Stella
Jun 27, 2006, 03:27 PM
Read it again.

OK, per *Month* ( not week!)

CanadaRAM
Jun 27, 2006, 03:27 PM
The essential thing is there is a single source claim, without supporting evidence, claiming that FoxConn admitted something, which FoxConn has since denied they did, and that the basic premise is not true.

Clever advocacy journalism - first claiming that the company admitted to the charge being brought, then bringing Apple in from the sidelines, implying that their team came, saw, and either approved, turned a blind eye, or did nothing. Also clever invoking "80 hours" and then measuring by month -- easy to confuse, as some already have, with 80 hour per week. And citing "Chinese Law" without specifying what laws.

So ... what does 80 hour per month mean, even if it is accurate? That is 19 hours of overtime per week. What is the normal work week? We are not told. Did the workers get paid for the work? Presumably yes. Did they have a choice to take on the overtime work or not? We don't know. Does that represent a maximum, or an across the board figure? We are not told.

Really, all there is, is one organization saying "This could be so" and the target company saying "You are wrong"

ChrisA
Jun 27, 2006, 03:40 PM
"Foxconn had admitted that their employees work about 80 extra hours each month, which is 44 hours over the maximum 36 hours overtime work allowed in Chinese law."

What we would like to know is if the all employees are forced to work extra hours or if some are allowed to work extra hours. I remember 30 years ago I was a high school student at McDonalds. Minimum wage jobs were in short supply and they actually interviewed people who applied and rejected most of them. (Now of course they hire any warm body who applies) Back then many emplyees would ask and allays want to work extra hours. They'd go as far as aking fellow employees if they would like to go home early so they could cover the hours. managers were having to quote the California labor laws about hours worked in one day or the total per week. Some of these people would work 24x7 if it were allowed and many walked off an 8 hour shift to a second job to get around the hours worked laws. This was here in the US in the 70's

You have to understand that it is a culteral thing. Many chineese actually feel that they have to work every waking minute. Of course Western values are slowly sinking in there and not everyone there thinks the same.

In might be imformative if we were to ask these emplyees if they would like to have a 40 hour work week with a second sift hired in or if they would like beter to work 16 hour days. My guess is that you'd see a good number of them opt for the longer day.

Gasu E.
Jun 27, 2006, 03:43 PM
Ben and Jerry's, the so-called socially-responsible ice cream maker, uses sweetshop labor in the manufacturer of their goods. Ben and Jerry's has so far failed to confirm or deny this allegation.

aricher
Jun 27, 2006, 03:57 PM
Ben and Jerry's, the so-called socially-responsible ice cream maker, uses sweetshop labor in the manufacturer of their goods. Ben and Jerry's has so far failed to confirm or deny this allegation.
My favorite flavor has always been "Ben & Jerry's Sweet 'n Salty Sweatshop." Mmmm you can almost taste the labor violations.

whatever
Jun 27, 2006, 04:09 PM
At least they get paid for it!

I work well over that a month and I'm on salary (re: no overtime). Granted Americans do tend to work longer hours and have less vacation time than the rest of the world.

But oh wait, I'm not supposed to talk about that now am I, because I'm an American and we should just worry about everyone else.

I think Apple should pull out of China and only deal with US companies and raise their prices!

No, I'm not serious, but this whole thread is stupid. Who cares. In a perfect world I would, but come on, do you really think Apple sets the laws in Communist country.

theheadguy
Jun 27, 2006, 04:33 PM
Read it again.

Might as well be 80 extra hours a week iGary. 20 extra isn't okay, either.

harveypooka
Jun 27, 2006, 05:01 PM
At least they get paid for it!

I work well over that a month and I'm on salary (re: no overtime). Granted Americans do tend to work longer hours and have less vacation time than the rest of the world.

But oh wait, I'm not supposed to talk about that now am I, because I'm an American and we should just worry about everyone else.

I think Apple should pull out of China and only deal with US companies and raise their prices!

No, I'm not serious, but this whole thread is stupid. Who cares. In a perfect world I would, but come on, do you really think Apple sets the laws in Communist country.

This has to be the least educated and alien response I've read. Can you see the conditions (allegedly) that these people work in? Forced labour? If it's true, it's a damned disgrace.
Your situation is most likely quite different to a poverty driven people; especially when they are taken advantage of by corporations and governments, US or the Chinese. An American company that holds values such as freedom and democracy so highly, should respect and realise that the people that manufacture these luxury items should have the same freedom they hold so dear.
You are right - they do not make Chinese law. But if Foxconn are in breach of legislation, Apple should make a point to find another supplier.

jagolden
Jun 27, 2006, 05:55 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

The Mac web is buzzing with a report yesterday by ChinaCSR (http://www.chinacsr.com/2006/06/26/foxconn-admits-breaking-labor-laws-in-china/) , ...Foxconn denied claims (http://www.digitimes.com/systems/a20060619A2007.html) that it was running an 'iPod sweatshop' in its factories in China. Apple has sent a team to investigate the conditions but has not officially reported any findings.

Forced labor, sweatshops-no, not a good thing and it should be looked in to.
However, let's face it,this whole thing (even if true) is simply a new attack on Apple and its incredibly successful iPod.
Look at the DRM problems, the ITMS arguments , now it's this. The competition can't stand a winner and will do ANYTHING it takes to slow down the iPod juggernaut!

whatever
Jun 27, 2006, 06:50 PM
This has to be the least educated and alien response I've read. Can you see the conditions (allegedly) that these people work in? Forced labour? If it's true, it's a damned disgrace.
Your situation is most likely quite different to a poverty driven people; especially when they are taken advantage of by corporations and governments, US or the Chinese. An American company that holds values such as freedom and democracy so highly, should respect and realise that the people that manufacture these luxury items should have the same freedom they hold so dear.
You are right - they do not make Chinese law. But if Foxconn are in breach of legislation, Apple should make a point to find another supplier.

As uneducated as those people what want to condemn Apple because (here's a big surprise) a Chinese Company (Foxconn) lied about the working conditions of their people.

However, if I, as Apple, was to only partner and work with those countries that share my ideals (freedom of speech, equality, right to bare arms, etc) then I would have to stop all partnerships with most of Asia, Middle East, South America, Europe and North America....you catch my drift.

For all we know these allegations aren't even true, but discussing them here is just stupid.

generik
Jun 27, 2006, 06:51 PM
OK, per *Month* ( not week!)

EXTRA hours.

So they could already well be working 10 hours per day, PLUS on top of that, an average of 2 extra hours per day, for no extra pay!

What's your point again?

Btw 80 hours a month, you gotta be dreaming, even lazy Americans work more than that.

theheadguy
Jun 27, 2006, 11:49 PM
EXTRA hours.

So they could already well be working 10 hours per day, PLUS on top of that, an average of 2 extra hours per day, for no extra pay!

What's your point again?

Btw 80 hours a month, you gotta be dreaming, even lazy Americans work more than that.

Uh, that is what the person said. :rolleyes: See post #7 on the same page.

whee900
Jun 28, 2006, 12:02 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)
Foxconn had admitted that their employees work about 80 extra hours each month, which is 44 hours over the maximum 36 hours overtime work allowed in Chinese law.
Remember. This is China; people are not unionized. Assuming that they work a long, 70-hour workweek without overtime, 80 extra hours a month (20 hours a week), will degrade work conditions past acceptable standards.

Even if they had a "regular" 40-hour workweek (which they don't), an extra 20 hours would give them a 60-hour workweek, which is still a fair amount of time. It was a clever ploy to say 80 hours a month instead of 20 hours a week, because it seems like a lot less.

But remember that this is not Apple's fault; in fact it was just the fault of an irresponsible supplier. As long as Apple takes appropriate action to investigate this case, there should be no PR problem like the one Nike has had.

theheadguy
Jun 28, 2006, 12:31 AM
But remember that this is not Apple's fault; in fact it was just the fault of an irresponsible supplier. As long as Apple takes appropriate action to investigate this case, there should be no PR problem like the one Nike has had.

I think it's important that you don't defend Apple so quickly. Certainly a dangerous place for me to "go against the grain" here, I know.

"Out of site, out of mind" is not acceptable, with any company including Apple. The supplier ethics policy has strict guidelines. Why have the guidelines if you never check on the supplier? Just for PR to satisfy people who love Apple and don't want the pristine image touched. The penalty for not watching your suppliers is eventually someone else will, and then you are in hot water.

So before we say "But remember that this is not Apple's fault," let's hear what Apple has to say about it. I think that's fair and equitable for everyone (except for those factory workers, regardless of their geographic location).

I do agree with you that it is the suppliers fault (if not also Apple's). One might say that Apple can not check on every supplier all the time. I agree. An example of one I can understand they not visit often would be a factory in thailand that produces the rubber feet for the bottom of powerbooks. However, iPods are the lifeblood of Apple as it is today (I love macs as much as the next person here). So when you have a supplier who actually is heavily involved with the product that generates the most/main income for Apple, maybe they should check on the factories once in a while?

Finally, Tim Cook is the chief operating officer for Apple. He is also on the board of directors for Nike. Nike factory conditions are terrible (common knowledge) and he isn't requesting them to do a damn thing about it. Take that for what you will, I just think it's interesting.

Peace
Jun 28, 2006, 12:42 AM
snippet

An example of one I can understand they not visit often would be a factory in thailand that produces the rubber feet for the bottom of powerbooks. However, iPods are the lifeblood of Apple as it is today (I love macs as much as the next person here). So when you have a supplier who actually is heavily involved with the product that generates the most/main income for Apple, maybe they should check on the factories once in a while?



A sweatshop is a sweatshop no matter how small the part might be.As in the rubber boots for Laptops..

imacdaddy
Jun 28, 2006, 12:56 AM
Terminating the contract with Foxconn and giving it to someone else would not solve anything. The outcome will still be the same because of supply and demand from Apple and consumers. I'm sure the demands from Apple are very unreasonable to have quantities delivered GLOBALLY upon the usual Apple product launch. So it's not uncommon for suppliers like Foxconn to kick production into full gear to deliver the units on time. I'm sure the same thing is happening at Asustek to deliver Macbooks worldwide on Apple's deadline.

So who's at fault here??? Don't blame the suppliers!

dealunion
Jun 28, 2006, 04:26 AM
Remember. This is China; people are not unionized. Assuming that they work a long, 70-hour workweek without overtime, 80 extra hours a month (20 hours a week), will degrade work conditions past acceptable standards.

Even if they had a "regular" 40-hour workweek (which they don't), an extra 20 hours would give them a 60-hour workweek, which is still a fair amount of time. It was a clever ploy to say 80 hours a month instead of 20 hours a week, because it seems like a lot less.

But remember that this is not Apple's fault; in fact it was just the fault of an irresponsible supplier. As long as Apple takes appropriate action to investigate this case, there should be no PR problem like the one Nike has had.
It's of course Apple's fault, work overtime is forbidden in China according to the related labor laws, they should get an extra paid.

wayfarer_boy
Jun 28, 2006, 04:26 AM
No, you're right. As consumers of this technology, we can't blame suppliers, designers or even retailers entirely for worker's conditions or unethical practices.

A bizarre example here, but stick with me...as an example of ethics and consumerism, take the UK's supermarket leader Tesco and their response to public outcry. It was revealed that over 50% of farmer's perfectly healthy stock was returned to them, and 50% more left to rot due to 'mishapen fruit and veg'. "Consumers only buy fruit and vegetables that look a certain way - if we were to put this stock out on the shelf we'd lose money."

In the same way, Apple is doing what all non-ethics-based corporates do - finding the cheapest manufacturer in order to sell the consumer a machine at optimum cost - because "that's what consumers want".

Although it's easy for companies to blame consumers for shifting manufacturing to cheaper (union and regulation free) Eastern factories, or for creating food mountains in rich western countries, it's also very easy for consumers to forget about ethics when staring at Apples on the shelf. There are other more ethical options out there, it just takes more effort and resolve as a consumer to find them.

apachie2k
Jun 28, 2006, 06:10 AM
ohh...so it's my fault that apple chose a supplier that exploits the hard working people in 3rd world contries... j/k i guess we could just STOP buying apple products because of what thier supplier is doing, we could go back to... ummm lets just hope apple takes care of what they need to take care of. now i just hope the price doesn't go up another $1000 for a mac book pro, cuz i would like one very much...

fixyourthinking
Jun 28, 2006, 08:18 AM
i guess we could just STOP buying apple products because of what thier supplier is doing, we could go back to.


You know, if no other company (Dell, Sony, Toshiba, HP) did the same thing we could actually say ... we could go somewhere else ... but the reality is competing companies computers and peripherals are made in the exact same factories by the exact same workers.

spikeovsky
Jun 28, 2006, 08:43 AM
Translation of a Chinese report here:
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060623_1.htm

Good analysis:
http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/blog/littleredblog/0,39056119,39368720,00.htm

imacdaddy
Jun 28, 2006, 09:05 AM
Translation of a Chinese report here:
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060623_1.htm

Good analysis:
http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/blog/littleredblog/0,39056119,39368720,00.htm


Thanks spike for the cnet article!

"And the notion of a US$250 iPod nano being made for US$50 a month is a little jarring". It's quite obvious who is making the most of the profit margins here. It aint Foxconn. Apple? and then Samsung for the NAND Flash?

ethen
Jun 28, 2006, 10:42 AM
I've been to china a couple of times, and at once i stayed for 6 months just to survey their manufacturing places (mostly textile).

I first hand experience a big shock when i saw a clothing factory in nanjing. i saw a 7 years old sawing beside her mom, i asked the manager there and he said the child was just playing with the clothing. I node and walked out of that factory without signing any contract with them. From what i see the child was working on the same cloth the rest of them does and she even have her own basket.

Aside from that, the factory condition was terrible, not to mention the air quality in there and how hot it is (there is only one small fan in room), the floor was really dirty, and their housing is terrible. One big room with sort of like a futon that are so thin laying on the dirty floor. It is really heart breaking to see it for yourselves. I hope Apple and Foxconn really does be open and show that they did not treat their worker like slaves and animals.

I also went to taiwan and see couple textile factories, nothing like the one in china, much cleaner and at least look more humane.

shamino
Jun 28, 2006, 11:33 AM
Translation of a Chinese report here:
http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060623_1.htm
Thanks for this article. It changes quite a bit. Some better, some worse.

Of note:

The hourly wage being paid is consistent with local laws and are no lower than those paid by other electronics manufacturing facilities.
The dorm facilities are pretty scary, but workers are not required to live there. Apparently, most live off-site.
Many people do work 8 hour days. Many more choose to work extremely long hours in order to get overtime pay. The ones interviewed are very upset that there is not currently enough orders to work 17 hours a day.
Workers appear to have to pay the company for any days they don't work, even if they're off because there's no work to be done. The article does not say if this is simply rent for dorm space or if those living off-site also have to pay.
One worker interviewed was going hungry on Friday night, because company-provided meals are not free outside of working hours and he didn't want to pay.


It is very unclear how much of this is actual human-rights abuse, how much is simply culture-shock to our American/European standards, and how much is workers voluntarily choosing an extremely hard life in order to earn more money than they could otherwise get.

mrplow
Jun 28, 2006, 11:43 AM
EXTRA hours.

So they could already well be working 10 hours per day, PLUS on top of that, an average of 2 extra hours per day, for no extra pay!

What's your point again?

Btw 80 hours a month, you gotta be dreaming, even lazy Americans work more than that.


6 hour shifts at Victoria's Secret turned into 12hr shfits (going until 3AM) REGULARLY.. and I didn't get paid any over time, as they insured that I didn't work over 40hrs in a given week. Granted it's not the same, and this job paid for itself (as I'm male) but the point being... people work 12+hr days even here in America where laziness is the key to our society.


oh and before I'm attacked I DO NOT agree with sweatshops, etc... just sharing.

theheadguy
Jun 28, 2006, 11:47 AM
A sweatshop is a sweatshop no matter how small the part might be.As in the rubber boots for Laptops..

I agree with you totally and never said or think a sweatshop is okay anywhere. We are on the same page. (:

Maxx Power
Jun 28, 2006, 11:48 AM
I've been to china a couple of times, and at once i stayed for 6 months just to survey their manufacturing places (mostly textile).

I first hand experience a big shock when i saw a clothing factory in nanjing. i saw a 7 years old sawing beside her mom, i asked the manager there and he said the child was just playing with the clothing. I node and walked out of that factory without signing any contract with them. From what i see the child was working on the same cloth the rest of them does and she even have her own basket.

Aside from that, the factory condition was terrible, not to mention the air quality in there and how hot it is (there is only one small fan in room), the floor was really dirty, and their housing is terrible. One big room with sort of like a futon that are so thin laying on the dirty floor. It is really heart breaking to see it for yourselves. I hope Apple and Foxconn really does be open and show that they did not treat their worker like slaves and animals.

I also went to taiwan and see couple textile factories, nothing like the one in china, much cleaner and at least look more humane.

I suspect so many of the forum's posters for this and the previous thread have no idea because they have never been to China. I was saying the same thing on the last thread on this topic. Most of these factories don't allow tourists or any employee to walk in and out with cameras, but images of these places still float around.

shamino
Jun 28, 2006, 11:50 AM
So they could already well be working 10 hours per day, PLUS on top of that, an average of 2 extra hours per day, for no extra pay!
Please read the article that spikeovsky linked to: http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060623_1.htm.

According to this article, overtime is voluntary, and paid.

There may well be some serious human rights violations going on here, but being forced to perform unpaid overtime is not one of them.

spikeovsky
Jun 28, 2006, 01:50 PM
Glad you found the articles interesting. One thing I'd like to point out is about the on-site dorms: At the *best* universities in China, it's common for students to live 6-8 to a room in bunks. So while the photos of worker dorms seem grim, they don't actually look so bad to me (a foreigner who has lived in Beijing for two years). Take that as you will.

Jimmy Crackcorn
Jun 28, 2006, 02:25 PM
The controversy over sweatshops amazes me. What we call "sweatshops," people in China and many other countries call "jobs." One more example of the US trying to foist our values on everyone else.

theheadguy
Jun 28, 2006, 03:39 PM
The controversy over sweatshops amazes me. What we call "sweatshops," people in China and many other countries call "jobs." One more example of the US trying to foist our values on everyone else.

You are 100% right. How dare the US support human rights for other humans. They are in another part of the world- let them suffer- it's a job!

::high-five's Jimmy Crackcorn::

:rolleyes:

drewyboy
Jun 28, 2006, 04:19 PM
You are 100% right. How dare the US support human rights for other humans. They are in another part of the world- let them suffer- it's a job!

::high-five's Jimmy Crackcorn::

:rolleyes:

This subject is pretty tricky and touchy. I think some are going overboard on both sides. One saying everything needs to look like the U.S. and that we are trying to push our living on others, yet the other is saying that these people are so unhappy.

The question is, are you living in their culture. NO. I've noticed pretty much all posters are from the U.S. or the UK. I was just in Israel for the last 2 and half weeks and in Jerusalem, some of those places i KNOW some of you would say they are living inhumane. But if you actually spent the time to talk to them, they are totally content with their lives having to open their shops up at the butt crack of dawn till late at night selling t-shirts for $3.50. I know it's not the exact same, but the same idea.

What we here in america & uk consider humane is to have ur own comfy bed, maybe share a room with 2 or 3 other ppl like a dorm room in college, have money to buy an ice cream bar here or there and be able to take showers whenever we want. WE have created what WE think to be humane. Have you ever thought that some of these people might come from places that don't have electricity, running water, eletronics, believe it or not those places DO exist. For all you know they could consider this a chance of a life time. To work as many hours as they want, have a place to stay, to be fed just for working, and a chance to do something other than farm.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for humane work places, but once again, ask yourself who sets the bar as to what "humane" is. What I consider humane is the choice to quit, not forced, no abuse whether it be verbal or physical, and decent pay. Just cuz we are use to gett'n paid $6.15 an hour and McDonalds doesn't mean that's what we should expect over there. Does anyone know how far the money they receive can go?

Visiting there you are already used to seeing your way of life, so when you see it differently you automatically compare it to yours. It's there culture NOT YOURS!

Sorry it's long, I had to vent.

shamino
Jun 28, 2006, 04:25 PM
You are 100% right. How dare the US support human rights for other humans. They are in another part of the world- let them suffer- it's a job!
I hope you were trying to be funny.

It is incredibly arrogant to believe that European and American standards should be the definition of "human rights".

It's one thing to say that workers should not be physically abused or forced to work against their will.

It's quite another to say that basic human rights means a five-day work week, with time-and-a-half for overtime beyond 8 hours a day, five weeks paid vacation, two cars, a house in the suburbs, universal health-care and guaranteed college education for as many children as you want.

If you think the entire world should copy what Europe does (or would like to do), fine, that's your opinion. But it is quite another to claim that these goals should be the definition of basic human rights, with everything less being treated no different from slavery.

theheadguy
Jun 28, 2006, 04:49 PM
I hope you were trying to be funny.
Okay, didn't work for everyone I see. Of course I wasn't serious (read my posts above)

It is incredibly arrogant to believe that European and American standards should be the definition of "human rights".
..
It's quite another to say that basic human rights means a five-day work week, with time-and-a-half for overtime beyond 8 hours a day, five weeks paid vacation, two cars, a house in the suburbs, universal health-care and guaranteed college education for as many children as you want.
I didn't read a post where one person here stated anything REMOTELY close to this. I don't want this thread to turn in to a pissing contest based on technicalities, but what you've said is WAY off base from what anyone here is expecting. Even the biggest human rights advocates don't ask people get 5 weeks vacation, let alone a house in the suburbs etc. So let's tone it down a bit and stay in reality.

Please read the article that spikeovsky linked to: http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060623_1.htm.
According to this article, overtime is voluntary, and paid.
There may well be some serious human rights violations going on here, but being forced to perform unpaid overtime is not one of them.
Lastly, all of your assumptions are based soley on this article. I can tell you from working at Apple directly (let alone a chinese factory) that overtime is NOT happily "voluntary." I'd like to think I am treated better than factory workers and if I am required to do extra hours, I doubt the factory workers are under as sweet conditions as you want to think that they are (i.e. overtime being voluntary). It's not all "culture shock." Not everyone here is that feeble minded that we can't take into account they are in China and their work ethic and conditions are vastly different from ours. The answer is somewhere in-between.

edit:spelling

iMeowbot
Jun 28, 2006, 05:25 PM
The site also claimed that Apple's special investigatory team had signed off on the factory conditions, apparently even after the news broke (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/06/20060614153017.shtml).
Apple denied this part of the story, in a statement to Cnet (http://www.mp3.com/news/stories/5108.html). The audit is not finished.

tristan
Jun 28, 2006, 06:21 PM
I just bought an iPod and inside the box was a picture of the 7 year old kid that made it. :eek:

Maxx Power
Jun 28, 2006, 06:25 PM
You are 100% right. How dare the US support human rights for other humans. They are in another part of the world- let them suffer- it's a job!

::high-five's Jimmy Crackcorn::

:rolleyes:

Jimmy:

So in a eastern country, where traditionally people lived in different ways now have to live the entire non-sleeping portion of their daily lives to manufacture consumer goods for western countries, and this is called not forcing the U.S. philosophy on them, especially since this is only possible due to unilateral agreements like the WTO and *cough* heavy U.S. subsidies *cough*. I see how this works, so you go to a country where they live too peacefully, and push them out of their traditional businesses and practices and then "offer" them a "job" and say you are a humanitarian.

If I took away your home and made you live in a dumpster, I'd be offering you a place to stay, I should be cherished. If it happened, it'd be nothing personal too, so you don't have to get any human feelings or emotions involved that instinctively tells you that the other person doesn't like this kind of treatment because you don't, it's just business.

spikeovsky
Jun 29, 2006, 12:39 AM
It is incredibly arrogant to believe that European and American standards should be the definition of "human rights".
..
It's quite another to say that basic human rights means a five-day work week, with time-and-a-half for overtime beyond 8 hours a day, five weeks paid vacation, two cars, a house in the suburbs, universal health-care and guaranteed college education for as many children as you want.


I get really uncomfortable with this sort of moral relativism. In my mind this is a cop-out, a convenient justification of the methods used by those in charge that entirely evades the issue of whether something violates human rights. The are huge cultural differences between China and the West -- much bigger than I had thought before I came here -- but that doesn't mean "Western" ideas of treating employees well are unwelcome among those employees. I'm sure the Chinese would love a five-day work week, universal health care, etc. as much as anyone else.

That said, it's unrealistic to assume that these "Western" ideals could easily be set up in contemporary China. This is still a developing country, and there is simply no way for the government to support that sort of system yet. Sure, they could stop spending money on things like sending people into space, but even diverting cash from these to social programs would amount to little in the short term. Any amount of cash has to be divided among 1.3 billion people. It's going to take a lot of time for the situation to improve to the level that many people in the West would like to see.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that the Chinese government is actually trying to improve the lot of its people. Not necessarily out of altruism, but because it realises that this sort of development is necessary to prevent the country from exploding. From the point of view of the iPod factory workers, is this so bad? I think that to a large extent, the ends justify the means. So what if the Communist party stays in power if the vast majority of the people benefit from its policies?

Note: I am *not* defending the Chinese Communist Party and its atrocious human rights record shown through its actions against groups like FLG, or the June 4, 1989 "incident" -- note that I don't spell all these out because the Chinese internet nanny has been known to take exception to these terms and temporarily block access. But from the point of view of most Chinese people, it's not so bad as people outside of China make it out to be. As with most situations, it's hard to say what's black and what's white. Except for iPods :)

GooMan
Jun 29, 2006, 09:30 AM
The whole reason companies manufacture in China is because of the cheap labor. Everyone knows this and accepts it, then when a story like this comes out a bunch of people act like they are so offended by it. How do you think they offer such cheap labor?

C'mon people.

shamino
Jun 29, 2006, 11:01 AM
I get really uncomfortable with this sort of moral relativism. In my mind this is a cop-out, a convenient justification of the methods used by those in charge that entirely evades the issue of whether something violates human rights. The are huge cultural differences between China and the West -- much bigger than I had thought before I came here -- but that doesn't mean "Western" ideas of treating employees well are unwelcome among those employees. I'm sure the Chinese would love a five-day work week, universal health care, etc. as much as anyone else.
I didn't say they should be denied these things.

I said we can't go around crying "human rights abuse" about every government that doesn't mandate the Western lifestyle.

You are the second person that clearly didn't read my messages.

I said very plainly that there may actually be abuses going on.

I also said that we can't go around assuming that any standard less than the US and western Europe is by definition abusive. Especially when we're dealing with a radically different culture.

spikeovsky
Jun 29, 2006, 12:12 PM
I didn't say they should be denied these things.

I said we can't go around crying "human rights abuse" about every government that doesn't mandate the Western lifestyle.

You are the second person that clearly didn't read my messages.

I said very plainly that there may actually be abuses going on.

I also said that we can't go around assuming that any standard less than the US and western Europe is by definition abusive. Especially when we're dealing with a radically different culture.

Oops -- I actually didn't read your post at all, and it seems that we agree :o
I'll try to pay more attention to the words I'm quoting in the future. Sorry about the misunderstanding!

thatguyjim
Aug 18, 2006, 09:46 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5262110.stm

Look everybody, chill out on this will ya. I just don't give a $h!T how sweaty Steve makes em as long as he manages to keep the Apple goodies coming out for such low retail prices to us. It's not like Apple is skimming off the cream on the deal or anything ya know. Pod maker, Foxconn will soon be pumping out new 15" Macbooks for us too, and if we complain too much about this, they might have to improve the working conditions for the slaves, I mean workers, and if that happens then I fear that'll be the end of inexpensive Apple laptops as we have known them. So please suppress your indignation.

harveypooka
Aug 18, 2006, 10:38 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5262110.stm

Look everybody, chill out on this will ya. I just don't give a $h!T how sweaty Steve makes em as long as he manages to keep the Apple goodies coming out for such low retail prices to us. It's not like Apple is skimming off the cream on the deal or anything ya know. Pod maker, Foxconn will soon be pumping out new 15" Macbooks for us too, and if we complain too much about this, they might have to improve the working conditions for the slaves, I mean workers, and if that happens then I fear that'll be the end of inexpensive Apple laptops as we have known them. So please suppress your indignation.

Har har. Well, hopefully this is a good thing; Apple, through it's influence, supporting their workers. Although they get a crap deal already, maybe this'll make it a little better and healthier?

MACMUSO
Aug 18, 2006, 10:55 AM
As uneducated as those people what want to condemn Apple because (here's a big surprise) a Chinese Company (Foxconn) lied about the working conditions of their people.

However, if I, as Apple, was to only partner and work with those countries that share my ideals (freedom of speech, equality, right to bare arms, etc) then I would have to stop all partnerships with most of Asia, Middle East, South America, Europe and North America....you catch my drift.

For all we know these allegations aren't even true, but discussing them here is just stupid.


Unfortunately that's the kind of attitude that the world is having to get used to from certain ill educated, insular Westerners who have no idea of what is going on outside of their own borders and probably watch too much Fox news. Not going to start a political rant hear but ignorance is not bliss when you have the global responsibilities and influence that the US has.