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Old Feb 15, 2012, 10:55 AM   #26
mikefla
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Originally Posted by Bubba Satori View Post
It's a conspiracy of Apple haterz.

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Old Feb 15, 2012, 10:55 AM   #27
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I've been into many factories inside China for many years (not the Foxcoon's). From the photos I see of Foxconn, they are by far the cleanest and nicest.

I think there are always workers who liked to complaint, but I'll willing to bet most of the Foxconn worker are happier to work there and may other factories. Look at the long lines applying for openings...
Exactly. Out of 1.x million workers, all you have to find are the 0.001% outliers.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 10:56 AM   #28
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Market and competition are what they are. If you are a young company, or struggling financially, you have to do whatever you can to stay afloat, so long as it is legal, and that includes taking advantage of cheap labor and lenient regulations in China.

But when you're a company like Apple that sits on a huge pile of cash and you're not even using it to pay dividends to your shareholders, I think it's absolutely fair to be openly criticized and held accountable to a higher standard of ethics.

Even more so when said company communicates on and takes advantage of its hip and environment friendly reputation.

So sorry but I don't buy the argument "it's better than most other factories in China." By this reasoning, any complaint is invalid because you can always find something worst. It's like saying, "US workers shouldn't receive any benefit because some US citizens don't even have a job at all."

If a US worker works for a company that can afford better protection than other companies while still retaining comfortable profit margins, why shouldn't he get it? And why should it be any different in China?
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 10:56 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Consultant View Post
That's surprising, since some media sites with no first hand experience called it a hell hole.
Spending 3-4 weeks doing an audit is certainly more thorough (and more valid) than a media hit-and-run. Rational trumps passionate. Over weeks it's very difficult for a company to hide problems from on-site auditors. I certainly hope the previously reported abuses have been corrected or shown to be exaggerated or untrue.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 10:56 AM   #30
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Users of other manufacturer's devices can rest easily...

...knowing that the Asian factories where those devices are built are run entirely by worker-centric, consensus-based committees, where the needs of the worker are put first.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 10:58 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by MacLoverUK View Post
This completely ignores the myriad of other reasons why people kill themselves: Marital Problems, Relationship Breakups, Sexual Orientation Issues (in a country where it's illegal), Gambling Debts... the list is endless, and none of which have any bearing on where they work!
While I agree with you that there are all kinds of different reasons why people commit suicide and we'll never know the reasons for the suicides that Foxconn, when people commit suicide at work, it's usually for occupational reasons.

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Originally Posted by pdjudd View Post
Hard to do since the FLA doesn't focus on electronics firms and they are never typically audited in the first place. The only comparisons the can make are with other organizations that they audit or with what's publicly available.
Is there no organisation that specialises on electronics companies? Who picked the FLA in the first place?
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:00 AM   #32
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Labor me this

Why aren't Foxconn's labor issues China's problem? This is backasswards.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:00 AM   #33
Kid A
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Originally Posted by ILikeTurtles View Post
I couldn't care less about fair labor - I'm an American. Just give me my shiny, new Apple products.
sarcasm, i hope?
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:02 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by mikefla View Post
It's very easy to impress someone when you know they are coming! BTW, why doesn't some of these audit fools actually spend at least 1 full week eating/living/sleeping in the same facilities that these people live in? Don't expect anything negative to come out in the open about these audits. It's pure Politics and meant to make Apple look good. The truth is these factories are the equivalent of modern day slavery and people spend most of the year inside them and that is why they kill themselves because they can't even see their families and they are probably not allowed to communicate with them either or their families are too damn poor to be able to afford a computer, internet access or even a telephone.

-Mike
Just how uneducated can one be? To many assumptions and probably's for this comment to even be well founded.

Factories are factories and production is what they do. If it can't be done by machines it requires people. These people need to be managed.

NOBODY is forced to work at FoxConn, but lots of people want to.

Do not tell us about alternatives when there aren't any. Line production is boring, but necessary.

Colored screw drivers won't change that.

Can't believe I am responding to such a clueless post:-)
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:02 AM   #35
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I remember reading an article, think it was Wired, saying "should we feel responsible for the deaths at Foxconn?" the writer said yes we should. However, the article also told how Foxconn, though having its suicides, is a better place to work than many other factories in China.

One reason is they have dorms and computer/internet use. Some Factories have the laborers sleep under their machine or on the factory floor while not on duty…and they may run a 24-hour shift with 2-3 workers per machine/station. There is a mall on site as they want to keep everyone moderately happy and on-campus so there is no lost travel/commute time.

And another thing to note is clothing factories don't need to be regulated by humidity and heat as much as electronics factories.

So, are conditions worse for a Chinese Factory worker than an American Factory worker: Yes.
Is Foxconn a better factory for a laborer than many other Chinese factories: Yes


While visiting Costa Rica, I was taken aback by the shacks I saw without real windows and made of scrap pieces of metal, but almost every shack had a Satellite TV Antenna on it. It hit me, and after talking with some locals, that they don't need the insulation like we would in the US for "frigid" temperatures, and they can "get by" with these shacks, it isn't a problem, they spend their money on other things they want, like the Sat TV.
So, we may look at others and complain but first we really need to see the issue from their side.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:03 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Yinmay View Post
Market and competition are what they are. If you are a young company, or struggling financially, you have to do whatever you can to stay afloat, so long as it is legal, and that includes taking advantage of cheap labor and lenient regulations in China.

But when you're a company like Apple that sits on a huge pile of cash and you're not even using it to pay dividends to your shareholders, I think it's absolutely fair to be openly criticized and held accountable to a higher standard of ethics.

Even more so when said company communicates on and takes advantage of its hip and environment friendly reputation.

So sorry but I don't buy the argument "it's better than most other factories in China." By this reasoning, any complaint is invalid because you can always find something worst. It's like saying, "US workers shouldn't receive any benefit because some US citizens don't even have a job at all."

If a US worker works for a company that can afford better protection than other companies while still retaining comfortable profit margins, why shouldn't he get it? And why should it be any different in China?
I'm a shareholder and I could care less about a dividend.

I'll take my $355 to $526 and climbing profit just in the last few months over a stupid dividend.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:04 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by fabian9 View Post
While I agree with you that there are all kinds of different reasons why people commit suicide and we'll never know the reasons for the suicides that Foxconn, when people commit suicide at work, it's usually for occupational reasons.
Yes, and they didn't. The buildings with the nets around them, famed and reviled throughout the blogosphere, were residential buildings. Not the work itself.

And yes, I'm sure they'd rather live in a suburban white-picket-fence-two-cats-in-the-yard freestanding house rather than an anonymous 'hotel room' in an employer-owned apartment building, or even a dorm in same -- but to the best of my knowledge it's not like those white-picket-fence houses even exist around there, let alone that they could afford it. On *any* salary in China, apart from Party higher-ups.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:05 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Consultant View Post
That's surprising, since some media sites with no first hand experience called it a hell hole.
Its all relative compared to what you have seen/are used to.

Compared to other hell holes it might be 1st glass, compared to US conditions it might be a hell hole.

I do not think 1st class means the same in china as it does in the west, especially in the context of a factory and being a communist state, just saying.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:06 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by fabian9 View Post
While I agree with you that there are all kinds of different reasons why people commit suicide and we'll never know the reasons for the suicides that Foxconn, when people commit suicide at work, it's usually for occupational reasons.
Don't these people live at work though... in dorms? Where the heck else could they commit suicide? I'm not trying to defend Apple by asking that (I actually think that sounds like a pretty miserable arrangement)... I'm just asking.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:06 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by mikefla View Post
It's very easy to impress someone when you know they are coming! BTW, why doesn't some of these audit fools actually spend at least 1 full week eating/living/sleeping in the same facilities that these people live in? Don't expect anything negative to come out in the open about these audits. It's pure Politics and meant to make Apple look good. The truth is these factories are the equivalent of modern day slavery and people spend most of the year inside them and that is why they kill themselves because they can't even see their families and they are probably not allowed to communicate with them either or their families are too damn poor to be able to afford a computer, internet access or even a telephone.

-Mike
Sad thing is, the media follow this post's logic. "Let's prove Apple doesn't care.:
Then Apple is first tech company to engage FLA. "FLA is meaningless and not to be trusted, no matter what the facts say."

Then Apple launches the largest audit ever conducted in any tech facility in the world and the naysayers chime in. "Well, the audit is flawed and you can't trust them; they're not living there a week, working by them" (as if ANY audit by corporate/government audits do this.

Then throw out some unsubstantiated hyperbole (ALWAYS attracts sales/ratings/hit mongers like:" they can't even see their families and they are probably not allowed to communicate with them either."

And make sure you don't compare; suicide rates with national or corporate averages in China; wage rates for unskilled assembly line workers, many of whom have never made this much money and are from rural areas (not unlike workers from Mexico who work for pennies an hour picking grapes, cabbage, berries while also doing housework for politicians who offer them protection as long as they don't get uppity).

And, for sure, don't think you can interest the media in these workers. It's too close to home. Better to go after Apple not altering the economic structure and working conditions a few thousand miles away where people fight for these jobs.

Sorry, we've got too many problems at home that need serious addressing before becoming messianic in converting other cultures, and maybe thousands of people who are making a wage for their families back home, would just as soon we not be their representatives. Apple has made a huge impact nd conditions have improved. Now how about the same thing in the US? Up to doing something about that, or just on the bandwagon finding fault with the big A?
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:06 AM   #41
paul4339
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Originally Posted by Consultant View Post
That's surprising, since some media sites with no first hand experience called it a hell hole.
bingo, many of these media sites, try make a story and sensationalize things to get more readers... many of them don't have the resources to even do fact checking or investigation, they just stereotype all Asian factories as the same...



Quote:
"... It's more a function of monotony, of boredom, ...."
Sound like half of the jobs in america.

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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:07 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
They've got a narrative to push and they won't let facts get in the way.
Seems that view could be applied equally to both sides.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:07 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by HurtinMinorKey View Post
These were not surprise inspections, so they're pretty much useless.
Somehow, I think a factory plant the size of Foxconn's you can't quickly "sweep things under the carpet" before company shows up and look good.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:10 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by angrynstupid View Post
Why aren't Foxconn's labor issues China's problem? This is backasswards.
'cause the american media are the ones batchin' about it...

i figure they're just providing employment to the welfare class... so we get ipads out of it... our welfare class just gives us dookie on the street.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:10 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by JasperJanssen View Post
Yes, and they didn't. The buildings with the nets around them, famed and reviled throughout the blogosphere, were residential buildings. Not the work itself.
No need for the nets at work, the doors and windows are secured and you have to get past the guards before you can take the leap

Point being missed here... why do the residence even have the nets? Those living conditions must really suck if the factory is 1st class.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:11 AM   #46
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While it is encouraging to see americans worried about worker rights, and to see an american company go to such great lengths to improve working conditions at its plants in china, I find it baffling that the working conditions of Foxconn employees working on Apple products in China has resulted in public outrage across the country while our food is being picked by people in far greater oppression (often literal slavery) right here in our own country.

Where is the national news coverage and public outrage about farm worker working conditions in the United States?
You wish Apple made some stuff from farm products. Headlines would have then been inevitable.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:13 AM   #47
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Unfortunately, like with Greenpeace a few years ago, Apple was already doing the Right Thing™ and well ahead of the curve, but being the easy and fashionable target that they are, a beat-up by someone looking to make a name for themselves results in Apple having to stick it on their front page.

It's not that the conditions at contractors' sites where their products are made are now (or even needed to be) any better, or that their products were not already environmentally conscious, but now they - and for some reason, few others - have to hold a press conference to put the scandal-monkeys back in their faeces-stained little barrel. That Apple weren't already trumpeting it from the castle walls being the only mistake they actually made.

Sadly, it's too late - the scandal-rags have already made a little extra pocket-money from a temporary influx of site clicks, and will spin it as them having changed the way the big evil giant does business, having taught Apple a lesson.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:13 AM   #48
Yinmay
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Originally Posted by Ryth View Post
I'm a shareholder and I could care less about a dividend.

I'll take my $355 to $526 and climbing profit just in the last few months over a stupid dividend.
And? what does it have anything to do with my argument or the present issue of workers condition?

I am not questioning whether AAPL is a good investment, and you're totally right, it's a great investment even without dividends.

I am only putting into question how Apple chooses to spend its money. And this is where the dividends argument is relevant: "they can't argue they can't afford to improve worker conditions because they're not spending all their cash on other legitimate expenditures, such as payment of dividends."

To add insult to injury, because interest rates are so low these days, they're losing money (w/ inflation) on this pile. Sorry this is just poor corporate governance, no matter how you look at it. But please I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:15 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by fabian9 View Post
Is there no organisation that specialises on electronics companies?
None that I am aware of - most companies do no auditing and there is no legal requirement to perform them. Certainly HP, Dell, Lenovo, ASUS, or anybody else does what Apple does. Any sort of auditing would be purely private.

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Who picked the FLA in the first place?
Apple did most likely - Cook made the announcement that they would join them at their last investor call if I remember right.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 11:17 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by AmbitiousLemon View Post
While it is encouraging to see americans worried about worker rights, and to see an american company go to such great lengths to improve working conditions at its plants in china, I find it baffling that the working conditions of Foxconn employees working on Apple products in China has resulted in public outrage across the country while our food is being picked by people in far greater oppression (often literal slavery) right here in our own country.

Where is the national news coverage and public outrage about farm worker working conditions in the United States?
Ah, but see, those are the "illegal" immigrants working those most likely.

Which this country is of two minds:
1) They should be kicked out cause they're stealing our jobs, rah rah rah!
2) You silly people, no one here will take those jobs anyways (which is true, look at I think it was Alabama that has implemented a more effective program to keep them from getting jobs and now there is a worker shortage there), if they get kicked out, who are we going to exploit to pay less than min wage and get bad working conditions? We think we're giving the nice argument to argue them staying in (so we can exploit them).

Funny thing about 2 is they think they are arguing the good argument (they don't think about the actual fact that the reason they are the only ones who will take those jobs and the reason prices would go up if we didn't have them is because they are exploited because they can't complain or they get kicked out ... which of course would make group 1 happy).

Basically, this country needs them if it wants to enjoy prices not going up severely. Group 1 doesn't realize that, group 2 does. Neither are really arguing for the welfare of the exploited group but 2 thinks they are.
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