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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:32 PM   #1
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Efforts by Apple and Foxconn to Improve Electronics Industry Labor Conditions Starting to Take Hold




In the latest installment of its "iEconomy" series, The New York Times takes a look at the advances made by Apple and Foxconn to improve working conditions at the Chinese factories churning out Apple products since a major push began earlier this year. The report details many changes such as wage increases and shorter working hour limits that have previously been disclosed, but also takes a peek behind the scenes to offer a glimpse of how executives at both companies have reacted to the situation.

The report shares details on a meeting between Apple and Foxconn executives and representatives of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which began independent monitoring of working conditions earlier this year. At the meeting, FLA president Auret van Heerden outlined a number of shortcomings found in Foxconn's facilities.
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"The world is watching!" [Foxconn chairman Terry] Gou yelled, according to multiple people. "We are going to fix this, right here!"

But the inspector was not done.

He turned to the only Apple executive in the room, the senior vice president for operations, Jeff Williams. Apple needed to change as well, the inspector said. Apple, to its credit, had been working for years to improve conditions in overseas factories, but the company was treating such problems too much like engineering puzzles, the inspector said.

"Long-term solutions require a messier, more human approach," that inspector, Auret van Heerden of the Fair Labor Association, told Mr. Williams. Instead of concentrating on writing more policies, Apple needed to listen better to workers' complaints and advocacy groups' recommendations.
Williams was reportedly surprised by some of the suggestions, as Apple had long prided itself on its thorough auditing processes. But upon returning to California, Williams and Apple moved quickly to address the issues, reaching out to advocacy groups and instituting additional changes.
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Among them, say people with firsthand knowledge, was the hiring of roughly 30 professionals into Apple's social responsibility unit in the last year, which tripled the size of that division and brought high-profile corporate activists into the company. Two widely respected former Apple executives -- Jacky Haynes and Bob Bainbridge -- were recruited back to help lead the unit, reporting ultimately to Mr. Williams and the chief executive, Timothy D. Cook.

"Everyone knows Bob and Jacky," said a former Apple executive. "It sends a message that Jeff and Tim expect everyone to get on board."
Despite the changes that do appear to be making an impact on working conditions, some advocates indicate that Apple could be doing even more. In particular, the company's penchant for secrecy is reportedly hindering industry-wide sharing of knowledge to help root out noncompliant suppliers and prevent workplace incidents such as dust explosions that have killed and injured workers at Apple-affiliated factories.

The report also notes how the changes being instituted by Apple and Foxconn have been leading to changes throughout the industry, pointing to PC giant Hewlett Packard and contract manufacturer Quanta as examples of those companies making changes in line with those employed in Apple's supply chain.

Article Link: Efforts by Apple and Foxconn to Improve Electronics Industry Labor Conditions Starting to Take Hold
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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the good thing about apple is that the one step forward will not be followed by two steps backwards
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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Price Increases Coming?

Samsung put the price of its components up by 20% (to Apple only?) and Apple responds by ditching the internal optical drive on the iMac (expensive to replace if it craps out under warranty) and glues the screen to the computer.

Now cheap ass labour looks as though it may be coming to end? So what next Tim? Thinner external optical drives?
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by deanbo View Post
Samsung put the price of its components up by 20% (to Apple only?) and Apple responds by ditching the internal optical drive on the iMac (expensive to replace if it craps out under warranty) and glues the screen to the computer.

Now cheap ass labour looks as though it may be coming to end? So what next Tim? Thinner external optical drives?
What the hell are you rambling on about?
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanbo View Post
Samsung put the price of its components up by 20% (to Apple only?) and Apple responds by ditching the internal optical drive on the iMac (expensive to replace if it craps out under warranty) and glues the screen to the computer.

Now cheap ass labour looks as though it may be coming to end? So what next Tim? Thinner external optical drives?
What the heck are you talking about? Samsung did not raise prices on Apple by 20%. That report was quickly changed to say that it was not the case.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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So what next Tim?
Robots.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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The average fanboy doesn't care about human slavery...since it happens to them, over there !
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:00 PM   #8
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This is a good sign, and a step in the right direction. Hopefully conditions will continue to improve throughout the coming year, and the next iPhone refresh.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mike84 View Post
What the heck are you talking about? Samsung did not raise prices on Apple by 20%. That report was quickly changed to say that it was not the case.
And what does that have to do with the topic of this thread?

----------

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Originally Posted by markcres View Post
The average fanboy doesn't care about human slavery...since it happens to them, over there !
Slavery? I'm assuming then you don't own any Apple products and if you do, you you won't be purchasing any in the future and will only buy electronics and other goods from companies that do not engage in "slavery".
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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Foxconn worker commits suicide.
Twice.

"After 40 days working in Foxconn's Shenzhen factory, a 18-year-old male twice jumped off the same hotel building to commit suicide, according to a local newspaper's report.

The man, only identified as Li, tried to kill himself by leaping out of the stairwell window between the third and fourth floor in a hotel in Shenzhen around 5.30pm on Dec. 10, 2012. The local police said that he was likely caught by the advertising board and survived the first fall, but then he went to a higher level in the same building to jump again."

http://www.zdnet.com/cn/foxconn-work...ed-7000009152/

I guess he found out about the accelerated iPad release schedule.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:17 PM   #11
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Robots.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:19 PM   #12
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Foxconn improves, still 1 million companies in the BRICS need to follow...
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bubba Satori View Post
Foxconn worker commits suicide.
Twice.

"After 40 days working in Foxconn's Shenzhen factory, a 18-year-old male twice jumped off the same hotel building to commit suicide, according to a local newspaper's report.

The man, only identified as Li, tried to kill himself by leaping out of the stairwell window between the third and fourth floor in a hotel in Shenzhen around 5.30pm on Dec. 10, 2012. The local police said that he was likely caught by the advertising board and survived the first fall, but then he went to a higher level in the same building to jump again."

http://www.zdnet.com/cn/foxconn-work...ed-7000009152/

I guess he found out about the accelerated iPad release schedule.
Last I read, the suicide rate among FoxConn workers was lower than China, and lower than the world. People that work for General Electric commit suicide too. Correlation does not mean causation.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:28 PM   #14
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Nice

At least things are going in the correct direction. It could be worse. Lot's of Stereotypes to get past.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:46 PM   #15
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••this post has been deleted by the author***

Last edited by bpbatch; Mar 26, 2014 at 02:47 PM.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 04:55 PM   #16
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Hopefully this helps gets the ball rolling in an global-wide effort to curb exploitative and abusive business practices against workers. One of the biggest hurdles, IMO, is going to be changing a business leadership culture that currently puts near term profits and the bottom line above all else. As long as some companies see a competitive advantage in exploiting labor then other companies will feel pressured to follow suit in order to stay competitive.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markcres View Post
The average fanboy doesn't care about human slavery...since it happens to them, over there !
The problem is on a world wide basis the factories in China aren't that bad. What is bad is the reporting that exploits the tragedies there for whatever evil intent the reporter has. It is especially perplexing considering all of the suicides and murders that happen in the US that nobody cares about. The reality is your only alternative for dealing with the mentally ill is a padded room with a good lock or a hangmans noose. Much of what we see people responding too is a rather sad indication as to how gullible many Anericans are.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Satori View Post
Foxconn worker commits suicide.
Twice.

"After 40 days working in Foxconn's Shenzhen factory, a 18-year-old male twice jumped off the same hotel building to commit suicide, according to a local newspaper's report.

The man, only identified as Li, tried to kill himself by leaping out of the stairwell window between the third and fourth floor in a hotel in Shenzhen around 5.30pm on Dec. 10, 2012. The local police said that he was likely caught by the advertising board and survived the first fall, but then he went to a higher level in the same building to jump again."

http://www.zdnet.com/cn/foxconn-work...ed-7000009152/

I guess he found out about the accelerated iPad release schedule.
Nope it is mental illness about which there is little you can do.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Satori View Post
Foxconn worker commits suicide.
Twice.

I guess he found out about the accelerated iPad release schedule.
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, but using the death of a person the way you do is absolutely disgusting. Would you be willing to read your post to the parents of this worker in person?

And since you are so good at guessing why people commit suicide, what do you think is the reason for 40,000 suicides every year in the USA?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Earendil View Post
Last I read, the suicide rate among FoxConn workers was lower than China, and lower than the world. People that work for General Electric commit suicide too. Correlation does not mean causation.
The suicide rate at Foxconn is lower than the murder rate against US retail workers doing their job. And there is actually a word that entered the English language: "Going postal" because of US employees in boring jobs going to work heavily armed and starting killing their collegues.

Last edited by gnasher729; Dec 27, 2012 at 05:29 PM.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:29 PM   #19
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In particular, the company's penchant for secrecy is reportedly hindering industry-wide sharing of knowledge to help root out noncompliant suppliers and prevent workplace incidents such as dust explosions that have killed and injured workers at Apple-affiliated factories.
Let's see if I understand. If Apple allows the media into more of their factories, the media geniuses will notice engineering or other potential health hazards and stop them? Uh huh.

Media = end of our civilization.

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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
Hopefully this helps gets the ball rolling
You realize that's what even the headline says.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by markcres View Post
The average fanboy doesn't care about human slavery...since it happens to them, over there !
And Apple is the only one making electronics in China?

Seems Apple is working pretty hard to make sure conditions improve at Foxconn and working pretty hard at bringing some manufacturing back to the US.

Seems the non-fanboys should look around before bashing.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:32 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=wizard;16562665]The problem is on a world wide basis the factories in China aren't that bad. What is bad is the reporting that exploits the tragedies there for whatever evil intent the reporter has. It is especially perplexing considering all of the suicides and murders that happen in the US that nobody cares about. The reality is your only alternative for dealing with the mentally ill is a padded room with a good lock or a hangmans noose. Much of what we see people responding too is a rather sad indication as to how gullible many Americans are.[COLOR="#808080"]

Obviously nobody is interested in a report that says:

In todays news all factories in China were running smoothly.

Nobody is out of a job and every worker met his/her quota, is health insured (Hello America!!) has a safe retirement fund (Hello America!) gets paid more than minimum wage (Hello America!)

Plus, they now all get colored screwdrivers for employee appreciation.

In short, until people become educated and look further than their apartment door, they will fall for sensationalist reporting all the time.
(And get bored with a subject after 3 days of over reporting)
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:34 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
And since you are so good at guessing why people commit suicide...
What guessing?

"He called me the night before and said that he did not want to work for Foxconn anymore."

You should have read the article.
Not that it would have changed your attitude.
You're too morally invested in your iStuff.
Carry on. It's obviously a conspiracy.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:41 PM   #23
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These comments are so ill informed that frankly I don't know what to say. You really can't believe everything you read in the newspaper. Some of the nonsense gets proven wrong if you follow the stories long enough and others are just fantasies more than reality.

I've personally have been in plants in Brazil, Ireland and Germany and honestly folks the workers in the USA get treated like crap in comparison. Spend some time outside of your office cubicle and actually see what is going on in the real world. All of this nonsense doesn't reflect the reality of the situation, of you want to get the ball rolling start right here in the USA.

By the way, it isn't corporations that are a big problem in the USA, government regulation plays a big part in the problem. If you have a good production run for a quarter you have your hands literally tied when it comes to any sort of reward because everything is seen as taxable by the government. You can't even issue gift cards for the local grocery store for Thanksgiving without an accountant some placing insisting it is taxable income and he is only doing so due to government regulation.

Take a view of manufacturing in Brazil where some plants underwrite the cost of food in the plant dining facilities. You might think OK but that is terrible cafeteria food and you would be wrong. It is very high quality food and puts what is served in most US plants to shame, actually most US restaurants for that matter.

The idea that manufacturing plants outside of the USA are somehow universally managed in horrific ways is fantasy. Sure people are expected to work and maybe that is what people in the US are afraid of. I really don't know what the issue is here but I really think we need to eliminate welfare in the US, for people capable of working and let them go hungry. Because frankly we are through the media supporting the wrong causes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
Hopefully this helps gets the ball rolling in an global-wide effort to curb exploitative and abusive business practices against workers. One of the biggest hurdles, IMO, is going to be changing a business leadership culture that currently puts near term profits and the bottom line above all else. As long as some companies see a competitive advantage in exploiting labor then other companies will feel pressured to follow suit in order to stay competitive.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:51 PM   #24
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Guess this is a good for the workers.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 05:52 PM   #25
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This, from the expired TJIC.com, always seems fitting for the thread's recurring topic and the invariable wallowing outrage it elicits:

---

Say that we had first contact with some super (economically) advanced aliens.

…and pretty soon they set up factories here.

…and I was offered a job in one of these factories, doing software engineering.

The pay is $400k/year.

The work week is 20 hours long.

The work environment is far better than I’m used to – great internal decoration, well tended plants, a zen-like water garden near my desk, massages every other day.

…and then left-wing alien “sentient being rights activists” started protesting, because I was being forced to work for less than a quarter of the prevailing wage in Alpha Centauri, and my work hours were twice as long as the legal norms in Alpha Centauri, and I didn’t have every mandatory benefits like “other other year off”, and “free AI musical composition mentoring”.

…and then left-wing alien “sentient being rights activists” wanted to make it illegal for my employer and I to contract with each other at mutually beneficial terms.

…then I would be rip **** that some elitist who had never visited me, or knew of my actual alternatives on the ground presumed to decide that I shouldn’t have this opportunity.

Which brings me to my core point: Chinese factory conditions may not be the exact cup of tea for a San Francisco graphic designer or a Connecticut non-profit ecologist grant writer … but they’re, by definition, better than all the other alternatives available to the Chinese workers (or the factories would find it impossible to staff up).

Butt out, clueless activists.
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