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Old Aug 18, 2006, 01:23 PM   #1
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Apple: Long hours at China iPod plant




Category: Apple Hardware
Link: Apple: Long hours at China iPod plant
Description:: Apple Computer said on Friday that its main supplier of iPod music players let employees in a China plant work longer hours than allowed by Apple's code of conduct, and that it had taken steps to address the issue.

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Old Aug 18, 2006, 01:39 PM   #2
rvernout
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From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5262110.stm :

Apple said the hours were "excessive" and said its supplier would now be enforcing a "normal" 60-hour week.

The audit team said staff earned "at least the local minimum wage" and that half of the 100 people it interviewed earned above that amount.

Apple did not specify what the minimum wage for the area was but the original report in the Mail on Sunday said staff earned as little as 27 a month.


27 = 40 = $ 52 per month, that's about $0.20 / hour, just that you know
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvernout
From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/5262110.stm :

Apple said the hours were "excessive" and said its supplier would now be enforcing a "normal" 60-hour week.

The audit team said staff earned "at least the local minimum wage" and that half of the 100 people it interviewed earned above that amount.

Apple did not specify what the minimum wage for the area was but the original report in the Mail on Sunday said staff earned as little as 27 a month.


27 = 40 = $ 52 per month, that's about $0.20 / hour, just that you know

It's always tough to gauge a "fair wage" from one country to the next. Just look at the dramatic price ranges for homes in the US from state to state and even town to town within the same state. I'm not saying that pay rate is good or bad.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 02:27 PM   #4
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Once again, CNet butchers the subject.

Read Apple's report for a much more complete story.

While there were some areas below Apple's standards, most of what they saw was OK. Nothing was as disgusting as the original accusations were claiming.

As for pay scales, you can't judge. A subsistence wage in California (or Amsterdam, or London) is going to be much much higher than in China. Without knowing what the cost of living is there, you can't possibly judge whether their wages are fair.

Like it or not, it is not the place of Europeans and Americans to dictate Chinese minimum wage laws.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 07:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino
Once again, CNet butchers the subject.

Read Apple's report for a much more complete story.

While there were some areas below Apple's standards, most of what they saw was OK. Nothing was as disgusting as the original accusations were claiming.

As for pay scales, you can't judge. A subsistence wage in California (or Amsterdam, or London) is going to be much much higher than in China. Without knowing what the cost of living is there, you can't possibly judge whether their wages are fair.

Like it or not, it is not the place of Europeans and Americans to dictate Chinese minimum wage laws.
So true. I remember being told about the first time the Big 3 tried to set up shops in Mexico... they tried paying wages at or near the wages being made by workers up here in the states. They had a greater than 100% turnover rate (as in, over the course of a year, they cycled through more than a full set of employees). Why? Because the pay rate was so high for that economy that people would work for 9 months, then move back home with their family and live like kings for 5 years... and then come back.

In the end, pay was cut to about 1/3 of the original rate to keep workers from leaving (and thus decreasing turnover by huge amounts).

Moral of the story? Don't judge another country's economy based on what you're used to seeing, and don't assume that because a worker is being paid a wage that you couldn't live off of that it's somehow the same situation for him - it could be fantastic wages in his situation...
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 07:40 PM   #6
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To reduce the number of employees who want to work over 60 hours would entail employing more workers. I also note that the largest complaint that workers had (20%) was the lack of overtime during off peak times, which would not be alleviated by employing more staff. It would appear that stopping workers who willingly work over 60 hours (as I used to do in my job) would be detrimental to the chinese workers, it's political correctness gorn mad.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 08:08 PM   #7
rvernout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Knob
It's always tough to gauge a "fair wage" from one country to the next. Just look at the dramatic price ranges for homes in the US from state to state and even town to town within the same state. I'm not saying that pay rate is good or bad.
i didn't mean to judge. Probably, no sure, the people in China are happy with it. I just wanted to indicate what amount of labour wages Apple puts into your iPod.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 08:18 PM   #8
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Considering that the company created a whole villlage for their workers helps a lot, unless of course, they're charging outrageous money for any purchases they might make.

The environment is probably a lot cleaner and happier than where they might be living otherwise. If you can imagine living in a house with dirt floors and no thing but a whole where the windows would be, you can understand what I mean.

I'm sure that the workers are enthusiastic about making money since the whole country is experiencing an overload of materialism after years of very little. Of course, they might want to work overtime simply because there isn't anything else to do.

Even though the people aren't getting much money, you have to wonder how much the employer is making on the investment and how much the manufacturing costs add to the cost of the iPod.
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