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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,596
19,341


The Mac web is buzzing with a report yesterday by ChinaCSR , 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.

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 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.
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,900
5,180
Twin Cities Minnesota
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.

Report said:
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.
 

fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
Thank you

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.
 

lonepilgrim

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2006
142
0
London
Macrumors said:
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.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,778
6,088
Canada
"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??!!!!
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
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

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2004
1,291
0
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

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,580
4
Randy's House
Stella said:
"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.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
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

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,896
729
Redondo Beach, California
Stella said:
"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.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
4,814
2,845
Not far from Boston, MA.
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

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2004
2,211
1
Chi-il
Gasu E. said:
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

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2001
880
0
South of Boston, MA
So....

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.
 

harveypooka

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2004
1,291
0
whatever said:
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

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2002
1,256
961
Macrumors said:


The Mac web is buzzing with a report yesterday by ChinaCSR , ...Foxconn denied claims 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

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2001
880
0
South of Boston, MA
said:
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

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
Stella said:
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

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
1,152
1,374
california
generik said:
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

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2006
43
0
Macrumors said:

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.
 
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