Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Report Examines Labor Violations at Apple Supplier's Malaysian Plant

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,508
11,885



In a lengthy piece detailing the hardships that workers in Apple's supply chain can face, Bloomberg follows the story of a factory worker at Flextronics International, a contract manufacturer based in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur that produced camera parts for the iPhone 5.

Ahead of the launch of the iPhone 5, Flextronics had to significantly ramp up production, hiring a 1,500 new employees via brokers and recruiters in Nepal, Malaysia, and surrounding areas. Because factory jobs are highly desired, many families pay upfront fees to brokers to acquire the positions, resulting in loans that can take "imported" workers years to pay off, with factory managers controlling when workers are able to leave.

Inside a Flextronics factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal
For the iPhone 5 rollout, a recruiter working for Flextronics contacted four brokers in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, in late August and early September, urgently seeking 1,500 men to make cameras, according to three of the four brokers. The pressure to move so many men so quickly was unprecedented. "The recruitment agency was telling me, 'We need these workers, you have to send them by today,'" says Rajan Shrestha, managing director of a small company called Sharp Human Resources.
The frenzy to hire workers was how one Nepalese man, Bibek Dhong, found himself paying $250 and handing over his passport to a recruiter who promised him a good job. Dhong was forced to pay another $500 to a broker (6 months of his wages from his former job as a dairy farmer) and sign a debt agreement stating he would pay $400 more. Dhong was told to keep his broker fees secret, as Apple has a policy that prevents excessive charges by recruiters.


Click here to read rest of article...

Article Link: Report Examines Labor Violations at Apple Supplier's Malaysian Plant
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
3
PA
That's disgusting. Apparently Apple's inspections aren't digging deep enough. Poor working conditions and bad pay, in the US too.
 

likemyorbs

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,956
5
NJ
Good. For what I pay for my products they damn well better be made with sweat shop labor and children's tears.
 

Sodner

macrumors 68020
Jan 12, 2011
2,089
46
Pittsburgh, PA
Ya, Apple is the only one using these plants to build products. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

It's all Apple's fault. HP, Samsung, Acer, Moto, etc., etc., all use air conditioned plants in the US where emplyees work from the comfort of a Lazy Boy reclinder for $60 an hour working just three 7 hour days a week but get paid for 40 hours.
 

IbisDoc

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2010
508
347
Ya, Apple is the only one using these plants to build products. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

It's all Apple's fault.

As the industry leader, which they happily celebrate, they should be setting an example for everyone else. Not to mention their CEO is happy to support liberal ideas and individuals when it suits him.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Funny how all these labor violation stories always single out Apple even though the facilities produce products for other top end electronics companies. Then there are companies that produce in other facilities and never called out. And finally, all these facilities are in countries that are U.N. members and supposedly pledged to the U.N's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet its condemnation is as loud as a sugar ant. Makes you think it's more about trying to knock Apple down than actually help abused workers.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,089
27,665
how does tim sleep at night ? besides on his million dollar bed sheets

How about all the people who complain about this yet continue to purchase Apple products. Put your money where your mouth is if it bothers you so.
 

mbh

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2002
400
73
Funny how all these labor violation stories always single out Apple even though the facilities produce products for other top end electronics companies. Then there are companies that produce in other facilities and never called out. And finally, all these facilities are in countries that are U.N. members and supposedly pledged to the U.N's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet its condemnation is as loud as a sugar ant. Makes you think it's more about trying to knock Apple down than actually help abused workers.

Put "Apple" in the headline: more attention, more hits, more $$$.

Put "Asus" in the headline: who?
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,735
508
Redondo Beach, California
Apple could put and end to this tomorrow if they cared to. They need to write their contract such that the payments will be reduced if certain labor conditions are not met.

For examples, the company (Foxcon) is required to pay loads to brokers out of profits. The practice would stop overnight with conditions like that.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Put "Apple" in the headline: more attention, more hits, more $$$.

Put "Asus" in the headline: who?

Sure, but what about Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, Epson, Microsoft, LG... could go on an on. All these companies use Foxconn and Flextronics to build some of their devices. Those are not "Who?" brands.
 

CodexMonkey

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2012
72
16
More and more I’m coming the realise that the world is god-awful place. We should destroy it now and get Apple to build us a better one - 20% smaller and having much longer life with minimal charge.

If they can hire the staff to build it, that is.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,412
4,676
That's disgusting. Apparently Apple's inspections aren't digging deep enough. Poor working conditions and bad pay, in the US too.

WTF are you talking about? Inspections can't prevent problems, they detect problems and fix them. In this case, the situation is quite clear: As soon as Apple finds out, the supplier has the choice of refunding this money to the worker, or losing its contract with Apple. If you read Apple's reports, there have been several million dollars refunded to workers.
 

Sodner

macrumors 68020
Jan 12, 2011
2,089
46
Pittsburgh, PA
Funny how all these labor violation stories always single out Apple even though the facilities produce products for other top end electronics companies. Then there are companies that produce in other facilities and never called out. And finally, all these facilities are in countries that are U.N. members and supposedly pledged to the U.N's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, yet its condemnation is as loud as a sugar ant. Makes you think it's more about trying to knock Apple down than actually help abused workers.

I totally agree. I don't thing I have ever seen ANY other electronic companies inlucded in these type of reports yet probably right next to the line producing Apple iPhones is another producing something for Toshiba, Sony, HP, etc. :rolleyes:
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,412
4,676
And we are suppose to care because DHONG was doing something crooked to get the job and got burned?

Yes, actually. Because he didn't do anything crooked. The recruiter did something crooked by exploiting people who can't get a job unless they go through a recruiter who rips them off.

Of course _you_ don't need to care. Apple does and has fixed that kind of problem in the past. Repeatedly.

Apple could put and end to this tomorrow if they cared to. They need to write their contract such that the payments will be reduced if certain labor conditions are not met.

For examples, the company (Foxcon) is required to pay loads to brokers out of profits. The practice would stop overnight with conditions like that.

Guess what Apple has in their contracts. Guess why the recruiter told the workers to tell nobody about this. Because he knows that when Apple finds out, they will point to company to the terms in their contracts which force them to refund the money, which will make the company very angry with the recruiter (and if they are not totally stupid, they will have the same terms in their contract with the recruiter).

As the industry leader, which they happily celebrate, they should be setting an example for everyone else. Not to mention their CEO is happy to support liberal ideas and individuals when it suits him.

If you could be bothered to read the article, there's a link to Apple's document that describes exactly what Apple is doing and how they are indeed setting an example. They can't prevent **** from happening, but they sure do their best to fix it.
 
Last edited:

s2mikey

Suspended
Sep 23, 2013
2,490
4,248
Upstate, NY
This clearly NOT just an Apple problem but as someone else said, they *could* take the lead and do away with this crap. They could EASILY afford to make the stuff here - sure, it'd get the panties of the investors all twisted up and turd-stained but who really cares about investors anyways? I sure dont.

And, yes...the extra pay and benefits would have to come out of the profits. Uh oh. That means profit would have to drop to a paltry eleventy three trillion billion from the preferred 14.6 eleventy trillion billion. Its famine out there, I tell ya.

How great would it be for the US economy if everything that was sold here was also made here? Holy crap - the middle class would be booming with great jobs available to anyone that was willing to work. Great benefits, booming local economies, a HUGE tax base, etc, etc. Oh wait, I just described the 1950's There is a reason why THAT was the best of times.

I guess its not instyle to say this because you get labeled a socialist.... but.... It'd be nice if there was better distribution of company profits amongst everyone that works there. Nowadays it seems like 8-10 people make zillions of dollars and the rest fight over ever-diminishing wages & reduced benefits.

Off my soap-box now, thanks for listening.
 

greenmeanie

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2005
1,206
346
AmigaWarez
Well I disagree.
If you have to pay someone to get you a job right there that should raise a flag.
I never once had to pay a HeadHunter money to find me work. Your Resume should speak for itself.
And he can't be that stupid and didn't realize when the recruiter kept asking for more money to just walk away? No he was greedy and thought he would buy his way to a job making him just as crooked as the recruiter.

Yes, actually. Because he didn't do anything crooked. The recruiter did something crooked by exploiting people who can't get a job unless they go through a recruiter who rips them off.

Of course _you_ don't need to care. Apple does and has fixed that kind of problem in the past. Repeatedly.
 

jlasoon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 1, 2006
505
627
Orlando, FL
And people actually think Apple is any different?

This is becoming quite disgusting. Not even Apple can escape this crass. For a company that prides itself on being fair, politically correct, and environmentally sound, I find this abhorrent. Unfortunately the US dollar has lost almost all its value since 1913 and as a result we require cheaper and cheaper product prices to sustain our addiction. These are the ramifications my friends. I can only imagine what the future holds for these poor people. Wal-Mart, Target, Microsoft, Samsung, Apple it's all the same crap. 3rd world slaves making products for 1st world debt slaves.

Isn't that new iPhone nice? :cool:
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
17,412
4,676
Well I disagree.
If you have to pay someone to get you a job right there that should raise a flag.
I never once had to pay a HeadHunter money to find me work. Your Resume should speak for itself.
And he can't be that stupid and didn't realize when the recruiter kept asking for more money to just walk away? No he was greedy and thought he would buy his way to a job making him just as crooked as the recruiter.

So where do you live? In Malaysia?

And Marlon Brando become famous for his role in "On the waterfront" which describes the exact same thing in the USA in the '50s. I know people remembering that kind of thing in the UK.
 

Poisonivy326

macrumors 6502
Nov 25, 2012
485
96
Well I disagree.
If you have to pay someone to get you a job right there that should raise a flag.
I never once had to pay a HeadHunter money to find me work. Your Resume should speak for itself.
And he can't be that stupid and didn't realize when the recruiter kept asking for more money to just walk away? No he was greedy and thought he would buy his way to a job making him just as crooked as the recruiter.

Hmm ... I used to know quite a few models and these models ended up getting in the covers of Vogue and CK catalogues so it's not like they weren't successful ... But they told me standard operating procedure in those modeling agencies was to charge massive fees for "promotional" shots. Some agencies were fairly honest and returned the money if no opportunities arose, but some agencies used this as a fleecing tool and just took the money and ran. I know one model who ended up filing a lawsuit against the agency.

So ... it's not unheard of for recruiters to do this, and it certainly doesn't surprise me to hear that it's being done at electronics factories. Doesn't mean it should be tolerated though.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.