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Foxconn factory in China  (Source: msn.com)
Change.org and SumOfUs.org are the two groups leading the demonstrations

Social activist groups are protesting and partaking in demonstrations today at several Apple stores around the globe in order to challenge the treatment of employees at Apple's suppliers in China.

Change.org and SumOfUs.org are two social activist groups offering demonstrations at key Apple stores around the world, such as New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Sydney, London and Bangalore. Both groups have offered online petitions against the abusive treatment of employees at Apple's suppliers in China, where Change.org was able to obtain 200,000 signatures and SumOfUs.org was able to obtain 50,000 signatures.

Change.org's petition specifically asks that Apple find a way to employ worker protection, especially around major product releases when workers are pushed to the max. The petition also requests that Apple be more open and frank about findings from the Fair Labor Association, which will be monitoring Apple's supplier's factories.

SumOfUs.org's petition simply asked for a more "ethical iPhone," where employees are treated like people instead of machines.

"This is a really huge step for us, in combining all of the voices we've collected from people all over the world asking Apple to clean up their supply chain," said Sarah Ryan, Change.org's human rights organizer.

Last month, The New York Times shed light on the poor treatment of employees working for Apple suppliers in Asia like Foxconn and Wintek. The report, which is the second installment of the iEconomy series, details horrible working conditions workers must endure at Apple supplier factories in China. For instance, many employees work over 60 hours per week, at about 12 hours per day and six days per week. They put in obscene amounts of overtime as well. When the shift is over, employees are crammed into tiny dorms, where as many as 20 people are shoved into a three-bedroom apartment.

Right after The New York Times report was released, Apple CEO Tim Cook fired back about the claims of worker abuse in China, denying that Apple doesn't care about the people who work long hours to make the company's products on time.

"As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values," said Cook in an email to Apple employees. "Unfortunately, some people are questioning Apple's values today, and I'd like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It's not who we are."

Ryan expects about 40 people to join the demonstration in Manhattan alone today. The protest will begin at 10 a.m.

"What we want is for Apple to take their motto -- 'think differently' -- and extend that to the way they treat their workers," said Ryan. "We want them to be a leader in the tech world in not just treating their workers in the United States fairly, but also treat the ones abroad fairly."

Source: CNN



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By StevoLincolnite on 2/9/2012 10:51:02 AM , Rating: 1
They shouldn't be singling out Apple for the way workers are being treated.
All companies that have there products manufactured in a country like China are pretty much the same, pay the workers bugger all with poor conditions.

On the flip side, even Western countries while they were going through the industrial revolutions also had poor pay and working conditions for factory workers, China could be just going through the same phase as a country.

On the flip side, Apple makes $400,00 dollars in profits per employee (Give or take.)
I'm pretty sure they could easily double a factory workers pay without breaking the bank or having to raise prices on there already high-profit margin devices and services.




RE: .
By HrilL on 2/9/2012 12:34:06 PM , Rating: 3
Apple has the highest profit margins in the tech world. Even giving these poor people a 30% raise wouldn't bring their profit down much. I mean 150% markup on idevices is insane. Why can't they treat their workers humanely and still profit at 130%? Seem like Apples greed is far too great to be overcome.

One thing to note we don't hear anything about working killing theselves and having mass protests at any other foxcon factories than the ones that make Apple products. That leads me to believe Apple is pushing foxcon to up production on the same lines too much to the point that workers are stuck in hellish conditions.


RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/2012 1:52:14 PM , Rating: 1
Foxconn manufacturers products for dozens of tech companies. You will be extremely hard pressed to buy a cell phone or any computer without some part touching a Foxconn factory. The notion that Apple is behind this abuse of labor is just ridiculous. They are involved, for sure, but so are companies such as HP, Toshiba, Dell, etc. Apple doesn't employ these people, Foxconn does. You think it is fair for the employees working at the Apple factory to receive higher wages while the rest of the factory workers continue to suffer? Epic idea.

You have fallen for sensationalist journalism. They always mention Apple because Apple grabs headlines.


RE: .
By V-Money on 2/9/2012 2:20:11 PM , Rating: 4
I think you're missing the point, the reason people focus on Apple is because of their huge profit margins. People love cheap products (price wise), and even though none of us want (to think about)effective slave labor, we also don't want to pay higher prices. For certain items it can be worth paying more since the quality is better, like cutco knives or snapon tools, but they are also made in different places then their competition. Since as you mentioned mostly everyone has their products created by Foxconn, they only cost more because Apple charges more. In essence to get people to stop singling out Apple they would either need to up their standards relative to competition, or charge less.


RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/12, Rating: 0
RE: .
By B3an on 2/9/2012 3:07:42 PM , Rating: 3
More people at Foxconn are working on Apple devices than with pretty much any other company who use Foxconn. I wouldn't be surprised if these workers are also pushed harder to meet deadlines for Apples new toys.

And it's not silly to single out Apple because they make such high profit margins. They could use some of that money to ensure better working conditions, like any decent company would do.


RE: .
By someguy123 on 2/9/2012 4:46:21 PM , Rating: 2
They're being singled out because their profit margins indicate they could contract the workers at higher salaries/improve working conditions at apple contracted foxconn factories without hurting their profits too substantially. Meanwhile other companies working with foxconn are running at similar thin margins.

Basically they're not in a position where they can blame sales. Other companies barely breaking even are slightly more excusable since they wouldn't be able to sustain production otherwise.


RE: .
By TSS on 2/9/2012 11:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
I just read today that apple's market value is bigger then microsoft and google COMBINED.

It's no longer about the margins. They have more money then scrooge mcduck. It's time they stopped being as stingy as him.

That there's practical slave labor in china, big deal. The working conditions now are already much better then they where 30 years ago. At some point, the chinese themselves won't tolerate this anymore, just like we got labor-laws here in europe around the 1900's (there where NO child protection laws before that and they died on the workfloor on a regular basis) simply because the people where sick of it and it was no longer needed.

Apple obviously no longer needs to use such bare-minimum working conditions because they can afford better. That's why they are targetted. And rightfully so.


RE: .
By lightfoot on 2/9/2012 12:52:34 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
They shouldn't be singling out Apple for the way workers are being treated.

Yes they should be. Apple claims to be better than everyone else. They should be held to that. They damn well charge enough to be better than everyone else.

It wouldn't hurt to single out a few other companies either, but nothing will change if companies are allowed to hide behind "the industry norm."

Being the industry leader puts you squarely in the crosshairs for all the evils of your industry. Apple should be targeted for their labor practices just as WalMart should be targeted for theirs.


RE: .
By xti on 2/9/2012 1:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
ok...so you said they should be singled out...then you said Walmart should be singled out too...

everyone should be held to equal standards. If apple has to lose $0.01 to improve standards...then HP, Dell, etc should too. You cant play favoritism if you are talking about peoples rights, it doesn't matter if/how far the employer is in the black or red.


RE: .
By lightfoot on 2/9/2012 2:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, each company that has these issues needs to be singled out - they need to be individually named and confronted on the issues.

Their brands MUST be associated with the problem. Simply saying that it is an issue that the industry as a whole must address does not force any individual company to accept responsibility. They just continue to deflect. Apple says it is a Foxconn issue. Foxconn says that it is an Apple issue.

Why don't Police arrest all protesters during a violent protest? They tend to single out a few of the most troublesome offenders. The reason is because it works. Target the leaders and the others will fall into line.

It's funny how Apple claims to have invented the market and own the market, but when it comes time to take responsibility for the market they just pretend to be the victim. Pathetic.


RE: .
By tng on 2/9/2012 1:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple claims to be better than everyone else. They should be held to that. They damn well charge enough to be better than everyone else.
I agree, they have put themselves up there where it was bound to become fashionable to start protesting them for something.

On the other hand, while I have limited products from Apple, I have a Xbox that was assembled at Foxconn and probably other products from other companies as well. Apple is not alone here.

I think that Apple should meet this head on and do some exploration into just how much it would cost to assemble an iProduct here in the US or Europe and put it out there. If you want a iPhone that is $2K made here in the US then they will do it, until then, everybody should realize what is going on and either shut up or quit buying all of these products.


RE: .
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/9/2012 5:33:59 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you want a iPhone that is $2K made here in the US then they will do it
Everyone needs to quit this bullshit, it would not cost 2k. That's just ridiculous.


RE: .
By tng on 2/10/2012 9:12:17 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
it would not cost 2k. That's just ridiculous.
Really? Take a good look at it, I will throw out some conservative numbers for you.

I don't know what the average daily wage of a Foxconn employee is, but I am betting it is well below the minimum wage here in the US or European nations, so lets say $20/day. There are some benefits there such as they get room and board and I assume some form of health care.

Now move this to the US and the minimum wage is what about $8/hr? That is $96/day, then you add in healthcare, SSI, unemployment insurance payments and all the other hidden associated costs employers have to pay and you are spending about $120/day per employee.

When you do the math, just on labor costs alone, the price of an iPhone goes from $500 to about $2500-$3000. This does not include the costs that are included from regulations and operating a manufacturing facility in the US, Canada or Europe, that would add another 5% easily.

My math is just off the top of my head and it may be way off, but anyway you calculate it, it will be expensive.


RE: .
By lightfoot on 2/10/2012 12:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
You are making a horribly flawed assumption that all the costs of manufacturing an iPhone are labor costs. You also seem to imply that it takes roughly 5 man-days to assemble an iPhone which is totally insane.

Labor is a small portion of the costs involved in the manufacture of the iPhone.

When you take into account that American workers tend to be much more productive than Chinese workers, the cost difference drops even further.

The price of an iDevice might increase by 20%. Even that is pretty generous. Apple could conceivably take that hit entirely in their profit margins and keep prices right where they are. Even then Apple would still likely earn more per phone than Samsung or HTC currently do.


RE: .
By tng on 2/10/2012 3:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are making a horribly flawed assumption that all the costs of manufacturing an iPhone are labor costs.
No, just a very large part and yeah, it would probably only double the cost.

Let me go back and say that labor costs are why companies assemble stuff in China. When you take into account that Foxcon is probably charging Apple at a per unit basis, then working their slaves in 20 hour shifts to get out the millions they need to meet demand your labor there is cheap.

You are correct, labor cost to them while they assemble in China is a small percentage of cost. Here it would be a majority of the cost.


RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/2012 1:56:18 PM , Rating: 3
I love how the anti-Apple arguments change depending on the circumstances.

In this particular instance Apple is not an industry leader but THE industry leader! Wow! As the industry leader they should be pushing for change!

Tomorrow Apple will go back to being an irrelevant patent troll, so long as the argument suits it.

Let's be clear. Apple doesn't abuse employees. They don't hire workers in factories. They don't own factories. They hire third party companies to manufacture goods for them just like everyone else does.


RE: .
By tng on 2/9/2012 2:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In this particular instance Apple is not an industry leader but THE industry leader!
I don't recall that anybody said they were the "industry leader".

But seeing how Apple has worked hard on creating a trendy, superior, earthy image, they should be the first that gets skewered in this type of thing. I don't recall that Dell, Microsoft has ever done this, but if Apple gets it, they should be held to the same standard as well.


RE: .
By lightfoot on 2/9/2012 3:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I said that Apple was the industry leader. And that is currently without dispute in the Tablet market. It is debatable in the smartphone market; they are not in terms of volume, but they very much are when it comes to profitability.


RE: .
By drycrust3 on 2/9/2012 1:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
even Western countries while they were going through the industrial revolutions also had poor pay and working conditions for factory workers,

The reason conditions improved was because of unions, not because management somehow "became enlightened". Unions can force management to have realistic hours of work, to provide a safe environment to work in, to follow fair and correct procedures when hiring and firing, to pay penal rates when employees need to work overtime, to provide proper accommodation for employees that have to work away from home, and to provide a decent funeral for every employee killed on the job; and they can lobby for government inspectors to visit work places to ensure the law is kept regarding working conditions, and for the factories to be fined if the conditions are found to be substandard (which they obviously are at Foxconn and Wintek) and not fixed.
From personal observation I would say the working conditions at Foxconn and Wintek won't change until either:
1) Apple puts minimum working conditions for Foxconn and Wintek employees into their contracts, followed by penalty clauses if those working conditions aren't met, e.g. $1000 payment going to every employee who works more than 12 hours, $10,000 to all employees forced to live in a crowded apartment, $1M going to the family of any employee who dies, for the whole factory to close down so all employees can attend the funeral, and for the senior management to all say nice things about the employee at the funeral.
2) The Chinese government allows unions in the factories and gives them the right to strike.
When either of those happen, suddenly all those "It's too difficult ... we can't afford to do this ... we don't know why these things happen" excuses will disappear, the 30 hour shifts will end, the 20 employees living in an apartment will disappear. Sure, the cost of the end product will go up, but Apple relies on the high price of their product to give it an air of exclusiveness.


RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/2012 1:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think conditions improved in America because of Unions I think they improved because the government stepped in and started regulating away safety and wage concerns.

1. That is never Apple's responsibility and Foxconn would either simply say no or be the party paying for these failures.

2. The Chinese government can allow unions if it wants to and these conditions will not change. People apply for these jobs knowing the conditions they will be working because the alternative is worse. If every single currently employed individual went on strike it would be annoying for Foxconn but they would just terminate their employment and hire 100,000 new employees.

I do not think these conditions will EVER improve. We'll see advanced robotics removing the human element before we see a minimum wage and 8 hour factory work days in China.


RE: .
By tng on 2/9/2012 1:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think conditions improved in America because of Unions I think they improved because the government stepped in
He is correct, unions did reform labor. Government regulation came as a lobby effort of unions in these areas.

Now labor unions have been largely replaced by lawyers that will work pro-Bono for clients that feel they are not being treated fairly by an employer. The threat of class action lawsuits are now enough to keep most large employers in line with fair labor practices.


RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/2012 2:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think unions helped to get the attention of the government but without federal laws I don't much progress would have been made. I'm not a history major so I'm probably wrong.


RE: .
By drycrust3 on 2/9/2012 2:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is never Apple's responsibility and Foxconn would either simply say no or be the party paying for these failures.

Apple have said they care about the people being employed in Foxconn's factories. If they mean what they say, then they can put clauses into their contract with Foxconn to ensure the assembly line workers are treated correctly.
I agree with you that Apple shouldn't have to do this, but the simple fact is Foxconn aren't being a responsible employer. As such, Apple have three options: 1) adopt the "I see no evil" attitude and pretend they don't know about the poor working conditions (or pretend there is nothing they can do); 2) walk away from Foxconn and China and go somewhere where the local labour laws guarantee Apple's products are made by employees working in a good environment; 3) fix the problem.
To me, the third solution is the approach Apple should be adopting. Western companies should be setting the example of how employees should be treated in China. How can we claim to be better when we treat our Chinese employees the same or worse than their local companies?


RE: .
By tayb on 2/9/2012 2:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I think you are grossly overestimating the amount of pull Apple has over labor conditions. Outside of pulling out of the factory and China entirely nothing you said is practical. I doubt that China nor Foxconn would allow labor policies to be dictated by a foreign customer.

We aren't treating these people badly. Foxconn is. They aren't Apple employees.


RE: .
By drycrust3 on 2/9/2012 5:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Outside of pulling out of the factory and China entirely nothing you said is practical.

Having penalty clauses in contracts is entirely normal. For example, Apple will have quality control standards in their contract with Foxconn. No one says "Quality control standards aren't Apple's business" do they! No one says "It isn't practical for ALL iPads work when the new owner opens the box" do they? If you opened the box of a brand new iPad you wouldn't find a scratch on it or it not work would you? No! Why? Because Apple dictated quality control standards with PENALTY CLAUSES to Foxconn! Get it? Apple told Foxconn the quality standards or ELSE PAY US ... and low and behold iPads all work and are made without scratches.
The same applies with employee mistreatment. When Apple puts out tenders for the manufacture of iPads they could easily include the standards expected for employee treatment. The fact is they COULD do that and achieve those conditions. We know they COULD achieve them because Foxconn already achieves quality control standards, which are much harder to achieve than treating people right is.
As I said, if Foxconn was told they have to pay $1000 per hour to every employee that worked for more than 12 hours, then you can bet that not one employee would work more than 11:59 minutes.


RE: .
By The0ne on 2/9/2012 3:25:14 PM , Rating: 3
Not all companies treat their employees this badly. Having said that to our standards here in the US 95% of them are pretty bad. For Foxconn, I have to agree that the working conditions are horrible, the hours extreme, and the pay underwhelming low. I've done plenty of business with many contract mfg's in China and they are nowhere near what Foxconn has. This protest is a good thing imo and yes it should not be singularly targeted at just Apple but who better than the one that rips everyone off the most?

Now now, don't flame me over the last statement. You only have to research before commenting. From you, to the suppliers to the mfg, they do a damn good job of it to get their profit margins way up there...at the price of well you all know.

Good protest, I'll be looking out for them in my hometown to join.


China
By albertdup on 2/9/2012 1:23:54 PM , Rating: 5
I find it amazing how the west automatically apply their views on the whole world. I spend two months in China and I can assure you the average Chines conditions is much worse than the conditions at Foxcon. For many people it is a step up, why do you think over 100 000 people apply for jobs at Foxcon. They pay better and their "benefits" are much better than the norm. Yes there are unhappy people but they are used to have many people in one house. In Hong Kong you have 14 people per square meter.(9 Square foot). The average "house" is 100 square foot big and then you will have a family with nanny living there. The flat I stayed in the bathroom was the same size as the bathroom on the plane I flew to China. In the rural areas of Gongdong province the people are extremely poor. Compared to western standards it is appalling but to these people it is the norm. Is it right, I think it depends on what side of the world you are on.




RE: China
By aurareturn on 2/9/2012 2:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
Albertdup is unfortunately right.

Foxconn doesn't have to pay higher wages or give better living conditions because there are many more people ready to work for them.

Even if Apple gives Foxconn more money, do you think any of it will go to those workers? Those in Foxconn management will pocket the money themselves.

Listen, if you guys think the difference between rich and poor here is too big, wait until you see it in China.

I hope China enacts better labor laws in the near future. It really isn't Apple's responsibility. It's the Chinese government's and those government officials could careless about the citizens.


RE: China
By geddarkstorm on 2/9/2012 3:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think we've forgotten somewhat the harsh realities and sad consequences of oppressive regimes like communist China. Not much we can do at the moment other than supply pressure through our corporations on their pseudo-corporations so that even the very limited form of business competition that goes on there can grind living conditions forward. In... some way...


RE: China
By tng on 2/10/2012 9:23:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
their pseudo-corporations
I have heard through various sources that most large businesses in China are in part or wholly owned by the Chinese government themselves. Much of the profit that is siphoned off of these companies goes directly to the Chinese military.

Don't know about Foxconn, but that was the case for several semiconductor plants that I have equipment in there.


By tayb on 2/9/2012 11:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
These protesters are probably toting clothes and electronics that exist at affordable prices due to abusive labor practices in China. I would be willing to bet every penny in my bank account that quite a few of them are even toting iPhones or own Apple products.

Just about every single smart phone has components made in a factory just like Foxconn.




By kattanna on 2/9/2012 11:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
oh.. one article I read they guy even talked about having an iPhone.. so there protest is nothing but BS

if you don't like the companies practice.. the best protest is to vote with your wallet and go elsewhere.

but people don't seem to get that as its too inconvenient for them, and they then wonder why nothing changes.


By rcc on 2/9/2012 7:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Uh oh. you want people to sacrifice something for their beliefs????? Surely you jest. Society is teaching everyone that they can just whine and demand and have their whims catered to.

People want to change something in business they need to be willing to do without. Don't like the price of your cellular service? Get rid of it. Don't like the price of movies, don't buy them. If enough people stop buying the stuff the are complaining about, I can guarantee that the industry(ies) will change.

But it's so much easier to whine, hop on their high horse and bitch, than to do anything that requires effort or sacrifice.


By drycrust3 on 2/9/2012 1:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These protesters are probably toting clothes and electronics that exist at affordable prices due to abusive labor practices in China.

What is "affordable"? It means you have the money buy something. You need clothes, but you don't need new clothes, so "affordable clothes" means people have the money to buy them.
Your new shirt is only new until the first time it's washed, after that it's no longer new, so does it really matter whether someone else owned it and wore it before you bought that shirt? If we take underwear out of the equation (because of hygiene reasons), then the only real reason stopping us from wearing second hand clothes is pride.
One of the big consequences of cheap imports is that the second hand market for clothes has largely disappeared. They are discarded as waste, there is no longer a second hand market for them. When the price of new clothes goes up to a level where someone can make a buck selling second hand clothes, then a second hand market will be created and supply people with clothes.
As such "affordability" isn't an excuse for providing poor labour conditions.


By tayb on 2/9/2012 2:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
We're taking underwear out of the equation for hygiene but we'll leave my disgusting arm-pit soaked shirt in the equation because the thought of that wouldn't disgust ANYONE.

Secondhand market for clothes has disappeared? What? Have you ever heard of Goodwill or Platos Closet? I certainly don't sell my clothes when I'm done with them but that is simply because I feel like a better person for GIVING them away. (Whether that is true is up for debate!!)

I didn't say affordability was an excuse for the labor but I did mention it as an enjoyable benefit just about everyone in America enjoys.


Not sure I agree, but what ever
By Goothry on 2/10/2012 9:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
People can attack and boycott Apple and other companies that have their good manufactured in places such as China, but I seriously doubt that it would do any good. For companies that have their goods produced over there its not Apple and the other tech companies paying those workers. Foxconn, and by extentsion China, is who is paying them. In order to even do business in a foreign country a company must adhere to all restrictions and laws of that other country, which usually includes activities such as literally bribing the government. Don't forget China isn't like good old America where bribes are under the table as opposed to directly over it. China, by allowing Foxconn to exploit its workers makes more money and so does Foxconn. If someone is going to be angry at Apple and other American tech companies they should be angry that they choose to use China as its place to manufacture their goods instead of perceiving that they don't pay "their" workers enough, and for being immoral for continuing to use them despite recent worker abuse reports. Or, perhaps people should just attack and boycott all of China, but something tells me that China just won't care.




By lightfoot on 2/10/2012 12:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
Governments and local laws set a minimum standard for the treatment of workers. There is nothing in China or anywhere else in the world that would prevent Apple and Foxconn from treating their workers better than that.


Don't stop with Apple - boycott them all
By Beenthere on 2/9/2012 5:40:26 PM , Rating: 1
Vote with your wallet. It won't take long to shut down the slave shops in China or at least improve working conditions and pay. Every bit helps when people are being treated as slaves...

Bad publicity, public pressure and lost sales are the only things that CEOs understand or care about.

It's interesting to note that some companies are in fact bringing jobs back to the U.S. because the poor quality resulting from producing in China far outweighed the damage to their company reputation and the costs to correct the defective products received by customers.




By xti on 2/10/2012 9:19:20 AM , Rating: 2
good idea...but dont be a hypocrite and also stop buying from these too:

Acer Inc.
Amazon.com
Apple Inc.
ASRock
Asus
Barnes & Noble
Cisco
Dell
EVGA
Hewlett-Packard
Intel
IBM
Lenovo
Microsoft
MSI
Motorola
Netgear
Nintendo
Nokia
Panasonic
Samsung
Sharp
Sony
Vizio

how many other industry leaders are on there...say for video game consoles, laptops or TVs? where is their DT article...or does tablets only matter and everyone else is exempt?


iLine
By The Raven on 2/9/2012 2:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
How do we know these aren't iSheep vying to be the first in line for the launch of the iPhone 5? I wouldn't put it past them. ;-)




Oh, the humanity!
By bupkus on 2/9/2012 5:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values," said Cook in an email to Apple employees. "Unfortunately, some people are questioning Apple's values today, and I'd like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It's not who we are."
His heart on his sleeve while wringing his hands all the way to the bank.




Hipsters
By rbuszka on 2/10/2012 2:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, great, a Tiffany Kaiser story on Apple and Foxconn.

What's really going on here is simple: Apple courted the hipster market using the same manufacturing suppliers as everybody else in the tech world (Blackberry, Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo) to build their "cool" gadgets, and now they've got to live with the hipsters themselves, when it's the hipsters that readily take up the cause of activism for that particular manufacturing base. You don't see protests of other PC and smartphone hardware makers (even though they've got some of their own branded stores and don't only sell through big-box retailers) because the people who buy those other brands are indifferent.

As for the Chinese, inflation of prices and the effect of new regulations in China will eventually reduce their strangle-hold on the world's manufacturing, as the China Price isn't quite as competitive anymore. For what it's worth, the viability of China's manufacturing is entirely dependent on the engineering and quality control practices that other companies import with them when they contract with a Chinese factory to manufacture their products, otherwise the Chinese could not be counted on at all to produce a quality product.




orly?
By iceonfire1 on 2/10/2012 2:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, an entire 40 people? I'm all for empowerment, but unless these guys are the Manhattan city council and their protest is to mine the streets, this seems pretty insignificant.




Yes, a political protest...
By Trisped on 2/10/2012 6:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, organize a political protest of Apple. Since Apple is months away from releasing a new product (which you will camp out for) you really have nothing to do.

Maybe I am just not understanding the Apple fan culture, but if a company I regularly bought products from was involved in "hellish" work conditions, I would have to stop buying and using their products. I would view my purchasing and using of their products as empowering their abuse, making me a contributor to the "hellish" work conditions.

Comments?




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