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Workers at Foxconn's Apple plant are forced to work in excess of 72 hours weekly, not allowed to talk to co-workers, are exposed daily to toxic chemicals and damaging noises. They make too little to decently provide for their family, but most lack the education to find a better job. There are reports that the local security staff yells at an abuses employees on a daily basis.  (Source: Southern Weekly)

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou says he can't understand why his employees would want to kill themselves. Gou is among the world's richest men. He lives a lavish lifestyle and recently married his much younger lover.  (Source: Baidu)
Authoritarian policies offer employees little freedom

Ah Wei stands weary, at the point of breaking after a long 12-hour shift at Apple's Foxconn factory.  He understands all too well the sentiments of the employees that committed suicide.  Despite a 30 percent pay raise (which comes at a total cost to Apple of around $3.50 of its $200 in profit per iPad sold), he still only makes $172 USD a month, no where near enough to afford one of the hundreds of iPhones he makes a day.  He still can't make enough to decently support his family, but he also is afraid if he quits he will be unemployed -- left with nothing at all.

In a 
Bloomberg report he complains, "Life is meaningless. Everyday, I repeat the same thing I did yesterday. We get yelled at all the time. It’s very tough around here."

Foxconn manufactures motherboards for virtually every major computer or phonemaker.  Among its customers are Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Nokia, HP, and Dell.  However, Apple is one of its biggest partners.  Foxconn manufactures most of Apple's iPads, iPhones, and iPods.

Amid rampant demand for iPads and iPhones, Foxconn has cracked down on employee freedoms and forced employees to work longer hours, often times unpaid.  Conditions at the Apple plant are reportedly far worse than the working conditions at other Foxconn plants used by Dell, HP, and others.

On the line employees are now forbidden to talk to each other.  They only are allowed 10 minutes of bathroom breaks every 2 hours -- even if they are sick.  Noise on the factory floor is so loud that it has damaged many employees hearing -- even that of employees like Ah Wei, who wears ear plugs while on the line.

Many employees have reportedly requested transfers out of the hellish factory to one of Foxconn's other facilities, and had their requests denied.  Ah Wei has tried three times to request a transfer, but has had no luck.

The Shenzhen facility has trappings of a pleasant workplace.  Palm trees surround the factory town that house as many as 420,000 employees.  Inside the town there is a hospital, a collection of restaurants and even a swimming pool.

However, one need only look at the employees to recognize the authoritarian atmosphere.  Men are forced to wear matching blue uniforms whenever they go out, and women wear matching red uniforms.  Security personnel are easily recognizable in their white uniforms.

Liu Bin, an average employee at the plant complains that the company expects workers to work
at least six 12-hour shifts a week (72 hours).  Meanwhile they get inferior medical coverage, are constantly exposed to toxic solvents and vapors, and don't have enough money to buy nutritious food.  At least one employee has reportedly died of exhaustion this year.

States Liu, "It’s hard to make friends because you aren’t allowed to chat with your colleagues during work.  Most of us have little education and have no skills so we have no choice but to do this kind of job. I feel no sense of achievement and I’ve become a machine."

Terry Gou, Hon Hai Precision Industry's chairman of the Foxconn unit, is baffled by the suicides.  The exec, who reportedly enjoys a decadent lifestyle and recently married a new young bride, says he can't understand why employees would take their lives.  He states, "Are we going to have this happen again?  From a logical, scientific standpoint, I don’t have a grasp on that. No matter how you force me, I don’t know."

Gou is Hon Hai's largest shareholder with over 10.8 percent of the company's stock.  He's estimated to have assets in excess of $5.9B USD, making him one of the world's richest men.

Apple Inc., whose sales in industrialized nations are so dependent on Foxconn, is sticking by its partner -- for now.  CEO Steven P. Jobs -- another one of the world's richest men -- comments, "We are all over this. Foxconn is not a sweatshop."



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Why don't they just quit?
By Spivonious on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Why don't they just quit?
By freeagle on 6/4/2010 10:46:19 AM , Rating: 3
Most probably yes. Or maybe not much better, just at least some. Employing ~ 1 billion people is not that easy. I doubt chinese people are stupid, they realize that working in those conditions is better for them and their families than not working at all or trying to selfemploy


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By BoycottChinaNow on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Why don't they just quit?
By heffeque on 6/4/2010 12:19:32 PM , Rating: 1
I guess that by socialist you actually meant communist.

Get your facts right. Most countries in Europe are socialist and I assure you that people are happy about it =)


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By BoycottChinaNow on 6/4/2010 12:34:17 PM , Rating: 1
Nope I meant socialist. And I assure you that people are NOT happy about it. So now we both made statements with no supporting facts.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Sazabi19 on 6/4/2010 2:36:54 PM , Rating: 4
The U.S. is socialist now :(


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By morphologia on 6/4/2010 3:31:04 PM , Rating: 4
Nowadays, "Socialist" is the new "Communist." Isn't that right, Sen. McCarthy?

Care to have some tea? I believe you prefer yours in harbor-water...


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By heffeque on 6/6/2010 1:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
Well... for starters, for example Spain is now governed by PSOE: Partido Socialista Obrero Español = Spanish Socialist Workers' Party. Do you need any more supporting facts?


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Paj on 6/7/2010 9:04:14 AM , Rating: 2
socialism != communism


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By swizeus on 6/4/2010 1:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
That socialist that you sacrifice is the one that FEEDS you with your lavish lifestyle


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Phoque on 6/4/2010 4:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yes they just quit, there's been at least 8 employees this year who have just absolutely quitted:

http://www.dailytech.com/Another+Foxconn+Worker+Co...


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By FaaR on 6/5/2010 2:41:57 AM , Rating: 2
China is not a socialist nation. It's anything but, really. Up until the 80s or so, you could have argued it had some of the trappings of socialism (public schooling, public health care and child care, pensions and so on), but most of that is now gone, stripped away in the conversion from a planned to a capitalist economy that followed.

You really should stop repeating old false crap, China is neither socialist nor communist. Politically it's a plain ol' oppressive dictatorship, with a capitalist economy.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By GeorgeOu on 6/6/2010 12:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
I mean "free schooling and health and child and pension". You really haven't a clue what you're talking about dude, I came from China.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By jefmes on 6/5/2010 10:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
This all reminds of the book I'm in the middle of reading, "The End of the Free Market". Great book, discussing the future of Free Market Capitalism vs China style State Capitalism. The glut of human workforce encourages them to behave in this way, to treat their employees as replaceable automatons, all to the benefit of the state, Foxconn, Apple, and inevitably us as the consumers of their efforts.

The problem is that I don't see a way out of it - if you have people who need work, and there's an overly abundant competition for the work, then there's no incentive for these companies to focus on employee well-being. The only thing that matters in that kind of system is keeping costs low, and unless people are willing to stand up and not buy products from places where workers are treated this way, I don't know how it changes. Worker revolts perhaps? Labor force uprising in overwhelming numbers could make a difference, but as long as someone else steps in to do the work even uprisings can only do so much good.

Interesting times, same problems.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By afkrotch on 6/7/2010 10:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The problem is that I don't see a way out of it


Robots


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Murloc on 6/4/2010 10:51:46 AM , Rating: 2
the have no istruction. If they quit, they may not be able to find another job.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Sazabi19 on 6/4/2010 10:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't if you were an unskilled and uneducated worker in China and had to try to provide for your family.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By taber on 6/4/2010 6:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
there are reports that the local security staff yells at an abuses employees on a daily basis.
Well there is the job that I'd want if I worked there.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By afkrotch on 6/7/2010 10:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
12 hours, 6 days a week of yelling at ppl. Too much yelling for me.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By masamasa on 6/4/2010 11:07:53 AM , Rating: 2
In China it's not that easy. Too many people and not enough jobs. If you quit there are 100+ people standing in line for your job. As a result, labor standards is pretty much non-existent because everyone is easily replaceable.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By yomamafor1 on 6/4/2010 11:42:32 AM , Rating: 4
That would be a yes. For these unskilled workers, who probably migrated from the rural west towards the job-rich east of China, the only other option is to go back making 10% of what they're making in Foxconn. So it goes back to the "sweatshop" argument.... yes, they're making barely enough wages to support themselves, but they're making a lot more than what they could have made elsewhere.

It's situation of "damned if they do, and damned if they don't."


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By corduroygt on 6/4/2010 12:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'd much rather be poor and happy and go back to my village instead of working to make other men rich at the expense of my well-being, if working at foxconn was the only other option. As long as I don't starve, it'd be ok.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By yomamafor1 on 6/4/2010 12:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
However, that is exactly the reason why Chinese workers are willing to put up with the BS Foxconn is throwing at them. If they go back to farming in the western part of China, they'll make considerably less, and not being able to support their families. If they work in Foxconn, they can at least barely support their families and themselves.

If I were in the situation, I'd be working for Foxconn as well. Fortunately, I'm lucky enough to not needing to make that decision.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By afkrotch on 6/7/2010 10:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
Never understood this. Why the hell do they have families, if they can't support them to begin with.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By pwndcake on 6/4/2010 12:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
Right, but they don't think they'll be poor and happy. The village isn't a happy go lucky place where people live a balanced and fruitful life working the soil. The village probably sucked, and that's why they left. That is of course if there is a village, and they could even go back and find a way to make a living there if they wanted to. The options they are looking at are to either stay and be worked to death, or leave and starve to death. Also if they have families that rely on them, leaving means not only their starvation, but the starvation of the people that rely on their meager earnings.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By PrinceGaz on 6/4/2010 1:02:04 PM , Rating: 1
Okay so working conditions aren't as good as at factories in most Western countries, but surely being involved in making such prestigious Apple products should more than make up for that. They should feel honoured that they are helping to manufacture the best available hardware, instead of working in a factory which produces cheap knock-off rubbish.

In the article it suggests workers in the factory can't afford to purchase what they manufacture, but I suspect they probably can once you factor in the employee discount they no doubt are entitled to.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/4/2010 1:38:54 PM , Rating: 2
Employee discount? You honestly think these people get an employee discount? LOL


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By trisct on 6/4/2010 2:35:25 PM , Rating: 1
I really, really hope this is pointed sarcasm. Your post is simply offensive otherwise.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Josh7289 on 6/4/2010 5:22:33 PM , Rating: 3
It's obviously sarcasm.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Iaiken on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
By LRonaldHubbs on 6/4/2010 5:47:33 PM , Rating: 4
Clearly people don't know a sarcasm when they hear one because this wouldn't have been voted down otherwise. This line alone should have given it away:
quote:
surely being involved in making such prestigious Apple products should more than make up for that


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By FaceMaster on 6/5/2010 6:16:43 PM , Rating: 1
Why doesn't this site quit milking this story?


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By afkrotch on 6/7/2010 10:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
Milk tastes good.


RE: Why don't they just quit?
By Smokey48 on 6/6/2010 1:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
I worked for 30 years at a unionized plant in the U.S. We were allowed one 10 minute break every 2 hours. No talking on the line. We didn't get yelled at, but we were reprimanded in writing for deviating from the rules. Reprimands escalated up to and including termination. Everything was as regimented as in this Chinese factory.

And you know what? People eagerly worked overtime when they could get it, including six twelves and an eight per week.

The pay was better, of course. But what China is going through now is exactly what Americans and the UK went through in the early 1900's. Expecting U.S. wages to be paid in a developing country is delusional.

This slanted article is simply Apple bashing. Suppose Apple paid the workers much better; say, half of American wages. What would happen? Competitors like Dell and others would eat Apple's lunch, and Apple would soon be out of business. How would that help Chinese factory workers?

The only reason parts are assembled in in other countries is due to lower wages, and there is competition among all computer makers to find the lowest cost producers. Every company owes a fiduciary duty to its shareholders to provide the best profit it can. Literally giving away shareholders' assets is unethical.

If people want to help Chinese workers, there are ways to directly transfer your wealth into their pockets. Armchair do-gooders are generally economic illiterates who can't understand that paying more than necessary is not only foolish, it is wrong. It cheats shareholders. Microsoft does it, Cisco does it, everyone in the computer business does it. Why is Apple singled out?

The alternative for these uneducated Chinese workers is much lower paid farm labor. Note that the writer did not provide one quote from anyone who appreciated the higher pay and better working conditions compared to agriculture work, and he did not make it clear that numerous other companies besides Apple do exactly the same thing. This article is a polemic, not journalism.


Come on Mick
By Phynaz on 6/4/2010 11:13:47 AM , Rating: 1
It's not an Apple factory.

Do you really think there are something like 400,000 people making iPods?

Pandering to the Apple haters is getting old.




RE: Come on Mick
By Jonh68 on 6/4/2010 11:37:40 AM , Rating: 1
Agree. This another misleading title. If this is the case, it is also a Sony, HP, Dell, Microsoft, and Nintendo factory too. This isn't journalism.


RE: Come on Mick
By mckinney on 6/7/2010 11:04:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, this is nothing new. Here is another factory that builds MS mice, they are also accused of child labor abuse. According to this article, they get .65 cents an hour and work 16.5 hour days. This is an issue for the Chinese government.

http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-slammed-o...


RE: Come on Mick
By banthracis on 6/4/2010 11:46:16 AM , Rating: 1
The Shenzhen factory makes Apple products exclusively.

So while they aren't all making Ipod's,all 400,000+ people there are making apple products.


RE: Come on Mick
By Jonh68 on 6/4/2010 11:52:48 AM , Rating: 2
But Apple does not own the factory which is implied with the title of the article.


RE: Come on Mick
By trisct on 6/4/2010 2:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
And the fact that all products made at this factory eventually carry the Apple name does not convey any blame. Really? Are you that naive? It's Apple's factory all right.


RE: Come on Mick
By morphologia on 6/4/2010 3:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
Would they subsidize the meager pay raise at their own expense if they weren't the main or sole client of the facility? Could they do so legally if they weren't? I doubt it.


RE: Come on Mick
By Phynaz on 6/4/2010 11:55:00 AM , Rating: 2
No way. Think about it. FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND.

The entire US auto manufacturers only employ 136,000 people.


RE: Come on Mick
By freeagle on 6/4/2010 12:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
You think about it even further. The US auto manufacturing factories have probably a lot more automated assembly lines than the ones in China. Why? Because it's probably cheaper to employ 400k people than to invest into such assembly lines in that region while having comparable output performance


RE: Come on Mick
By Strunf on 6/5/2010 7:42:21 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, there's even a quote saying that China was the only country where it's cheaper to employ people than using robots.


RE: Come on Mick
By BoycottChinaNow on 6/4/2010 12:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
The TOWN houses 400k+. The particular Apple sweatshop is is just one in a host of prison cam...sorry I meant shrines to our glorious workers.


RE: Come on Mick
By mckinney on 6/7/2010 11:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
It is estimated that Foxconn employs 800K personnel. Just wondering, how else could China pull off that amazing opening to the olympics? They couldn't afford to pay all those people to practice and perform. I am sure much of the time was "donated".


RE: Come on Mick
By Shadowself on 6/4/2010 3:49:02 PM , Rating: 3
Check your details. The factory does NOT make Apple products exclusively.


RE: Come on Mick
By BoycottChinaNow on 6/4/2010 12:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
Correct. This is about a factory exclusive to Apple. And apparently this Apple sweatshop is the worst.

Although arguing about which level of Hell Dell and the others occupy does seem a bit pointless.


RE: Come on Mick
By kmmatney on 6/4/2010 12:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
Where have you read that this factory is exclusive to Apple?


RE: Come on Mick
By BoycottChinaNow on 6/4/2010 1:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Conditions at the Apple plant are reportedly far worse than the working conditions at other Foxconn plants used by Dell, HP, and others.


RE: Come on Mick
By bruce24 on 6/4/2010 2:42:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where have you read that this factory is exclusive to Apple?


in Jason's articles.

other articles say things like

quote:
The factory doesn't just work for Apple. HP, Dell and others also use the facility.


RE: Come on Mick
By Shadowself on 6/4/2010 3:50:46 PM , Rating: 1
Again, check the details. At the very least it makes sutff for Nintendo too. From several other, less biased reports, I've read it makes devices for other companies too.


Oh come on...
By MrBlastman on 6/4/2010 10:34:01 AM , Rating: 5
Their life is full of meaning. They just don't see it as it is written in the book of Jobs...

According to Jobs,

1. They work hard, selflessly without regard to their own health.
(we know this with all the suicides and people dying from being overworked)

2. They are on the news everyday.
3. People can buy ipods and ipads for LOTS of money.
4. The (unfortunate) demand for Apple products is being met.
5. Guo gets a hot girl to hold in his arm half his age.
6. ??? eventually equals Profit and Foxconn is making that along with Apple.
7. They get to test toxic chemicals on a daily basis--the contribution towards research alone here is worth mentioning.
8. Their total biometric output is a model for future businesses to come. The longer they stand, the more heat they produce, thus reducing heating costs.
9. They have Jobs, not to be confused with "the" Jobs, but jobs they have nontheless and that alone is homage to their man.
10. No puppies or cats are being harmed in the production of Apple products. Think of all the lives that are being saved!

So, according to the book of Jobs, their lives have quite a bit of meaning. Meaningless existence is all in how you perceive your contribution through your efforts. To Jobs (and Foxconn), their contribution is great and... even greater so as they take very little in return to fuel their efforts.

Come on people! Buck up and put your heads down, Foxconn and Apple are proud (ingrateful) of all your hard work!




RE: Oh come on...
By paydirt on 6/4/2010 11:41:50 AM , Rating: 2
It's all very disturbing when you think about it. I'm glad I don't have to make this choice... I'd rather be a destitute farmer attempting to live off the land than work 12 hours per day in a harmful, strict factory.

Chinese workers may not have great choices, but they DO HAVE A CHOICE where they work.

My value system: Hell on Earth << Money (especially a pittance of money)


RE: Oh come on...
By hr824 on 6/4/2010 1:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
Whats disturbing is why we allow American companies to exploit workers in another country in a way we simply would not tolerate here. If someone is working 6 12hour days they earned a decent life no matter what they do no matter where they live. It sickens me that people actually defend this BS especially in Apple's case since there overall profit margin is 22%.


RE: Oh come on...
By Solandri on 6/4/2010 1:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
Because that's the way economics works to equalize costs (wages in this case). If an area (China) has significantly lower wages, jobs in higher-wage areas get moved there. The influx of money accelerates the economy, increasing development, and over time, wages. Eventually it stabilizes when the wages in the new area match the wages in the other area. Or if there's some fundamental difference which prevents that, when the wages in the area + transportation cost of goods match the wages in the other area.

If U.S. companies were banned from farming out work to lesser-paid Chinese workers, there would be no incentive for them to move the jobs overseas. The Chinese workers would then end up on the far working longer hours and making less money than they are now. Not only that, they would be fated to work those jobs forever with no hope of economic improvement.

The failure in this case is that the Chinese government sees the influx of business investment and destroying its own environment as more valuable than making sure its citizens are treated right. They're trying to grow their economy to where they become a major player in world trade, and they're willing to sacrifice just about anything to do it.


RE: Oh come on...
By corduroygt on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Oh come on...
By fteoath64 on 6/5/2010 12:10:52 AM , Rating: 2
Well said. Great points you have.

There is not workers Union to defend the rights of workers in the factories. It should be legislated in China and apparently the authorities turned a blind eye to this.

I find that the Chinese government is silly to sacrifice their own resources to foreign powers, as eventually they will suffer the consequences themselves in future massive revolts/changes. They have the capital to manage their resources properly. They just lack the will to do so.


RE: Oh come on...
By Solandri on 6/4/2010 2:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd rather be a destitute farmer attempting to live off the land than work 12 hours per day in a harmful, strict factory.

Working on a farm is typically >12 hours per day of harder work for less pay. Rice is the staple food in Asia, and due to being cultured in water, it has resisted being mechanized like wheat has been. Planting, cultivating, and harvesting it basically involves rows of workers stooped down in water/mud crawling forward through each field. All day. Day after day. You do not want to be a destitute farmer attempting to live off the land in China. It is much, much worse than working 12 hr/day in a hellish factory.

As someone else pointed out above, the real solution is to mechanize many of these people's jobs with robots. But until China's economy and middle class grows, human labor will be cheaper than robots, and so workers will be abused in this manner.


RE: Oh come on...
By FishTankX on 6/4/2010 7:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
You're slightly wrong on this one. Slightly.

Water grown rice is resistant to mechanization. However, flooding isn't necessary to growing rice, and rice growing has become mechanized here.

What rice does is flood out all of the pests that would normally eat rice, creating a 'natural' pesticide/herbicide. Before the era of mechanization, this made a lot of sense. In the modern era of mechanization, it can be done in a mechanized manner quite profitably.

But the situation in China is such that yield is paramount, and labor costs are low. So it makes more sense to use a labor intensive method, that creates significantly higher yields than mechanical methods, and not have to pay for the pesticides/herbicides that would normally have to be employed. This results in cheaper, more bountiful rice harvests.

Ultimatley, this is one of the areas of China that's extraordinarily environmentally friendly. Staple crop, grown without pesticides/herbicides, in a maximum yield manner, with much less use of petroleum.


LOL
By Stuka on 6/4/2010 11:54:29 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
CEO Steven P. Jobs -- another one of the world's richest men -- comments, "We are all over this. Foxconn is not a sweatshop."


quote:
sweat·shop (swet'shop')
n. A shop or factory in which employees work long hours at low wages under poor conditions.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition


quote:
sweatshop

workplace in which workers are employed at low wages and under unhealthy or oppressive conditions. In England, the word sweater was used as early as 1850 to describe an employer who exacted monotonous work for very low wages. "Sweating" became widespread in the 1880s, when immigrants from eastern and southern Europe provided an influx of cheap labour in the United States and central Europe. An increase in industrialization in the 20th century saw sweatshops emerge in parts of Latin America and Asia, a trend that accelerated with increased demand for consumer goods in the West and a lowering of international trade barriers.

Learn more about sweatshop with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.


One peaceful morn, the silence is broken when outside a noise is heard.. QUACK! Then again, shortly after.. QUACK!

"Shut up!" Steve exclaimed, "Damn chickens."




RE: LOL
By BoycottChinaNow on 6/4/2010 12:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well played :)


RE: LOL
By YashBudini on 6/6/2010 1:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
Why can't this guy score above +5?

+1 again!


RE: LOL
By afkrotch on 6/7/2010 10:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
Mod has to change it


Six 12hr days and only 1 day off ???.
By fteoath64 on 6/4/2010 11:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
This is gross exploitation of humans who are not robots but consisting of flesh and blood.

Just to compare labour ours, in Malaysia, the fabs people worked FOUR days of 12-hour shifts and has TWO DAYS off. It repeats without consideration of weekends or holidays. I think for holidays, employees gets extra pay. Thats already rather tough as family time is already affected by the different shift hours. Trust me, I know, my younger brother is in such a shift and it ain't easy work.

Mr Guo has no idea what the challenge and values the average worker has, that is why he says he cannot understand. The work ours is the MAIN problem!!!!. Also the factory conditions: no talking, short breaks, and oppressive environment. It is not hard to fix but the will is definitely not there.




RE: Six 12hr days and only 1 day off ???.
By Phoque on 6/5/2010 9:24:51 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, and not only that, but that kind of work is debilitating and alienating. There is little to no sense of accomplishment in doing such a job. You turn your brain off, creativity off, sensibility off, go back home, eat, sleep, repeat ad nauseam.

That in itself is a reason to boycott such products ( of which I probably own anyway without knowing in which conditions they were made ). I believe the spreading of such information is a good thing if it can sensibilize people.


By YashBudini on 6/6/2010 1:18:53 AM , Rating: 2
"You turn your brain off, creativity off, sensibility off, go back home, eat, sleep, repeat ad nauseam."

Are you talking about the employees or the idiots who are buying all this high tech electronic crack?


Jason Mick has soiled himself yet again
By W00dmann on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
By thurston on 6/4/2010 9:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you read Jason's articles?


By web2dot0 on 6/4/2010 10:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
Finally someone with some common sense!

DailyTech has become a editorial piece. All sense of journalism has gone out the window.

Fox News! :->

These articles are starting to make me laugh. It's entertaining, but how can anyone even bother to take this crap seriously? That facts are completing distorted.

I don't have a problem is opinionated articles. Everyone's got opinions. However, to pretend this is "news", is absurb.

I challenge people at DailyTech to write ONE positive article about Apple. Surely, with the company as successful as Apple is bound to have done SOMETHING right? I'm just saying ....

If they did so many things wrong, what have we done lately that's so great?


Steve Jobs responsibility
By pascalb on 6/4/2010 6:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
Steve Jobs is so adamant about Apple's values as a company.
It is time to put his money where his mouth is.
Maybe his bigger achievement can be the abolishment of this modern day slavery instead of just the iPad. Right now for better or worse he has drawn the attention of the world.
One thing he could spend a portion of the vast Apple's treasury is to buy a healty part of foxconn, and prove that it doesn't need to be black or white. Apple could use China's manufacturing capacity and behave to their source of wealth with respect. Otherwise it is all empty words. May be a second chance in life is for a purpose.




RE: Steve Jobs responsibility
By jmhart on 6/5/2010 5:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
Uh... What?


Predictable nonsense.
By jmhart on 6/5/2010 5:34:41 AM , Rating: 2
Jason Mick, you sir are an idiot.




RE: Predictable nonsense.
By YashBudini on 6/6/2010 1:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
And since your post has even less value what does that make you?


What a bunch of hypochrites
By ChipDude on 6/8/2010 1:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
We love the Walmart effect where they have driven down the price of everything from underwear to plasma TVs. It ain't just i$hit that made in foxcon that lazy americans have benifited from its pretty much everything that used to be made in USA that cost 10x more that is made by the rural exploted chinese laborer.

US people don't make stuff they just figure out how to move money around, or index web sites or create debt, or maybe sue people Leave the hard work and making stuff to other people who make a buck an hour.




By ed123456789 on 6/8/2010 9:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
Seems, as best I can tell, none of the people in this thread, including the author of the "article", have ever been to the Foxconn Shenzhen/Longhua (LH) campus. I have. From October 2003 through January 2007 I was employed by Foxconn. So my comments are a bit dated.

1. Longhua is a campus - a campus like Microsoft, Apple, Intel, AMD, Dell, and many other large companies have campuses.
2. It services many, very large, industrial customers.
3. There are factories, dorms, restaurants, internet cafes, markets, banks, recreational facilities, and a beautiful religious shrine on that campus.
4. I have been on the factory floor, in the large eating areas (where I went through the same cafeteria food lines), in the restaurants, in the markets, and used the track in the Olympic-size stadium many times.
5. In total I spent the better part of 2-3 months living on that campus, more than one month up front for company, staff, and product familiarization.

The above noted, I saw, first-hand, how things worked. Do I consider LH a sweatshop? Absolutely NOT!

How are things different there? With the huge and constant influx of new staff from the countryside, training MUST be to the lowest common denominator and in MUST begin on day one. What does that mean? It means you are dealing with young people that have never had to deal with factory equipment and their associated dangers. Young people that, it was explained to me and which I could confirm in driving on the streets, did not know when to get out of the way of an oncoming vehicle. Young people that SERIOUSLY needed to go through boot camp to get common-sense, factory discipline at least one layer into their consciousness. Did some of them get yelled at? Absolutely! Did it save fingers, hands, arms, and lives? Absolutely!

Were the jobs tedious? Of course.

Do people want to work there? Of course. Why? To make a simple living, have a "father" to watch over them, and to survive. Seems few in this thread have a clue to survival. Options are few that provide the pay and support infrastructure that Foxconn LH does - not just for "factory workers" but for thousands of support staff (office, construction, maintenance, etc).

As for shots taken at Mr. Terry Gao (spelling varies), totally off base and undeserved! Mr. Gao lost a younger brother and a wife of many, many years to illness in the last few years and it was VERY hard on him. Is he rich? Yes. Has he earned every penny of it? In my opinion - down to the last person within Foxconn that I talked to about Foxconn and Mr. Gao - he earned every penny of it. He worked (and I suspect still works) hours and days that would put a monk to shame. Is he a nice guy? Absolutely! I was present, same table, twice with this gentleman for lunch and he is just that, a gentleman. Does he expect hard work from his team? Absolutely! About half as much or less than what he expects of himself.

Bottom line, Foxconn is one of the VERY best companies in the WORLD and certainly NOT a sweatshop or employer with "hellish" working conditions. In large measure Foxconn success is the direct result of the very, very hard work of Mr. Gao. Do the workers actually have to work there? No! Do they want to work there? Yes! Absolutely!


By weilin on 6/4/2010 11:48:31 AM , Rating: 2
Oh really... Tell you what, show me how easy a single shift week is, work one shift week in your own plant. This should be cake right? Make sure you obey all the rules too, it wouldn't be fair if you do any complaining or sitting during this time period. It's only one week...




Terry Gou
By Phoque on 6/4/2010 4:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
"says he can't understand why his employees would want to kill themselves."

***k I wish I saw this bastard in a reality show featuring him working in his own iPad producing factory, employees around not knowing who he his.




china
By supergarr on 6/4/2010 5:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
another reason why we shouldn't be doing so much business with china




Boo Foxconn, Boo Apple...
By bim27142 on 6/6/2010 7:45:54 AM , Rating: 2
If Foxconn's Apple division is so demanding then Apple is so demanding on them too. Hell they just pass on the dice IMO.

From the article, HP, Dell and other Foxconn divisions are doing better then the hell with this Apple division ei???

I never owned any Foxconn nor Apple stuff and I guess never will I.




Meow
By rburnham on 6/7/2010 10:57:07 AM , Rating: 2
Why hello, Mrs. Gou. Aren't you lovely.




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