Print 83 comment(s) - last by YashBudini.. on Jun 12 at 8:37 PM

Foxconn may replace workers at its plants with robots. The plants which have been dubbed as "hellish" by the Chinese media, also are cutting their sucide payouts. They already don't pay for workers who die of exhaustion.  (Source: Telegraph UK)

Foxconn is blame news orginizations' reporting of the deaths for provoking more suicides, dismissing that poor working conditions are to blame.  (Source: Southern Weekly)
Company also blames news networks for the suicides

Foxconn seemed to be turning the corner in working conditions and corporate policy.  It had raised employees' base wages and instituted additional performance based increases, as well.  It even had retracted its contract letters to employees demanding they didn't kill themselves.  Now the manufacturer -- which services Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and a host of other companies -- is turning to some controversial new changes.

First of all, at its annual shareholder meeting yesterday, Terry Gou, CEO of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry (owners of the Chinese Foxconn unit) blamed news agencies and company payouts for the rash of suicides.  He first read a letter from one of the employees who killed himself, which stated: I'm going to jump off Foxconn, really leaving now, but you don't have to be sad, because Foxconn will pay a bit of money, this is all your son can repay you now.
He also stated that 6 of the 12 suicides, which occurred in May after the story received international attention, may have triggered a "Werther Effect" -- people reading about the story and deciding to kill themselves.  As a result, Gou is handing control over "welfare management work" to the Chinese local government, which may chose to block internet coverage for the events.

He also announced that Foxconn will no longer pay the families of employees who kill themselves.  Recently a worker died, apparently from exhaustion from working long hours and Foxconn refused to pay his family, as well.  The new policy, though, ends suicide payouts that could total as much as 10 years worth of salary.

Foxconn has also started to flee China, where it currently employs over 800,000 people.  In the shareholders meeting it said that the rise in wages from ¥900 ($132) to ¥1,200 ($176), and for top performers up to ¥2,000 ($293), is compelling it to move to countries with cheaper labor or seek alternative options. 

It says that it may replace employees with robots, building a fully automated assembly line in Taiwan.  This suggestion is somewhat ironic, given recent Foxconn factory workers' complaints that they felt like "robots" when performing their duties. 

Chairman Samuel Chen says that the company may also shift employees and orders to its Vietnam plant, where labor is cheaper.  Chen says that Foxconn is working with the companies that contract it to make these moves as smooth as possible.

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RE: Just low....
By MartyLK on 6/9/2010 12:33:02 PM , Rating: -1
Friggin idiot. Friggin heartless, worthless idiot. It's people like you why they are suffering.

You read that right! YOU! People exactly like you, with your cavalier attitude, is why those poor Chinese workers are suffering. "We had this. We had that". It's so easy for you to blow off isn't it? "They can leave." You friggin moron! You have no GD clue about their life. THE VERY GD FACT OF THEIR SUICIDES IS A GD CLUE TO YOU. But you friggin want to still put ALL blame on them. On top of all they are suffering, YOU want to help pile on their grief!

You are the friggin reason for ALL suffering in the world. Heartless, cold ass people like YOU!

RE: Just low....
By crleap on 6/9/2010 12:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. Best response I've ever had. Explain to me again why it's MY problem that people take and keep jobs they hate? Why is it MY problem the Chinese gov't doesn't value worker health and happiness? What can I do about it? Nothing, really. It's their system and they are the only ones who can fix it.

How would you feel if one of the Islamic countries started using their oil money to pressure our government to act a certain way toward american citizens? Oh, wait, they do, and I'm sure you're not happy about that either.

Instead of calling ME the idiot, why don't you just take to heart that there is only one way to change government and its treatment, lack of protection, or oppression of its citizens. Here it is... the PEOPLE of that COUNTRY must get FED UP enough to CHANGE it. Until the breaking point is reached, it will be business as usual. And there's nothing I can do about it here in Indiana. It really is up to them.

RE: Just low....
By YashBudini on 6/10/2010 12:36:31 AM , Rating: 2
"Explain to me again why it's MY problem that people take and keep jobs they hate?"

The fact you asked that question.

RE: Just low....
By Klinky1984 on 6/10/2010 8:17:43 AM , Rating: 2
You're lucky you're not there because you weren't born in China. Billions of people don't have or barely have enough food to eat or water to drink & it's not because of shortages. You could very well have been born in a rural village in china or a war-torn country in Africa. A lot of the luxury you enjoy in life depends greatly on who your parents are. There isn't anything you can do about being born where you were born, but I think it's important to show some empathy for those who may not have as great an opportunity as you do rather than shrugging it off and going "sucks for them".

Admittedly being born in the USofA doesn't guarantee a life of luxury and really no where does, a lot rests on the individual. But people born into a repressive society run by corrupt communists, theocratic or crazy dictators really don't have a lot of options, they can't even leave their own country in some cases.

RE: Just low....
By BansheeX on 6/10/2010 4:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
Enough with the guilt trip. If you're so genuine in your concern, why don't you donate all of your extraneous belongings? No movies, no games, no books, no computer, no television, no cell phone, no extra pairs of clothes. Face facts man, if someone is being wronged, it's their responsibility to rise up. And if you want my opinion, it's not voluntarily contract agreements they should be pissed off about, it's involuntary currency devaluation. Chinese wages would be worth a lot more if China didn't soak up our inflation. They lend us money to buy their products in exchange for a never ending stream of IOU interest. Dollars do not have value unless they are eventually exchanged for goods. They are artificially suppressing their purchasing power to enhance ours. Is it stupidity or do our bankers control their politicians? Who freaking knows? But if they were to stop doing that, their production would suddenly be consumed from within instead of shipped here and we would be completely screwed for two decades at least.

RE: Just low....
By Klinky1984 on 6/11/2010 11:44:02 AM , Rating: 2
There is nothing that dictates any of those items need to be made by essentially child/slave labor. It is easy for you to say what you say because you're in a country that does not repress your freedom of speech or assembly.

Here is what happens to people who speak up:

There will need to be a re-balancing of power and monetary wealth. Sustainability & a less profit driven world would be worthwhile ventures. The world is not a play thing for the top 10%.

RE: Just low....
By crleap on 6/9/2010 12:58:38 PM , Rating: 1
But you friggin want to still put ALL blame on them.

Yeah... I do, pretty much. Unless they were captured by thugs in trucks with assault rifles, dragged to the factory in shackles, and held there against their will under armed guard with dogs and spotlights... it IS pretty much their choice to stay. There's a pointed difference between a crappy job and slavery.

RE: Just low....
By The0ne on 6/9/2010 1:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think someone's in denial here. There's a cause/effect or rather demand/supply rule going on. No exact person/company/government/country is solely to blame.

To NOT understand this concept and put complete blame, in this case, in China is ludicrous not matter how smart you make it sound. I'm quite sure you agree after thinking about it further.

RE: Just low....
By crleap on 6/9/2010 1:36:41 PM , Rating: 5
I do agree with you that the world is driven by supply and demand of products. You are absolutely correct. Just like we share some blame with BP for the oil spill by demanding more more more cheap oil, this is the same type of situation with us demanding cheap electronics.

HOWEVER, I refuse to step away from the principle of CHOICE. These Chinese workers can unionize, group together, and stand up for what they feel they deserve. China, having the largest singular population of any place on Earth, it seems ridiculous to think they can't get it done if they are truly pushed to the point they won't take anymore. It will make our electronics cost a bit more. But there will still be demand, and we will still pay more over here in glorious america. While I agree with you that the problem is no one entity's FAULT, I continue to assert that it is the Chinese workers' RESPONSIBILITY to change it... not ours. If they are content living on $150 a month and that saves me $50 on the iPhone, you can bet I'll take it. But you can also bet I'll pay the extra $50 if they decide to stand up for themselves.

Guys like the ranty poster above are a lot of the problem. They are quick to call people like me who believe in responsibility uncaring and selfish. I see it all the time. I'm a social worker with a psychology degree. There are people who need it, and there are people who feel entitled to have others fix their problems for them. We are all dealt different hands in life, and we all have the responsibility to play them as well as possible. Some things we truly need help on, and other things it's up to us to man up, stand up, and fix them ourselves.

Please, don't call me uncaring or stupid for expecting people to do for themselves to some degree. If help is needed, sure, provide it. But only after they try (in earnest) to fix it themselves.

RE: Just low....
By TheDoc9 on 6/9/2010 2:00:59 PM , Rating: 5
By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.
-Adolf Hitler

RE: Just low....
By The0ne on 6/9/2010 2:12:01 PM , Rating: 4
Note quite that brash in my response. But you're making it way way way too simple in that the worker simply has to make a choice, which you are correct.

However, you know as well as most people here, that to make a choice in a communist country means certain risks/consequences. I still can't imagine personally how one can judge poor working conditions in the rice field to poor working conditions in a factory. Both are bad and equally devastating to one's life.

So therefore, what's left for the worker? To move to another company that carries the same ethics? To rally and protest? This is bad btw. So then what choice does one really have in a country like China and to what extent? At the end of the day it's about what you can live with and NOT get shipped off to some "training" camp. Is this the same in US? No, it is not. Thus the argument of "choice" when view from so called Western perspectives is really subjective.

My family immigrated to US when I was only 3-4 years old. We've gone through wars, communists countries, poor working conditions, etc. Choice is always there but NEVER easy. Indeed the western worlds have it much too easy when speaking about others, all due to inexperience.

Or to put it simply, it's easier said than done.

RE: Just low....
By crleap on 6/9/2010 2:22:53 PM , Rating: 4
I agree with you, and respect the experience that your opinion is forming from. I just posted a reply to another poster that addresses a few of the points you brought up. Rather than repost all that here, I'll just sum it up and leave it to you to read the other post if you wish:

Chinese problems, Chinese workers, Chinese responsibility to stand up against it first.

As long as we continue the human practice of drawing lines in the sand and calling ourselves "sovereign" over our sandboxes, it will be the responsibility of people living inside that sandbox to initiate the change. If they can convince others to help, so be it, but they MUST be the first to stand up. Until then, we are barking for and assuming costs upon ourselves for an assumption that they want help, and a gamble that the change will stick once we are "done".

RE: Just low....
By The0ne on 6/9/2010 2:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
If you mean Marty, he's just venting :D

If you mean the original poster, he's in a state where he clearly needs to make a "choice." I hope he chooses NOT to support products he knows are coming from questionable conditions; and there are many of them hahaha

I understand you want the people to stand up first, but you have to understand it is not that easy. It was never easy in US history and won't be for China and others. But we are at a different stage in human history where some nations, like US, has the influence and capability to "prevent" what could be come bloody conclusions. Nations like China and especially North Korea are more or less totalitarian in their rule. Hence, why we continue to read and hear the limitations of ones right.

In some sense, China is even worse because they allow just enough freedom so that its citizens are not discontent enough to rally up. You sentence a few to serve as examples to instill enough fear without breaking the entire business down. This, obviously, covers a wide range of issues from hacking, bribery, corruption, etc.

So while you and others stand here and voice your opinion that these people must choose and make a change, their take is irreversibly different than yours. Is a choice really a choice when it's confined within limitations to begin with? How can freedom and free will be so when they can only be allowed under strict conditions with deadly consequences?

Again, history should have taught us many things that we shouldn't be avoiding. While I don't want get off topic, a fine example would be when US waited til millions and millions of lives were lost before engaging in the war. That is not something we should be doing in this day and age when we do know better. Hate Bill Gates all you want but what they are doing with their nonprofit organization is a great thing. It's something we know we can prevent.

Anyhow, this is getting to be too large of a subject to talk about. Sigh. Yes, it is their choice. Yes I do agree they need to rally up. How that is going to be done I absolutely have no clue.

RE: Just low....
By SublimeSimplicity on 6/9/2010 2:34:02 PM , Rating: 3
Please, don't call me uncaring or stupid for expecting people to do for themselves to some degree. If help is needed, sure, provide it. But only after they try (in earnest) to fix it themselves.

"Suffering as such is not a value; only man’s fight against suffering, is. If you choose to help a man who suffers, do it only on the ground of his virtues, of his right to recover, of his rational record, or of the fact that he suffers unjustly; then your action is still a trade, and his virtue is the payment for your help. But to help a man who has no virtues, to help him on the ground of his suffering as such, to accept his faults, his need, as a claim-is to accept the mortgage of a zero on your values. A man who has no virtues is a hater of existence who acts on the premise of death; to help him is to sanction his evil and to support his career of destruction. Be it only a penny you will not miss or a kindly smile he has not earned, a tribute to a zero is treason to life and to all those who struggle to maintain it. It is of such pennies and smiles that the desolation of your world was made."
- John Galt

RE: Just low....
By wallijonn on 6/9/2010 4:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
Just like we share some blame with BP for the oil spill by demanding more more more cheap oil, this is the same type of situation with us demanding cheap electronics.

We don't demand anything. Marketing figures what we are willing to pay, then when it finds a price point where inventory starts to move, sets that as "the" price, provided that the same profit margin can be kept. In the case of the oil industry they can withhold production to keep the price high.

If electronics are not cheap enough the public won't buy them. The companies decide how much profit they want. Then Capitalism uses the cheapest labour possible to ensure the greatest profit. It's Marketing's job to convince us to buy products.

But to say that we share blame because we desire something is akin to saying that we share blame for air pollution because we breathe. It's a spacious argument.

RE: Just low....
By rmclean816 on 6/10/2010 1:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
basically what your saying is that the slaves in America could have freed themselves if they just had of tried harder.

The only reason they are free is because someone helped them get there.

Don't be an idiot.

RE: Just low....
By crleap on 6/10/2010 1:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to tell YOU to not be an idiot, and warp my words. I didn't say they COULD fix their situation, I said we need to help if an when they earnestly try first.

It's not wise to call someone an idiot when your own argument (?) is as incorrectly based and poorly executed as your own.

RE: Just low....
By tedrodai on 6/9/2010 1:11:36 PM , Rating: 5
Sorry to interrupt...but what are you (and people like you) doing for them? I'm sure your heart is bleeding for that is helping their situation how? This guy is advocating that we, everyone outside China, stay out of the way they govern their own problems--which may or may not be the best policy (I lean towards agreeing but have no faith in their government, so...), but at least it's a suggestion.

Meanwhile, your plan of action seems to be to demonize "people with their attitudes", pretend to sympathize, and then go back to watching TV. "People of China, I understand your misery, and I think someone should do something about it!" I bet they're on their PCs googling for moral support as we speak!

As long as it makes you feel better...but terms of results:

Pot, kettle, black.

RE: Just low....
By Klinky1984 on 6/10/10, Rating: 0
RE: Just low....
By Mogounus on 6/9/2010 1:36:56 PM , Rating: 1
NOOOO... I accidently uprated him. Shit...

RE: Just low....
By kfonda on 6/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Just low....
By chagrinnin on 6/9/2010 5:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
Eeewwwwww,...THAT'S where pixie dust comes from!? Geez,...well,....I'll snort one more line,....but that's it! :P

RE: Just low....
By chagrinnin on 6/10/2010 1:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
One hour later, chagrinnin's nose buried deep in the ass of a unicorn, his muffled voice can barely be heard....

"Jus' one more, baby,...*snif*,...that's all. *snif,snif* Come on baby,..give daddy a li'l popcorn."

RE: Just low....
By chick0n on 6/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Just low....
By YashBudini on 6/12/2010 8:37:06 PM , Rating: 2
You're clueless how the law works or what happened at McD.

RE: Just low....
By YashBudini on 6/10/10, Rating: -1
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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