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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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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.


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