Nothing to see here
Don't worry everyone. It's OKAY. The "interns" aren't working on Apple products; just doing "school projects".
Move along now.
Apple manufacturer Foxconn has admitted that child labourers were working at one of its factories in China. The Taiwanese firm said an internal investigation found employees as young as 14 working at its plant in Yantai in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, according to China Labour Watch. The US-based NGO said Foxconn …
Trust me, the only thing these poor kids are studying is what it is like working under slave labor conditions. Foxconn exists, in part, because free trade agreements have made it very profitable for major corporations (such as Apple) to ship all of their manufacturing to these poor nations where labors laws are scarce. In spite of Apple's wealth, I doubt that many US workers benefit from the companies activities.
Except lowering the price they have to pay for products and removing the need for hard, boring, often dangerous work. Also in general a lot of the work that is done by cheap foreign labor wouldn't suddenly be done by Benefits Jo but would instead be done by a robot as in the mid to long term the robot would be cheaper then a person in the West, but not as cheap as foreign Labor in the second or third world.
Also having cheap foreign labor do all the back breaking work for us allows us on the whole to focus on higher value enterprises. Such as designing the things made by people in sweatshops.
Apple now employs far more workers in the US today than it did when manufacturing of its products was done in the US. The reason is because the labor cost savings were put to R&D, which led to the development of the top-selling iProducts. With that money, they were able to open the fabulous Apple stores, leading to them employ thousands more employees in the US alone. This was a case where outsourcing seems to have created jobs here.
"Apple now employs far more workers in the US today ... they were able to open the fabulous Apple stores, leading to them employ thousands more employees in the US alone. This was a case where outsourcing seems to have created jobs here."
I dare-say the Caribbean sugar industry created quite a lot of jobs in England too.
Woot! Slavery is great!
"But definitely a reason to not buy anything they produce until they get a positive report that all the problems are sorted and the workers are happy with conditions etc."
Or an Xbox... or a PS3... or a Wii... or a Kindle... Or... Or... the list goes on.
It's a paradox. Apple will use any means necessary to provide frugal consumers a desirable product. While Apple could definitely lean on their manufacturers they generally don't and in turn, attempt to walk the line between keeping the margin high and distancing themselves from a necessary evil, in it's supply chain.
Is Apple breaking any laws? No. However, I do find it questionable that given the demand of the product, that someone at Fox is scrambling ass over applecart to deliver product to Cupertino to sell. So circumstantially, they're pushing the boundries by subsidising a company that abuses its workforce, through long hours and crappy working conditions.
So, we as consumers are left with a choice between: A) Shiney new kit that's relatively inexpensive or B) Being supportive of human rights in a developing, but major world power. Idealistically we'd all support the latter, but most of us don't.
and, until then, the workers are to continue producing whatever the line they're on produces. and, collecting wages. and. And all the companies (named Apple, naturally) having goods manufactured on those lines will continue to have goods manufactured at the same rates on those same lines, while the cash that flows along lines established by the relationships in place (e.g. between all those companies--named Apple, naturally--and FoxConn) will continue to flow. And... Please! Give it a rest! The wider problem is global capitalism in its current form, but you don't really have a problem with that. Apparently.
"Chinese industry really does seem to be the unacceptable face of capitalism."
It's been many years since an officially capitalist country has been the unacceptable face of capitalism. The same is true for environmental issues. Dictatorships of any notional flavour have always been worse.
It's funny. You get these people telling you how awful your liberal democracy is and how they could create a better society, and eventually these people get a country to play in where they can make the rules and force everyone to be better, and it always ends up sucky. At the end of the day, the best system ever invented is the one where you can get rid of the bastards at the end of their term of office.
I could be wrong, but I believe working conditions and minimum wage regulations in switzerland might be *slightly* different to those found in factories in china.
And as has been repeatedly shown, this is NOT the worst thing happening at Foxconn - riots, horrid working conditions, forced overtime, suicide...
I worked when I was 14 and did work experience - sure it may only have been at weekends / holidays etc. but I doubt these Chinese 14 year olds were 'forced' into it. If anyone it sounds like the schools are to blame - they KNOW how old these kids were - the people at the factory were negligent they did not check but I'd point the finger at the schools first.
Farm work is easier than factory - worked in cotton farming for a couple of years. Longer hours but a helluvalot less stressful. However, Obama is trying to stop that - unfair to "undocumented workers" or some such (!?!).
AC further up? I worked delivering newpapers @13, @15 was honored with a $1.35/hr job at El Taco - that lasted three days until the whole shift got fired for being caught in a massive food fight by the manager one night.
icon? no reason, just thirsty..
You have to put suicides into perspective - Foxconn employs over 1m people - I suspect most in the 18-25 age band - now work out the suicide rate for them over 3 years then compare it to 1m 18-25 year olds in US universities or pretty much anywhere over the same 3 year period. I do not have the stats to hand but suspect it is not all that different.
Or compare the suicide rate of 1m Chinese workers at Foxconn to 1m Chinese workers with the same age distribution NOT at Foxconn over the same 3 year period.
Some quick facts - Lithuania reported 31.6 suicides per 100,000 people per year - so that 316 per 1m - makes the 10 at Foxconn look quite small. Don't like Lithuania - let's try Switzerland - 11.1 per 100,000 - so that's 111 per 1m. China as a whole 222 per million, UK is 69 per 1m people per year.
The worst year for suicides at Foxconn was 2010 when there were 14 but they actually employ over 1.2m people so the figures are not significantly different. The basic fact is in the UK around 70 people per million (7 per 100,000) commit suicide per year - at Foxconn it is less than 14 in that worst year. So the UK asa whole is 5 times worse.
I'm not defending them - but when you have any large population you will have suicides. It would be equally disingenuous if a company with 10 staff had 1 person commit suicide so the news report they have an appalling 10% suicide rate.
This is just a symbolic jesture to appease those who know what a horrible slave shop Foconn is with over a million slaves. With the beatings and torture that goes on daily, it's no wonder a dozen have committed suicide and a mass suicide was threatened due to the inhumane treatment these people experience every day at the hands of their guards and managers. It's an International disgrace IMO that Foxconn isn't punished and that all UK and U.S. contracts aren't canceled.
...that if China labour operated under the same US laws and ideals, they would *cost* the same as a US counterpart, and in effect, be a little more expensive than manufacturing within the US in the first place.
So, you can pick either a cheap product made with slave labour, or, a significantly more expensive product manufactured with TLC, sweet flowers and rainbows where all the workers are deliriously happy.
Pick one, and only one. Remember if you pick the expensive option, you're pricing several ranges of products outside the ability of a whole bunch of people.
That would make smartphone users confined to young urban professionals with lots of liquid funds to throw around, and out of the hands of idiot teenagers who need to twitter their idiot friends what they're doing at every bloody moment.
Which some would say is a good thing.
Just make the goods in the UK and U.S. and free the slaves. No one needs the inferior crap produced in Japan be it Apple branded, Microsucks, Acer or Foxconn - to name just a few. The slight price increase to make an sell it in the UK or U.S. can come out of the multi-million dollar CEO annual bonuses that are paid in addition to the CEO base salary of millions, paid annually.
No one needs the inferior crap produced in Japan be it Apple branded, Microsucks, Acer or Foxconn - to name just a few
Just as well it's manufactured in China then, or did all the references to China somehow display as Japan? If so, that would be the Chinese manufactured display you are using. maybe you should send it off for repair to a factory in China so that a Chinese worker can repair it.
China needs to address and resolve their own internal over-population and commerce issues and not rely on contracts from the U.S. and UK to fund their slave shops so that a few in management can reap fortunes while inhumanely treating the slaves.
The Slumlord U.S. and UK corporate CEOs should be tried for use of slave labor and sent to prison. It's a disgrace and illegal.
You've never seen a Chinese factory. It's labor-intensive far beyond what you'd find in the U.S. Imagine what a pack of cigarettes would cost if that cellophane wrap was hand applied. China would be unable to sell anything if it followed U.S. minimum wage and environmental laws because the cost would be huge.
Anyone know 'how many' 14 year olds were employed. Wonder how many 14 year olds are 'working' in Northern Ireland. People forget Foxconn employs 1.2M people - for a bit of perspective the population of Northern Ireland is around 1.8M (50% larger).
So if Apple pulled all those jobs and moved them 'somewhere else' would those workers be better or worse off?
You seem to think its OK for companies to treat is employees like shit because the alternative would be unemployment. Lets face it, with Apple being Foxconn's biggest customer then they should demand fair working conditions which they themselves intrude.
Apple's huge profit margins are only possible because of the cheapest labour. Steve Jobs always banged on about changing the world for the better but at the end of the day it was/ is all about profit.