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Workers threaten to go on strike by committing suicide at Apple factory in China.


pyroscott
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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 28 January 2012

Apple is really starting to take a beating publicly regarding the conditions to which the workers at apple manufacturing plants are subjected. I received an e-mail this morning from change.org which has started a petition to tell Apple to improve the conditions of the workers. I'm not sure I completely buy into all the claims that this e-mail makes, but if it is true, this is appalling and something definitely needs to be done to improve these conditions. Nobody deserves to be permanently maimed for corporate greed and the claim that some people are committing suicide in response to the conditions, if true, is incredible. Let's hope these claims are not true, and true or not, I hope Apple makes huge efforts to improve the conditions for the workers.

Complete e-mail text follows:

According to the New York Times, workers at a factory in Shenzhen, China, owned by Foxconn (a company that manufactures iPhones, iPads and other devices for Apple) regularly work sixteen-hour, seven-day work weeks.

hey stand until their legs swell and they can’t walk, and they perform repetitive motions on the production line for so long that some permanently lose the use of their hands. To cut costs, managers make workers use cheap chemicals that cause neurological damage. There has been a rash of suicides at the Foxconn plant, and 300 workers recently threatened to jump off the roof over a safety and pay dispute.

In short, as one former Apple executive told the New York Times, "Most people would be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from."

Mark Shields, a self-described member of the "cult of Mac," started a petition on Change.org demanding Apple exert its influence on its suppliers to improve working conditions for the factory workers that make iPhones, iPads and other Apple products. Click here to sign Mark’s petition right now.

Apple knows it can play an important role in ensuring safe and fair working conditions for the workers at its suppliers, like Foxconn. In 2005, the company released a supplier code of conduct, and it performs hundreds of audits each year in China and around the world to confirm its suppliers are meeting the code’s expectations.

But that’s where Apple’s commitment falters: the number of supplier violations has held steady year to year and Apple hasn’t consistently publicly stated which suppliers have problems or dropped offending suppliers.

The bottom line, Apple executives admit, is that they’re not being forced to change.

 

One current executive told the New York Times that there’s a trade-off: "You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories," he said, or you can "make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards. And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China."

 

That means public pressure is the only thing that can force Apple to ensure its suppliers treat workers humanely. If enough people sign Mark’s petition -- and tell Apple they care more about human beings than they do about how fast the company can produce the next generation iPhone -- the company could be convinced to make real change for the workers at Foxconn and other factories.

 

 

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Migrated from Original Forum. Originally Posted 28 January 2012

 

Well the ironic thing is that itunes was developed and marketed as the best way for artists to offer their music and actually get paid. My cousin is in Quietdrive and said that they make a lot more from itunes sales of songs than they do from the CD sales. So Apple has in essence, improved things drastically for artists to get paid for their work, but they certainly haven't improved anything for the workers making the components of their hardware. They keep demanding faster, cheaper, more advanced components, indirectly forcing their suppliers to cut costs wherever available which apparently is employee safety and care. Then they finish their recipe by jacking up the price, sticking it to the wireless carriers and the people that buy their products. Then they laugh all the way to their offshore account with their billions of dollars. People need to wake up.

 

It's almost like when I started noticing how beautiful and expensive the national bank I used to bank with had their offices. I thought, "where does this money come from?" I promptly moved my banking needs to a credit union with nice offices but no marble floors, teak desks and toilet paper made of money.

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