Educational CyberPlayGround ®☰ Menu

APPLE iPhone and Ipad made in China

#Apple Fair Trade #Apple supply chain #APPLE Display components, #Apple LCD panel, #Foxconn China plant, #touch panel Wintek suppliers, #Apple iPad security Breach

 

How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work
Washington Republicans and Democrats all agreed that it was best to have the U.S. worker design and make high end products, whether it was R&D at Apple, or heavy machinery at Caterpillar. But assembling widgets and putting puzzles together, in essence, was not where the U.S. wanted its workers to be in the global labor pool. The U.S. government has been doing away with that kind of labor for nearly two generations now, and it has accelerated clearly under globalization. China’s strategy was and remains full employment. American's don't want boring repetitive low wage factory line work. No one on earth would want that job, if they had an alternative - it's for robots.
nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html

#Think Fair Trade

"Think Fair" is the better kind of killer marketing.

 

Apple has high margins in the 40% plus range, so it can easily absorb a couple of points or more in higher supply chain costs.

- "Think Fair" would provide an additional cache for Apple products that would easily justify their higher prices.

- "Think Fair" would sell a lot of Apple gear and it's a considerable barrier to competitors.

What about Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Amazon whose operating margins are in the single digits? They have to do it too or you don't buy from them.

AMERICA

 

 

June 23, 2012 Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay By DAVID SEGAL
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/business/apple-store-workers-loyal-but-short-on-pay.html
Last year, during his best three-month stretch, Jordan Golson sold about $750,000 worth of computers and gadgets at the Apple Store in Salem, N.H. It was a performance that might have called for a bottle of Champagne — if that were a luxury Mr. Golson could have afforded. “I was earning $11.25 an hour,” he said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough.” America’s love affair with the smartphone has helped create tens of thousands of jobs at places like Best Buy and Verizon Wireless and will this year pump billions into the economy.
Within this world, the Apple Store is the undisputed king, a retail phenomenon renowned for impeccable design, deft service and spectacular revenues. Last year, the company’s 327 global stores took in more money per square foot than any other United States retailer — wireless or otherwise — and almost double that of Tiffany, which was No. 2 on the list, according to the research firm RetailSails.
Worldwide, its stores sold $16 billion in merchandise.
But most of Apple’s employees enjoyed little of that wealth. While consumers tend to think of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., as the company’s heart and soul, a majority of its workers in the United States are not engineers or executives with hefty salaries and bonuses but rather hourly wage earners selling iPhones and MacBooks. About 30,000 of the 43,000 Apple employees in this country work in Apple Stores, as members of the service economy, and many of them earn about $25,000 a year. They work inside the world’s fastest growing industry, for the most valuable company, run by one of the country’s most richly compensated chief executives, Tim Cook. Last year, he received stock grants, which vest over a 10-year period, that at today’s share price would be worth more than $570 million. And though Apple is unparalleled as a retailer, when it comes to its lowliest workers, the company is a reflection of the technology industry as a whole.
The Internet and advances in computing have created untold millionaires, but most of the jobs created by technology giants are service sector positions — sales employees and customer service representatives, repairmen and delivery drivers — that offer little of Silicon Valley’s riches or glamour. Much of the debate about American unemployment has focused on why companies have moved factories overseas, but only 8 percent of the American work force is in manufacturing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth has for decades been led by service-related work, and any recovery with real legs, labor experts say, will be powered and sustained by this segment of the economy. And as the service sector has grown, the definition of a career has been reframed for millions of American workers. [snip]

 

CHINA

 

 

Ironic: In China it is illegal to form Unions when it was Mao who spent the early 1920s traveling in China, finally returning to Hunan, where he took the lead in promoting collective action and labor rights.

 

Fewer hours, more pay for workers at iPhone factories
Foxconn's factories are the last step in the manufacturing process of iPhones and other Apple devices, most of which have hundreds of components. Research firm IHS iSuppli estimates that Apple pays US$8 for the assembly of a 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S and US$188 for its components, according to The Associated Press. It sells the phone wholesale for about US$600 to phone companies, which then subsidize it to be able to sell it for US$200 with a two-year service contract. Foxconn's moves are likely to have an impact across the global technology industry. iSuppli's figures suggest that if Apple were to absorb a Foxconn wage increase that keeps salaries level while cutting average working hours from 60 to 49 per week, it would pay less than US$2 extra to have an iPhone made. Other electronics companies, particularly PC makers such as Dell and HP, earn less profit on what they sell and could see a deeper impact. Thomas Dinges, an analyst at iSuppli, told AP that Apple's competitors will probably have to accept the price increase too, since it's framed as a moral issue.


THE average wage of Chinese mainland workers is less than half of the world average when measured by purchasing power, a recent UN report shows. The report released by the UN's International Labor Organization found wage earners on the mainland made an average equivalent of US$656 a month, ranking 57th out of the 72 countries the report covered. The world average was US$1,480 a month, while Luxemburg had the world's richest workers, who earned an average US$4,089 a month.China's Hong Kong and Macau were listed in the 30th and 52nd spots, with average wages of US$1,545 and US$758, respectively, the BBC reported.
The salary is not calculated in normal US dollars but in purchasing power parity dollars. The value of one PPP dollar equals what a US dollar can buy in the United States. According to the calculation, Chinese mainland individuals who earn 6,000 yuan (US$952) a month have purchasing power equal to the world's average. But the results are believed to be partial as the report was made on 2009 data and did not include a large part of the labor force such as self-employed workers, independent farmers or people living on social benefits.
"It tells you something about the quality of life of the middle classes," ILO economist Patrick Belser told the BBC. "What it shows, also, is that the average salary is still pretty low, and that the worldwide level of economic development is in fact still pretty low, in spite of the huge affluence that we see in some places." Data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China showed that average income for urban residents was 1,998 yuan a month in 2011. In Shanghai, the situation is much different. The city's statistics bureau said in March that average salary for employees in the city was 4,388 yuan a month in 2011. shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=498184


According to the recently released report of a joint investigation of Foxconn carried out by several universities over the last year and a half, non-compliance with China's labor laws was found in its branches in many provinces, but the local government agencies did not take any action. In other words, the local officials responsible for upholding the labor laws and workers' rights have failed to do their duty.
Such a failure cannot be justified. The Fair Labor Association and media outlets can label such plants as sweatshops and workers can protest at their treatment, but the working conditions they have to endure will never be improved if the responsible local officials choose to stick their heads in the sand. No local government agency has made any response.


 

Music History Project on West Virginia Labor Wars
Mine War on Blackberry Creek
The US Supreme Court ruled that Blankenship's financial relationship with West Virginia Supereme Court Justice Benjamin "had a significant and disproportionate influence on the outcome" of a $50 million verdict against Massey Energy Company that the West Virginia court had thrown out.
A long and bitter United Mine Workers of America strike in 1984 against A.T. Massey, America's fourth largest coal company with corporate ties to apartheid South Africa. While strikebreakers work inside the mines and security men with guard dogs and cameras patrol the compound, miners on the picket lines detail the history of labor struggles in the region and their determination to hold out until victory.
A.T. Massey CEO Don Blankenship, listed on AlterNet in 2006 as one of "the 13 scariest Americans," addresses capitalism, social Darwinism, and the global economy, while Richard A. Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer and currently running for President of the AFL-CIO, expresses union values.

 

Dreamwork China giving a voice to China's migrant workers. Their interviews with Foxconn workers in Shenzhen examine candidly the dreams and aspirations of their incredibly young labor force, many of whom depressingly deny they have any "big" dreams.

1/26/12 Li Qiang, 39, is the founder of China Labor Watch, a nonprofit group in New York City that seeks to improve labor conditions in China. In the late 1990s, while studying law in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, he began supporting striking workers and taxi drivers. Later, he moved south, to China’s biggest factory zones near Shenzhen. He worked at several electronics, toy and shoe factories, where he investigated labor conditions, and tried to expose what he saw as unjust and inhumane conditions. Now, Mr. Li works from a small office near the Empire State Building, employing a team in China that sneaks into factories, smuggles out photographs and publishes reports of illegal or abhorrent labor conditions at suppliers to some of the world’s biggest corporations. David Barboza, the Shanghai bureau chief of The New York Times, interviewed Mr. Li after doing the reporting reflected in his article, “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad,” written with Charles Duhigg.
The account of how Apple's factories substituted n-hexane, a neurotoxin with well-documented long term adverse health effects, for alcohol to wipe those shining screens clean, gaining a miniscule advantage in drying time but exposing workers to a lifetime of disablement is impossible to understand.
While not in any way approving of such practices, these are *not* "Apple's factories". These are factories contracted by Apple and dozens or hundreds of other companies to manufacture all of these phones, tablets, and other electronic devices that *WE* choose to purchase.  If you want to be horrified, fine... but it's MANY companies that are choosing to use these factories, not just Apple. Speaking of "do no evil", Google's Chromebook is made by Samsung and Asus (at least those two), and various phones are made by HTC and others.  What are Samsung's factory conditions like?  Or Asus'? Or HTC's?
Manufacturing cost according to isuppli.com the Samsung Chromebook manufacturing cost is $12.20, for the iPad 2 it's $10.00, and for the Kindle Fire it's $7.10
Foxconn comes up "Notable products which the company manufactures include the Amazon Kindle, iPad, iPhone, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360."

See:

10/11 Go to any gathering, and you'll find nearly every person carrying an iPhone or an iPad, despite the Apple Computer's dismal record on labor practices. Apple executives must be laughing all the way to the bank — their Swiss bank, that is. In its fourth quarter earnings report released last week, Apple Computer revealed that 2/3 of its on-hand cash – some $54 billion — is squirreled away outside the boundaries of the United States, presumably to avoid paying its fair share of taxes. In the meantime, reports Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), a Hong Kong-based group, Apple's major manufacturing contractors routinely subject employees to forced overtime, wage theft and no breaks — and even unprotected exposure to toxins. Apple, together with rival tech firm Google, have been lobbying for a “tax holiday” that would allow them to bring some of those billions into the U.S. at a lower tax rate, promising that to do so would create jobs. But, as we reported, a similar measure tried in 2004 created few jobs, and instead rewarded companies that had kept their money overseas. Where Apple has created jobs is in China, where the workers who make its slick products are made to work in deplorable conditions. A new SACOM report, “The iSlave Behind the iPhone: Foxconn Workers in Central China,” examines conditions at the Apple Computer contractor's plant since the suicides of nine workers last year made big news. One thing that has changed: workers were given a raise — to all of $1.18 an hour. But workers are often shorted overtime pay, SACOM reports, and Foxconn even illegally withheld, during the Chinese New Year, payment for overtime already worked in order to prevent workers from taking the traditional holiday to visit their families. Most workers in these factories are migrants; the corporations deliberately build facilities in lower-populated areas where wages are lower. Not that labor costs account for much of the cost of an Apple product. According to Sophia Cheng, writing at the SACOM Web site:

Take the iPad, for example, which is the sole item produced at Foxconn's 100,000-worker factory in Chengdu. Industry analyst iSuppli estimates that Apple spends only $9 on labor for every $499 iPad. PDF

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group formalizes its plans to construct an automated worker manufacturing plant with a letter of intent laying out a soon-to-be-built "intelligent robots kingdom" in Taiwan. Terry Gou, the President of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (FoxConn's parent) has signed a letter of intent to build a robotic manufacturing hub in the Central Taiwan Science Park. Get used to the name Foxconnn, as its corporate logo will almost certainly be printed on the chests of our future machine overlords. The Taiwanese company (although one of China's largest employers) responsible for (among other things) assembling Apple's various iPhones is moving ahead with plans to fill its workforce with a larger number of machine minds

Foxconn Those who claim that the company is essentially trafficking in modern slavery are ignoring the fact that the company exists in order to serve a Western audience.
The kitchen at Foxconn is important because, like the company, it is a black box. I saw a model of the facility, carefully laid out on a piece of plastic turf and complete with little LED lights tracing the path of any one of those nearly 200 pigs from loading dock to loading dock. It's like a circuit diagram or a model of a digestive system. There, in the course of the day, nearly 400,000 meals pour out into the campus. There a cooker the size of two truck trailers cleans, cooks, and cools hundreds of pounds of rice, and some of those pigs (slaughtered off campus because that's one thing the kitchen at Foxconn isn't allowed to do) are stir-fried or stewed and sent out to one of the many campus cafeterias. Back at the kitchen I wanted to confirm how many pigs actually went into Foxconn's mess hall. After a bit of back and forth, the kitchen staff concurred. "About 90 here and 80 at the other kitchen. Sometimes more," said our guide. "90 what?" I asked. "Pigs. Whole pigs." Even the waste disposal systems are massive. The waste water – 3,000 tons daily – that comes from the kitchen is treated and reused in the sewage system, thereby reducing the load on the surrounding infrastructure. The oil used in the cooking facility is converted to biofuel to power some of the facilities, including many of the systems inside the kitchen.

Federal Fair Labor Standards Act

INTERNSHIPS

 

 

Unpaid Internships At Non-Profits that are arranged by schools Principles are NOT DIFFERENT for unpaid internships at non-profit organizations or for those sponsored by educational institutions for which the intern receives academic credit. SEE "for-profit" entities, and this is the sector upon which Fact Sheet # 71 focuses. Unpaid internships are "generally permissible" for a non-profit charitable organization in the right circumstances.  The publication further implies that the relationship is more likely not to be viewed as FLSA employment if it is "structured around a classroom or academic experience . . . ," such as "where a college or university exercises oversight over the internship program and provides educational credit . . .."
Whether an unpaid internship occurs under the auspices of an educational institution, in a non-profit organization, or at a for-profit business, in the end the FLSA question still gets down to some version of this:  Do the circumstances clearly show that the relationship is for the purpose of generalized learning, education, and training that imparts to the participant significant knowledge of a broadly-applicable kind, or do they instead indicate that the idea is to have the person perform work?  In other words, if the motivation is something like, "We could sure use help from an intern this summer," that is a danger sign – whether the setting is for-profit, not-for-profit, school-related, or any other.

HIRE AT WILL

 

And when 'at will' is used in a contract with an independent contractor it generally means that there is no requirement for notice or reason in terminating the contract. Not commonly used in contracts as legal folks have better ways of saying that, but small organizations sometimes cut corners on their contracts.

Contracting or consulting is a TYPE of employment, "at-will" is a policy position that reflects the state interpretation of the "at-will" doctrine.

1) An independent contractor or consultant is self-employed , works for his/herself and receives a 1099 MISC income form at the end of the year -- THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS CONTRACTING FOR AN AGENCY. There are statutes that govern this as well that apply to the company or employer (for example, if the independent contractor or consultant does or cannot exercise free will in determining work hours, billing, etc., it can be argued that they are an employee not an independent contractor -- you must read the entire statute for clarity, but again this applies to the employer/company and is for the contractors protection).

2) "At-Will," (referred to as an American employment doctrine), is an employment status whereby the state (not an individual company) says that employers within its borders has the right to terminate employment (a) with no notice, and (b) with or without cause or explanation. By the same token, workers in that state also have the right to terminate/end their employment or "quite" their job (a) without providing the employer written or verbal notice, unless otherwise specified in an employment contract, and (b) is not required to provide the employer a reason or explanation - again, unless otherwise specified in an employment contract. It defines the working or employment relationship between a firm and an individual.

Here is a link if you need further clarification:
http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/01/art1full.pdf

So there is a significant difference between the two. DC, MD, and VA are all at-will states (for lack of a better description) and of the 50 states, at last count approximately 43 are "at-will" states.

beware YELLOW DOG CONTRACT

 

Worker's Rights
An employer-employee contract, no longer legal, by which the employee agrees not to join a union while employed. Employment contract expressly prohibiting the named employee from joining labor unions under pain of dismissal. Most state constitutions guarantee the right to union affiliation and to collective bargaining. Federal and state statutes now generally declare that such contracts will not form the basis for legal or equitable remedies.


SLAVE LABOR
VS FAIR TRADE

 

 

If conditions at Winteks factories are anything like those at Foxxconns iPod facilities, most of Winteks employees earn less than fifty dollars a month, and work 15 hours a day.

Apple has admitted that child labor was used at the factories that build its computers, iPods and mobile phones.

Laptops

technoserf

 

We tend to think state-of-the-art robots must do the intense, detailed work needed to make our laptops – work that can mean completing the same action every three seconds for hours on end. But why would you bother when human labour is so cheap? While the material and distribution costs are pinned down, the wages of the millions of Chinese workers on the global electronics assembly line are seen as the elastic part of the supply chain where the contractor can make some margin. These workers have been dubbed technoserfs. They live and work in mammoth electronics factories (Foxconn, the giant that manufactures for Apple, houses 400,000 workers in dormitories at its Longhua plant), earning a basic wage that cannot sustain them (in part because they are charged for countless expenses including bedding and rent). A report by NGO China Labour Watch (CLW) assessed 10 major manufacturers producing for blue-chip giants, including Dell, Sony, Apple and HP, between October 2010 and May 2011, and found there were multiple violations of basic Chinese labour laws. Technoserfs were left standing for 10 consecutive hours, working at high intensity on assembly lines, and that doesn't include overtime, which many are forced to work. Conditions are degrading – in one instance, factory workers were permitted one 10-minute loo break in the middle of the day, which sparked a virtual stampede to just a few toilets, so that many didn't make it in time.
In the summer, a spate of suicides at Foxconn cast further light on the life of a technoserf. "Twelve hours of work = standard" and "One year and I'm dead" were found in the notebook of one young man who took his own life. Suicide nets were put up to catch any would-be victims, which is as far away from addressing the root cause as it's possible to get. While Apple attracts the lion's share of attention for outsourcing to Foxconn, CLW concludes that "the failings of Foxconn exist in the majority of electronics factories, and are representative of the policies and behavioural norms found throughout the electronics industry".
The alternative Part of the pressure put on workers has been traced to the way global brands dictate ferocious production schedules after whipping up consumer frenzy for new devices.

Stop buying trend-driven electronics, keep using your old ones for as long as possible and buy secondhand if you need to upgrade.

Cheap fast fashion is becoming less palatable as consumers are increasingly aware of how it is made; it's time we put the same thought into electronic purchases.

51 cents an hour is apparently too much
On the 10th of each month, Foxconn workers have their only good day. That's because they get the Chinese equivalent of $130. That's $130 for about 240 hours of work. The math is disturbing. These workers make about 51 cents an hour. It should be noted that Apple's Foxconn workers used to work longer hours, as much as 70 hours a week. Apple mandated that the maximum overtime be 20 hours a week, so Foxconn workers now only work 60 hours a week. Of course, they're still making only 51 cents an hour. By contrast, according to Forbes, Mr. Gou has a net worth of $5.5 billion. Steve Jobs has a net worth of $6.1 billion.
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/government/is-apples-suicide-factory-outsourcing-to-even-cheaper-chinese-peasants/9537

Money / Greed / Technology / Slavery vs Starving / Fair Trade Apple has 295 stores world wide. The low-end iPad sells for $499. If it were built by Americans, it would have to cost $14,970. No one would buy an iPad for $14,970. No one would buy a mid-level laptop for $23,970. No one would buy a smartphone for $5,970.

Chasing Slaves The World Over: The sad fact is the average salary worldwide is $7,000 per year. Given how much we make in America and the number of very rich worldwide, that means that there are a tremendous number of people on the planet who make a lot less than $7,000. In China, the average employment income per person, per year, is $4,325. According to Wolfram Alpha, the median American wage is $42,270 per year. That means each worker generally costs American employers about $15.57/hour. For the sake of this exercise, let's leave out the high cost of benefits. Even so, the typical American worker makes 30 times more than the typical Foxconn worker.

Human Rights in China

 

Apple Censors Dalai Lama IPhone Apps in China
Apple appears to have blocked iPhone applications related to the Dalai Lama in its China App Store, making it the latest U.S. technology company to censor its services in China.

Working conditions in the global electronics industry. All the large tech companies such as Apple, Nokia, Dell, etc have agreements with their suppliers that they do not employ children, and that they will abide by certain standards to protect workers. But it's not clear how these are monitored, enforced, or how much in common they share across the electronics industry. What is common across the electronics industry is a relentless focus on reducing manufacturing costs, and the largest manufacturing cost is labor; which is why employees are pushed to work faster, while maintaining high quality work, and at the lowest wages acceptable.

Name malcolmmoore Shanghai Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph "We have managed to confirm two jumps today, a man and a woman, at Foxconn. Neither died. The other two we still don't know.

Apple is Taking Care of Foxconn Now

TAIWAN'S Foxconn Technology Group on Wednesday announced a 30-percent pay increase for workers at its plants in Shenzhen and other mainland cities starting June. From now on, the company said, it will no longer pay $14,600 to the families of employees who kill themselves.
The basic salary for assembly line workers was raised from 900 yuan (US$132) to 1,200 yuan per month, it said. The salaries of workers and foremen higher than 900 yuan were also boosted by at least 30 percent. Goldman Sachs Foxconn International price target to HK from 5.90 down to 5.20 Hong Kong dollars. Goldman Sachs to Foxconn 2010-12 earnings per share down 12% -15% to reflect the rising labor costs, as well as during the first half of 2010 revenues and margins weak factors. http://paper.sznews.com/szdaily/20100604/ca2932393.htm

Apple Providing Subsidies For Foxconn Workers ?

One Foxconn employee who says the reason for the suicides at the factory is because life there is so meaningless. http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Foxcon-Suicides-China-Hon-Hai-Precision,10597.html
Suicide Worker's relatives claimed the engineer died of stress, the result of working 34 straight hours shortly before his collapse.
http://www.examiner.com/x-39728-Tech-Buzz-Examiner~y2010m6d5-iPad-manufacturer-Foxconn-installing-safety-nets-admits-another-worker-death

Apple will provide financial subsidies to Foxconn's employees, the amount will roughly be 1 to 2% of the profits from Apple products. Apple has conducted investigation on Foxconn, and they believe the main reason for the suicide jumps is related to the employees' low wages. In order to solve the problem, Apple decides to offer a direct financial subsidies for the workers in Foxconn, it will first start from the iPad production line. It was reported that Apple paid Foxconn about 2.3% of the total price of iPad, after the subsidies, it will expected to reach 3%, which is equivalent to the producing cost of the iPad aluminum shell-case.

June 4 1010 Foxconn Fund Scandal should have paid at least 2,500 yuan into the housing fund for every worker every year.


A FOXCONN factory latest scandal to hit the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer after 10 suicides at Foxconn's Shenzhen plant highlighted long working hours and low pay. The Foxconn factory in eastern China's Shandong's Province Yantai City refused to pay into the housing provident fund, a compulsory social welfare, for its 80,000 workers in five years. It could save more than 200 million yuan (US$29 million) every year by holding back its workers' housing funds, says the Beijing-based Economic Information Daily Zhang Xiang, an official with Yantai Housing Fund Management Center, told the newspaper that Foxconn Yantai did not pay into the housing fund. Zhang said the authorities were incapable of doing anything because Foxconn was the biggest tax payer in Yantai.

may 28 3010
A Chinese company has cloned the iPad and dubbed it the iPed. Just about all of its features, right down to the box and icons, have been ripped off. Its priced at $105 in Japan.
http://www.tektion.com/2010/05/iped-the-chinese-ipad-knockoff/
And Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry plans to raise workers' salaries by about 20% at its Foxconn unit in China, as it struggles to stop a spate of worker suicides and quell rising public anger. iPhone maker to raise salaries 20% after worker suicides http://bit.ly/9PWzCJ

The Forbidden City of Terry Gou
His complex in China turns out iPhones and PCs, powering the biggest exporter you've never heard of. With a work force of some 270,000 -- about as big as the population of Newark, N.J. -- the factory is a bustling testament to the ambition of Hon Hai's founder, Terry Gou.

Terry Gou Hon Hai Precision Industry chairman Taiwan's Richest man
Tours his company's 300,000-employee compound in Shenzhen. The Wednesday trip to Foxconn (a subdivision of Hon Hai) Longhua Science & Technology Park was, in part, damage control. That complex--a high-pressure place with both dormitories and factories that manufactures products and parts for Apple, HP, Dell, Sony, Nokia and others--had seen 10 suicides and two suicide attempts since January. Several of Foxconn's big-name customers including Apple, HP and Sony, worried about the suicide spate, have apparently already launched investigations into the company's working conditions. These doubts pose a risk to the strength of Gou's efficient, productive business model--which has made Hon Hai the world's largest contract manufacturer- Hon Hai is also currently the exclusive supplier of Apple's iPhones and one of the few makers of iPods, Taiwan-based analysts say. Apple acknowledged that Hon Hai is a supplier but declined to comment further. At the center of Mr. Gou's empire is his walled Shenzhen facility, the Longhua Science & Technology Park, which covers about a square mile.

The Real Truth Behind Foxconn's Suicide Cluster
According to Southern Weekly, everything we wanted to know about “life inside the factory” is finally been uncovered by their amateur reporter who disguised as a Foxconn worker. The Foxconn suicide mess is all started from job stress. Within half a year, there are 9 suicides with 7 confirmed-deaths in Foxconn's factory of China, Shenzhen. In order to find out what's really going on in that factory, the Southern Weekly, described by The New York Times as China's most influential liberal newspaper, has sent an amateur reporter to slip into Foxconn's factory to pretend as a worker and the mission is to find out the truth of the suicide cluster.

May 2010 For the eighth time this year, a worker has apparently committed suicide at a factory in China operated by Foxconn Technology, the world's biggest contract electronics manufacturer and a major supplier to Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other global companies. It was the 10th time a Foxconn worker has apparently committed or attempted suicide this year. Suicides were between the ages of 18 and 24; six were male and four female; and most were migrant workers who had moved to southern China in search of jobs. Two massive Foxconn factory sites, which together employ about 420,000 workers in Shenzhen, China. Foxconn, a unit of Hon Hai Precision Industry of Taiwan. Chinese state-run media have published articles saying that working conditions were harsh at Foxconn factories, with extraordinarily long working hours, overcrowded dormitories, strict enforcement of discipline on the assembly lines and heavy fines for minor work infractions. Employees were forced to work long periods standing, sometimes for eight hours nonstop. Last year, a 25-year-old worker named Sun Danyong committed suicide after Foxconn security personnel questioned him about whether he was to blame for a missing iPhone prototype. Shortly after he was questioned, Mr. Sun jumped from the 12th floor of an apartment building and died. He had complained to friends that the security personnel had beaten and humiliated him.

Young, Exhausted & Disposable Teenagers Producing / Prison Like Factory Conditions
Company Dorms, cafeteria food, Military like Discipline, State and Corporate Factory Audits a Complete Failure, Wages below subsistence level.
Apple Manufactures in China - that means somewhere there is a factory with 1000's of migrant women working 70 - 80 hour a work  for the lowest wage you can  imagine, who maybe get 1 sunday off a month. There is No health care! It's Simple: Get sick-> lose job.
A study in the mid-1990s by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found 78% of female migrants in the Pearl River Delta had a junior-high-school education, while among rural women nationwide it was only 43%.

Apple plant run by Wintek a Taiwanese company in Suzhou Jiangsu province in China. Their business plan doesn't care about people's rights, again that doesn't come into play.

Monday, January 18, 2010
Touch panels manufactured at United Win (China) Technology Ltd Co. The company is a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Wintek Corporation, one of the world's leading producers of small mobile phone panels and touch panels. "The truth has been hidden from public view. There are people dying from long-term exposure to the toxicant used in the factory but no one is paying attention to that. There needs to be further investigation."
Wintek said n-hexane was commonly used in the technology industry, and that problems had arisen because some areas of the factory were not ventilated properly.
Hexane is known to create extensive peripheral nervous system failure in humans. The initial symptoms are tingling and cramps in the arms and legs, followed by general muscular weakness. In severe cases, atrophy of the skeletal muscles is observed, along with a loss of coordination and problems of vision.
Zhu also complained of work overload and low pay at the factory, which he believed had driven many migrant workers like him to suffer from poor health and poverty. "We had long been dissatisfied with the management, pay and even food provided by the company," he said.

Did the manufacture of your iPhone make someone sick?

All the workers interviewed said n-hexane the chemical that made people sick was used in making touch screens for Apple, particularly the iPhone and iTouch. Apple rejected repeated interview requests, refused to confirm whether its products were involved and directed questions to its 2010 Supplier Responsibility audit, which does not address chemical poisoning.

 

supply chain:
Production

 

 

SUPPLY CHAIN - Ugh Oh

Reuters reported that the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) published a critical report on the Apple supply chain, accusing the company of only caring about the "price and quality" of its products. "We've found that Apple isn't honoring its commitment in ensuring its supply chain's work safety and environmental responsibility and giving dignity and respect to the workers," Ma Jun of IPE told Reuters. "In some ways they drive the suppliers to cut corners to win their contracts." In response, Apple said that its own supplier responsibility reports "document the progress of our extensive auditing program since 2006."



Apple works with overseas partners to create and assemble its devices.
The El Segundo, California-based iSuppli revealed that 9.7-inch screen of the Apple iPad is manufacture by the South Korean firms LG Display and Samsung Electronics, and the Japanese firm Seiko Epson.
Apple tablet will be powered by a processor designed by P.A. Semi and built by Samsung. Analyst Maynard Um said it would likely be a complex system on a chip design.
Last year, an audit of factories Apple contracts with in China showed that more than half were not paying valid overtime rates for those that qualified. In addition, 23 of the 83 surveyed factories weren't even paying their workers China's minimum wage.
Wintek, in particular, came under fire in 2009, as workers at the company took their case directly to Apple over what they saw as illegal and abusive working conditions. Members of the National Federation of Independent Trade Unions in Taiwan protested in front of Apple's Taipei offices last May, hoping the Mac maker would influence Wintek.

Ex-WINTEK Workers Joined in Protest of Poor Working Condition and Apple Under Fire in Taiwan

China Labour Bulletin: Global Post: Silicon Sweatshops
China labor law experts said the document which was not given to GlobalPost by Lis family reads like a standard compensation contract given to families of men who die in coal-mine accidents. The amount is typical for a workplace death. This contract has a twist: it specifically says the company is not liable for his death. In Suzhou, where dozens of workers have fallen seriously ill with nerve damage in the past year from chemical poisoning, a factory workers health is worth about 130,000 yuan ($19,046) by the government's calculation.

fair trade:
Electronics Industry

 

Steve Jobs - Apple
Terry Gou Foxconn

Billionaire Terry Gou owns Taiwan company Foxconn which makes components for Apple Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Intel, Nokia, Cisco & Motorola in Senshen China

Would you pay extra because it does make a difference in the lives of many people?

fair trade:
Change the World

 

 

Change the Electronics Industry

Would you buy a Fair Trade iPhone or Android smartphone? Would you buy a Fair Trade Dell or HP PC if there were such choices? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairtrade_certification

Americans will when some company understands the added value of promoting that, set it up so that it is transparent. We will wnat to know how to check that the company really is offering the worker a better wage, decent hours and living conditions. Americans will support that. They will want to buy Fair Trade brand. Only THEN will the Chinese want copy it.

Make the The Biggest Difference In the World

Fair Trade Electronics could help tens of millions of people around the world without making much difference to our wallets. Our digital gadgets and gizmos are becoming very cheap, almost disposable yet the working conditions for millions of workers in the global electronics industries are deplorable. Noble goals are important but what will drive the growth of Fair Trade electronics is that it will be an excellent way to make money. It's a great way for companies to differentiate themselves in the market place. ~ Tom Forenski

Fair Trade: Fight global poverty. Social Sustainability Starts with Education.

According to Save The Children, two-thirds of the world's 880 million illiterate adults are women. Girls are more than 70 percent of the 125 million children who don't have a school to attend. "If you teach a boy, you educate an individual. But if you teach a girl, you educate a community." An educated boy tends to leave the community and/or use the increased earning power for more "selfish" purposes (sorry gents). On the other hand, an educated girl tends to stay, spend her money on family/children, and become a catalyst for positive change. Ensuring that all citizens have access to food, shelter, clean water and the means to make a decent living - there's ample evidence that education provides a catalyst that can lift millions out of poverty.

... books, notebooks and pencils - the tools of socioeconomic well-being*
  • The education of girls leads to smaller family sizes. Girls marry later and have fewer children, which leads to lower (more sustainable) population growth.
  • Education leads to better female and child healthcare and lower mortality rates, which in turn reinforces the smaller family size.
  • Educated women have higher economic value (i.e. they can earn money), and are therefore generally treated better. They have more of a voice in family concerns, such as family size and healthcare.
© Educational CyberPlayGround ® All rights reserved world wide.