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  • Foxconn to Workers: Sign Here To Verify You Love Life


    The Center for Research on Multinational Corporations and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) published a report to "ascertain the workplace improvement in place, if any" at Foxconn production facilities today.

    Hint. Not much.

    When news of an inordinate amount of suicides occuring amongst Foxconn employees broke last year, Foxconn, after much pressure and scrutiny, made a number of promises to improve working conditions and employee treatment. In fact employees were asked to sign a statement promising not to kill themselves and pledging to "treasure their lives."

    I wish my job required me to make that pledge. God knows I have the urge to kill myself everyday.

    Below is a list of the promises versus what SACOM found.

    Wages

    Promise: Across-the-board increase

    Reality: Miscalculation of wages; unpaid overtime work

    Work Hours

    Promise: Decrease from 80 hours over time a month to 36 hours of overtime work a month.

    Reality: Routinely 80-100 hours of overtime work a month including continuous shifts which deny a meal break

    Health & Safety

    Promise: Adequate personal protective equipment and health examination.

    Reality: Lack of protection and workers are not well informed about the chemicals they are using.

    Student Workers

    Promise: Length of internship regulated; skills training provided; underage workers protected (ages 16-18)

    Reality: Interns are de facto workers and on mandatory night shift.

    Grievance mechanism

    Promise: Better worker-management communication by launching hotline for workers

    Reality: Workers cannot find effective ways to handle the grievances at workplace.
    SACOM visited three Foxconn production facilities. Two of the facilities were new and located in the Chengdu and Chongqing municipality in Western China. The Chengdu facility produces iPads and employs an estimated 100,000 workers. The Chonnqing facility produces HP laptops and employs an estimated 10,000 workers. The third facility visited in the study was actually a revisiting of Foxcon's flagship plants in Longhua and Guanlan in the Shenzhen, which employ an estimated 500,000 workers.

    SACOM's findings aren't encouraging. The new facilities, particularly in Chengdu, aren't finished, resulting in production and construction going hand-in-hand. Workers, both construction and production, must deal with trucks passing by at high-speeds, exposure to aluminum dust and chemicals without adequate protective equipment, and must undergo "military training" to impose the ideal of obedience on the workers.

    Human management at Foxconn is "merely a slogan." In Shenzen employees continue to be housed in dormitories surrounded by anti-suicide nets. In the year since Foxconn's horrific treatment of its workforce was plastered all over headlines little has changed. Except the number of iDevices, tablets and portable electronics produced has sky rocketed with demand.

    Unfortunately, the cheap, cost effective, and fast labor tech companies utilize to meet their ever increasing demand will continue to present a moral quandary.

    We can't condone what they do, but we can't operate "affordably" without their services.

    Source: SACOM
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Foxcon to Workers: Sign Here To Verify You Love Life started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      I couldn't even imagine living like that!!!

      It's more like - sign here to put the blame on you/not us. "we screened them thoroughly".
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Consumer should share in the responsibility if what Foxconn doing is not enough, demand high volume of tech at cheap price only way to make it profitable is cheap labor.
    1. delusion950's Avatar
      delusion950 -
      Whattt!
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Phillip, if you feel like killing your self everyday you better get some help dude.
    1. Essenar's Avatar
      Essenar -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      Consumer should share in the responsibility if what Foxconn doing is not enough, demand high volume of tech at cheap price only way to make it profitable is cheap labor.
      No. That's not what is really going on. Companies don't "lose" money by having better work environments. Ask Intel. They've recently opened an American employed facility and they're doing fine.

      What it is is that the CEO's of these companies want to make as much revenue as they can. When forced to cut revenue, instead of cutting at the top, they cut from the bottom by lowering wages, increasing over time, laying off and blaming the economy. On top of this, they have the nerve to raise prices and blame short supply due to production loss so they make even MORE money.

      It's not our fault for wanting cheap products. It's our fault for buying at all under these circumstances.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      So what happens if they break their promise and kill themselves? Do they get fired? Kind of hard to give a crap about getting fired when you're DEAD.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      "can't operate affordably without their services.".

      Lol. In other words you can't maximize your profits without cheap Chinese labor and minimally satisfactory working conditions.

      I wonder how much Apple would freak out if every Foxconn worker instantly quit their job?
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      I'm still confused, over half of a million employees and what, a dozen suicides? That seems lower than the national average in most places.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Essenar View Post
      No. That's not what is really going on. Companies don't "lose" money by having better work environments. Ask Intel. They've recently opened an American employed facility and they're doing fine.

      What it is is that the CEO's of these companies want to make as much revenue as they can. When forced to cut revenue, instead of cutting at the top, they cut from the bottom by lowering wages, increasing over time, laying off and blaming the economy. On top of this, they have the nerve to raise prices and blame short supply due to production loss so they make even MORE money.

      It's not our fault for wanting cheap products. It's our fault for buying at all under these circumstances.

      Intel is mostly automated (human can not do the precision required), plus it is skilled labor. Versus assembling iDevices unskilled labor. Highly paid unskilled labor is easily replaced (Foxconn pay higher than other companies doing similar work), only way to keep the job is work harder than others. Now if you can not take the pressure leave, I am sure is better than suicide.
    1. daytonaviolet's Avatar
      daytonaviolet -
      cant really compare working conditions from china to usa. it may not be the best working conditions for them, but its a paying job that they signed up for.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      I wonder how much Apple would freak out if every Foxconn worker instantly quit their job?
      Foxconn pays higher than other companies doing the similar work, if workers quit they are easily replaced.

      Plus Foxconn is starting a new factory in Brazil, going to be tough organizing global walkout.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by unison999 View Post
      Foxconn pays higher than other companies doing the similar work, if workers quit they are easily replaced.

      Plus Foxconn is starting a new factory in Brazil, going to be tough organizing global walkout.
      Well something is making these workers throw themselves off the roof. If it's not the money then clearly Apple needs to rethink the way they treat their manufacturing workers.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      Well something is making these workers throw themselves off the roof. If it's not the money then clearly Apple needs to rethink the way they treat their manufacturing workers.
      The last national suicide rate for China that I've come across was 26-27 per 100,000 people. This company has almost a million employees. Sure it was a spike in the companies internal suicide rate, but I still don't see where the huge concern is...
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Yeah, none of this is surprising. This is China, after all - the same China that is occupying Tibet. They should ask how the Tibetan people feel about the military forcibly restricting their culture, and how the Chinese government is trying to 'breed-out' their race.

      China, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the biggest threats to the world. But I'm optimistic - China is not as closed off as they (the Communist Government) wished they were, so information is now flowing fairly freely. It's only a matter of time before their people rise up and demand to become a Republic. All people want to be free, naturally.
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Essenar View Post
      No. That's not what is really going on. Companies don't "lose" money by having better work environments. Ask Intel. They've recently opened an American employed facility and they're doing fine.

      What it is is that the CEO's of these companies want to make as much revenue as they can. When forced to cut revenue, instead of cutting at the top, they cut from the bottom by lowering wages, increasing over time, laying off and blaming the economy. On top of this, they have the nerve to raise prices and blame short supply due to production loss so they make even MORE money.

      It's not our fault for wanting cheap products. It's our fault for buying at all under these circumstances.
      I completely agree with this statement
    1. Tkaneci2's Avatar
      Tkaneci2 -
      The one line that keeps popping up in MY mind is ".....employees housed in dormitories with anti-suicide nets." Seriously!? I don't care if u signed up for it or not, nobody should have to work under conditions so detrimental to your emotional well being that the company feels it needs to have anti-suicide nets surrounding any building over 3 stories high! I mean that pretty much sums it up for me. And for everyone who's argument is these ppl have a choice, google china and read about employment opportunities.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      That lady look very sad.
    1. SoCal Railroader's Avatar
      SoCal Railroader -
      Quote Originally Posted by daytonaviolet View Post
      cant really compare working conditions from china to usa. it may not be the best working conditions for them, but its a paying job that they signed up for.
      Wow, I can't believe somebody actually believes that

      I think that girl's face says it all, tired and sad looking.

      I have to wonder too, why is Apple still using this company if they are so horrible? Does Apple not have ethics, or do they shove them away while they count their billions?
    1. rkswat's Avatar
      rkswat -
      Like I've said in these types of postings before, don't like it don't work there. Sorry your working conditions suck, sorry your government is crap, sorry you don't have many options for work in your crap country.
      I would certainly pay more for my electronics if need be but as long as I can keep getting it for a relatively cheap price to myself, I don't really care what happens on the other end of the line. All you bleeding hearts saying how sad she looks and so forth as you look at this article on your mac, iPhone, iTouch ect ect stop being part of the problem. Sell all your iDevices and send the money to that poor girl in the picture.

      Quote Originally Posted by SoCal Railroader View Post
      Does Apple not have ethics, or do they shove them away while they count their billions?
      Ding ding ding ding, we have a winner!
    1. Jman2499's Avatar
      Jman2499 -
      This kinda made me think of this place as a sweatshop. These people are slaving away in these factories wanting to kill them selves wile we sit here on our iPhone or whatever on the couch scrolling on the device that others kill them selves over.Wow