"then who are the editors of EE Times or any other do-gooder to interfere with a private, freely entered and continued relationship?"
fellow beings that care because we are all connected? so many self-justifying capitalist pigs here. where are all the christians?
The shrill nature of this article's rhetoric screams "hyperbole!" and diminishes its credibility. For example, the statement "working more than 60 hours per week and not being compensated with overtime" implies they were forced to work an additional 20 hours with no overtime compensation. The reality was quite different, up to 14% _may_ have not received full overtime compensation; unscheduled overtime was paid in half-hour increments, and so a worker could have been shorted up to 29 minutes overtime pay.
Leave the rhetoric to the politicians; please keep it out of EE Times.
@dencon22- "Who's to say we are right and the Chinese are wrong?"
This specific investigation was not about Chinese firms as a whole, but three factories at one specific company. Among other things, the investigation found that Foxconn violated Chinese law by having workers work longer hours than Chinese law permits. The Chinese are not wrong, but this company (and probably others) are not complying with Chinese law.
Another thing that the FLA's investigation found was blocked exits and lack of protective equipment. That is unnecessarily putting employees in harms way. That's simply wrong, no matter where you live.
Those of us who roll up our sleeves and work for a living ought to be able to identify with the workers on the floor of the Foxconn factories, no matter what differences exist between us. We can make a simple choice: refuse to do business with any firm that does not insist on basic safety for the people that makes its products.
It's about time someone shined a light into this cave.
The electronics industry has been pushing the envelope of how it can use low cost labor since before I started covering the industry 21 years ago.
Yes, many people and whole countries have seen their economies rise up thanks to high tech jobs. But the ride hasn't been and isn't now all wonderfulness.
So maybe we should just pull all of the American business out of China. That would really fix all the woes in the world. And sure, let's manufacture in the US - I'm sure the lines to be employed at a US Foxconn plant would be long just like in China. Ha! Sadly, with all the unemployment in this country, no one wants those jobs. People would choose unemployment and welfare. Sad statement about the American people. And remember working for Foxconn is a sought after job in China. Maybe the media should focus on the other manufacturers where things really are bad and some of the other brands that hide behind Apple.
The fact is that Foxconn does have some of the best conditions and pay in China. The whole suicide thing was another misrepresentation. considering that the suicide rate in China is astronomical, and the number of people employed by Foxconn, that the suicide rate there is lower than the national average says they're doing something right. so do the lines of people trying to get employed there. China is not America and while American companies should avoid sweatshop conditions, telling the Chinese how to run their country and business is out of line. Our culture does not fit in China and who's to say we ar right and the Chinese are wrong? There is a reason it's cheaper to manufacture in other countries.
What is a "safe working environment" and a "living wage". Please define? All these great platitudes of the writers here make me wonder what are you guys talking about. Are the workers breathing mercury vapor? Drinking water contaminating with arsenic? Maybe or is it to much stress? or maybe a step up for the employee who comes from a home that has a dirt floor? Apple, Nike, Sunbeam... name your company they all have moved off shore. Want to make sure everything is fair? then demand that the merchandise you purchase be made here? Not willing to pay the cost? then go away and stop talking about living wage and safe working conditions.... Give me a break....
I believe that if we knew the working conditions in the factories that many of the products that we buy were made in most of us would be ashamed. It's another inconvenient truth about the world that we live in. Apple is at least acknowledging this issue and will hopefully work towards improving conditions for workers making Apple products.