Linked by David Adams on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:15 UTC, submitted by Michael
In the News In a muckraking Spiegel.de article, suppliers to well-known computer manufacturers are accused of mistreating workers and violating Chinese labor law: "According to a Hong-Kong based human rights organization, working hours total up to 370 hours per month, workers aren't receiving the legal minimum wage and in the run-up to Christmas, days off are cut out entirely." One of the reasons that high tech hardware has become so widespread and useful is because it's so inexpensive. As this article demonstrates, this affordability can come at a price.
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shit happens
by evert on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:38 UTC
evert
Member since:
2005-07-06

Not buying from those companies will most likely result in 1) less work hours of 2) less jobs. Both cases would be hard for people who obviously need the money - otherwise, they would take another job.

I prefer inside pressure (strikes and so on). Maybe the Chinese gov. can do something. External pressure from the West can be counterproductive.

Reply Score: 3

RE: shit happens
by red_devel on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:46 in reply to "shit happens"
red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

Whatever lets you sleep at night buddy, but the only way they can get away with it is because we buy this stuff! In the West, we have built up a lifestyle that we enjoy, and we have done it based on prices that are only possible because the stuff is being made by people being mistreated, under payed, and living very poorly in comparison. 20% of the world's population owns 80% of the world's resources. Somewhere on the order of 30,000 people starve to death every day. There is enough food in the world for everyone to eat over 2600 calories a day.

The only reason people starve is because we let them. Because we let borders and petty conflicts and our own selfish desire to live well supersede the well being of our brothers and sisters around the world. And when someone writes an article like this that makes us uncomfortable, we tell ourselves crap like that: "Oh, its more complicated than that, see." Yeah, because we make it. There is no justice in the world. And everyone in the West, living well and bitching about a "bad economy" is guilty, the first person on that list being me.

Reply Parent Score: 14

RE[2]: shit happens
by evangs on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:14 in reply to "RE: shit happens"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Somewhere on the order of 30,000 people starve to death every day.


And they come from countries where the tyranical dictator who runs the local scene lives in lavish style. But whatever right? It's always the fault of the West. They are either too interventionist or not interventionist enough -.-

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: shit happens
by christianhgross on Thu 18th Dec 2008 21:44 in reply to "RE: shit happens"
christianhgross Member since:
2005-11-15

Did you happen to read the article?

>>>
Chan argues that the long working hours violate Chinese law. In addition to the normal 40-hour workweek, Chinese law stipulates that a maximum of 36 hours of overtime can be worked each month. She claims that, in many cases, workers at Excelsior have to work up to 174 hours of overtime. During rush periods, especially before the European Christmas shopping season, days off are cut out entirely. Employees at Excelsior must then work seven days a week, the study claims.
<<<

These computer makers are violating the law! Excuse me, but this is not a problem of the West. This is a Chinese problem because Chinese law has clearly said "hey this is not right."

Actually my bigger question is how come the spiegel is talking about this in this context! They should be showing these violations to the government and getting the government to act.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: shit happens
by melkor on Sat 20th Dec 2008 08:16 in reply to "RE: shit happens"
melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

You are, of course, correct. Unfortunately, man is greedy and money is more important that people. I find it amazing that slavery in the US is outlawed, by US companies are the biggest abusers of slave wages & conditions outside of the US.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: shit happens
by DrillSgt on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:47 in reply to "shit happens"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"I prefer inside pressure (strikes and so on). Maybe the Chinese gov. can do something. External pressure from the West can be counterproductive."

I agree. The west should stay out of this one. Though, as for the government of China, they condone this type of thing. I would expect it to be ignored.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: shit happens
by red_devel on Wed 17th Dec 2008 17:53 in reply to "RE: shit happens"
red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

Hahahaha, strikes and stuff. Thats hilarious. Strikes only work if they're allowed, and if you can afford to survive a day without the pay, and if there aren't an army of other people willing to take the job 'cause they're starving too. What a naive and ridiculous comment. You clearly have no understanding of the breadth and depth of the human rights violations that occur in China. Probably because most of the West has decided to ignore it so we can keep buying cheap crap.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: shit happens
by fithisux on Thu 18th Dec 2008 07:23 in reply to "RE: shit happens"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

"I prefer inside pressure (strikes and so on). Maybe the Chinese gov. can do something. External pressure from the West can be counterproductive."

I agree. The west should stay out of this one. Though, as for the government of China, they condone this type of thing. I would expect it to be ignored.


I agree, don't buy Chinese products "The west should stay out of this one" this is the right thing to do, justice. But wait the companies who rule the West do not agree and we as loyal slaves follow them and make other people slaves for the companies (we are not better). The prices are low because they work under inhuman conditions. This is a pseudo-dilemma, if they could get reasonable (and not legal, anther pseudo-dilemma)wages, prices could remain low, but companies are greedy and want high profit margins. We are cannibals and we are paying for this. Enough is enough, corporates betaryed nations by moving their manufacturing plants to China and have given rise to unemployment. Do you think they did it because they care? The main problem is that they were looking for slaves in Europe/America but they could not find. If China decides not to provide slaves what do you think will happen? Take your time to think about it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: shit happens
by Ben Jao Ming on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:03 in reply to "shit happens"
Ben Jao Ming Member since:
2005-07-26

Not buying from those companies will most likely result in 1) less work hours of 2) less jobs. Both cases would be hard for people who obviously need the money - otherwise, they would take another job.


By buying something from these countries or practicing our usual over-consumption, we silently ignore the problems and participate in the acceptance of poor working conditions.

China (government and companies) isn't stupid. If it turns out that Western consumers don't want their products because they mistreat their workers, then China will act in one way or the other... I'm not being naive. You are, by stating that we're basically just helping their economy. We've been 'helping' foreign economies grow ever since Columbus.

So go and consume wisely, vote wisely and do whatever other duty that's implied by your world citizenship.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: shit happens
by red_devel on Wed 17th Dec 2008 18:20 in reply to "RE: shit happens"
red_devel Member since:
2006-03-30

By buying something from these countries or practicing our usual over-consumption, we silently ignore the problems and participate in the acceptance of poor working conditions.


Thank you, thank you, for a word of truth. I was starting to feel sick to my stomach and was worrying that everyone on this site was really that simple minded and selfish.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: shit happens
by wanderingk88 on Wed 17th Dec 2008 19:42 in reply to "RE: shit happens"
wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

Worst of it all isn't that China is some sort of communist hell or something like that--it's been actually the capitalists' paradise for a few decades now. Absolutely no restrictions on the market at all.

And guess from where comes 90% of the capital invested in China?

From the US.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Can you imagine how lax the laws are?

I think for extreme cases of worker abuse such as this, it would better behoove us to purchase goods from factories that are following the laws.

But, yes in some sense you are correct with less egregious violations in third world manufacturing. This, however, is in another category altogether.

Reply Parent Score: 1