“Foxconn, which manufactures more than 40 percent of the world’s electronics for such companies as Apple, Dell, Amazon and others, has pledged to sharply curtail the number of working hours within its Chinese factories and significantly increase wages, a move that could improve working conditions across China. The shift comes after a far-ranging inspection by the Fair Labor Association, a monitoring group, found widespread problems – including numerous instances where Foxconn violated Chinese law and industry codes of conduct by having employees work more than 60 hours a week, sometimes for 11 or more days in a row.”
Foxconn pledges big labour changes
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2012-03-30 7:23 amdvhh
Next stop : Thailand, or india, or Cambogia or even Vietnam.
Country with low standard and cheap labor are not difficult to find.
And yet there are reports that there are some, and not a few, employees that want MORE hours and more overtime. That doesn’t exactly jibe with the idea that those people are oppressed and overworked en masse. I would imagine that some have families back home in the hinterlands of China that they are supporting, and other reasons at play here.
I applaud Apple and Tim Cook for traveling to China to see first-hand what conditions are and make an effort to improve worker conditions, but the fact remains that China is NOT the U.S. and is NOT the E.U. It remains a different culture and has different ways of doing things than other places on this planet. That’s not to say that workers should not be treated well, it’s just different, and the workers there could possibly have different expectations and desires, impossible as the Fair Labor Association might think.
Edited 2012-03-30 09:38 UTC
2012-03-30 1:12 pmFennec_Fox
And yet there are reports that there are some, and not a few, employees that want MORE hours and more overtime. That doesn’t exactly jibe with the idea that those people are oppressed and overworked en masse.
Coming from the “2nd World” country myself I can tell you that the main reason these workers WANT more hours and overtime, is because they are being paid half a peanut a day, and you cannot survive, leave alone have a decent standard of living on this wage.
Way back in the wonderful 90’s I have personally known people who have asked their bosses to give them more work hours, despite already working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. And for one reason only – the hourly wages were nowhere near enough to pay for the shelter and food at the same time.
In short – its a dire need that drives them to ask for more work.. Somewhat like people in industrialized nations are working 2 or 3 jobs just to be able to keep up…
2012-03-30 7:40 pmNeolander
Cultural relativism always makes me cringe.
Sorry for the Godwin in advance. I never was very good in history, so I only remember few examples. But in the view you present, wouldn’t it also have been totally okay for Nazis to murder millions of Jews on the behalf that they were Jews, because in Nazi Germany’s culture they were considered a public enemy ?
At Nuremberg Trials, should judges have just said to the war criminals “Okay, this was a different culture, we understand that your views on the subject were different and that we cannot judge them”, and let them go ?
Sweat shops may not directly cause the death of people like genocides do. But they do ruin human lives, by making them totally work-centered and removing all kind of fun and private time from them. What if the reason why people wanted to work more there, was that their wages were so low that they couldn’t survive or feed their family otherwise ? What if they had so little money at hand that their lives bordered hunt for survival ?
Edited 2012-03-30 19:50 UTC
2012-03-31 10:51 amSoulbender
And yet there are reports that there are some, and not a few, employees that want MORE hours and more overtime.
Yes, because they’re paid peanuts in hourly wages and getting more hours and overtime increases their salary, if ever so slightly.
it’s just different, and the workers there could possibly have different expectations and desires
No, they probably have the same desire as anyone else working in mass production: making a decent living for themselves and, if applicable, their family. We’re not talking about a damn ant colony, we’re talking about people.
I’m very happy for China today! But, without changes in the global system, this will mean other cheaper, more easily exploited labor will be found elsewhere. Really, any worker’s suffering weakens the position of all of us.