Expert Comment

by:Daniella Barion
Other "Tech" companies are doing the same: Facebook, Google, Airbnb, etc
LVL 15

Author Comment

by:Justin Pierce, CEH, CNDA
It's wonderful to see everybody doing the right thing. ;)

:: Justin stands on soapbox::  

As a Combat Veteran, I'm disgusted by all white supremacist groups and the thought that they think they represent any values or ideals of the United States. I'm sure my military brethren (sisters, brothers, and transgenders) would give me a virtual high five when I say the US Army's official motto, "This We'll Defend" is a feeling that runs through all of our hearts and minds. We believe that this nation is for everyone who wants to come and be a part of it. Simply put, it's our job as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, to defend them with our lives.

Oh, on the "race" element, according to science, Mitochondrial DNA, and I would say common sense, we are all one race (Human Race) and that the pigment of our skin is superficial. Race is a social invention, not a biological truth.

Who says?

Oh, only a prestigious and reputable school like: MIT and a preeminent evolutionary biologist Joseph L. Graves Jr.. Here is a conversation the NY Times had with him: Link.

Even if there were different races, why would I not call you my brother or sister? We are all experiencing the Human Condition together and should bond with, and defend each other as family.

I leave you with a quote from the fictitious, but ever so right, Jean-Luc Picard, "No being is so important that he can usurp the rights of another."

:: Justin steps off the soapbox::

Expert Comment

by:Christopher Rourke
Thank you, Justin. It strengthens my, and hopefully others, resolve to read such words. I too have often look to Captains Picard and Kirk in times like these to bring hope, but in this case there are words from a patriot of old that may serve as a greater compass:

The world is my country,
all mankind are my brethren, and
to do good is my religion.
- Thomas Paine
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Brian Murphy
Apple cut the pay of people jumping off the roof as well.....No harm, no foul.
LVL 15

Author Comment

by:Justin Pierce, CEH, CNDA
Hi Brian,

That simply isn't true. What you meant to say is that Foxconn aka Hon Hai Precision Industry (a Chinese manufacturer that is used by other big computer companies: Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Nintendo) were implementing third world practices without Apple knowing. Apple did what any good company would do and worked with Foxconn to fix the issues. In fact, Apple did the smart thing and allowed an independent investigation by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to catch all the problems that its management wouldn't be able to find. The investigation was akin to looking into the mirror with your delinquent friend and offering your assistance to help them change their ways (Apple was too intertwined with Foxconn to let them go).

The CBS article: Link

Summarizing the report: The Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) investigated and found that Foxconn was abusing their employees in third world fashion. The workers were stressed out, checks weren't being paid on time or at all, living conditions were horrible, rules and punishments were strict, and it was a nightmare for those that stayed to help bring in a paycheck for their families. This reporting went hand-in-hand with the FLA investigation.

Here is the link to the initial FLA report: Link

Summing it up, the report finds 50 issues that broke the FLA Code and Chinese labor laws. All of it rested on the shoulders of Foxconn because they were using inappropriate rules to try and meet the demand for Apple. The demand and inadequate workforce (Foxconn had an extremely high turnover rate) were the main reasons why people were jumping from the rooftops; they simply weren't getting enough sleep. The report also finds that despite the workers getting paid an above average wage for the country, they, of course, wanted to make a few extra bucks (which Foxconn used 30-minute increments in where 29-minutes resulted in no pay and 58 minutes led to half pay). Along with the third world rules, harsh punishments,
substandard living quarters, and the hopelessness that no matter how hard or long they worked it was impossible to get ahead. Naturally, the workers became depressed and or suicidal. It's important to know that many people just quit the job instead of ending their lives, but not everyone handles stressors the same. All of that said, there was no excuse for Foxconn to be cutting corners in pay, living quarters, or work/life hours. It was plain greed to redistribute the wealth to the top instead of the bottom. Again all of this is shameful and not uncommon for third world countries to do (it's what they've known and done for a long time), but it was acted out without Apple's knowledge. The report ends with both Apple and Foxconn agreeing to put all remediations into place.

Then there was Mike Daisey.

The Slate article on Mike Daisey: Link

In brief, Mike Daisey lied to get fame and money.

The Reuters Piece: Link

The article shows a fundamental change for Foxconn in how they see living and factory conditions for workers. Also, the cost would be split between Apple and Foxconn to hire and improve such conditions.

Here is the second FLA report: Link

It states that 178,000 workers were hired to help lower the hours needed to meet Apple's product demand, Unions with declining management participation were implemented to protect workers (employees liked this), and living conditions were improved. Breaks were now standard policy, better equipment was in use, and working hours reduced to 60 hours per week (consistent with FLA and Apple code standards), but it still didn't meet the maximum of 49 hours (including overtime) for China labor laws. In short, Foxconn had made huge strides in fixing their corporate culture but still needed to hire more people to lower overall working hours.

The FLA Press Release: Link

The Press Release is easier to read but states the same thing as above, Foxconn has and is continuing to make huge improvements for workers (with Apple's help).

The Atlantic Piece: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/how-apple-fixed-its-foxconn-problem/328307/

The Atlantic article reluctantly applauded Apple for saying the right things and backing up those words with money. In short, Apple and Foxconn shared the expenses and increased the pay for employees, and promised to hire more workers to lower the overtime hours needed to meet the demand for Apple products.

I understand that you may not like Apple for whatever reasons that upset you but to take a complicated issue (dealing with third world practices) and say, "Apple cut the pay of people jumping off the roof..." is mean-spirited and wrong. Remember those same methods were being used to build Microsoft, HP, and Dell products as well, but since demand for Apple's products was higher at the time, Apple became the face for Foxconn in the West.

Keep in touch with Experts Exchange

Tech news and trends delivered to your inbox every month