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Sweatshop Report Cites Motorola, AT&T in Human Rights Abuses
VTech Factory in Guangdong, China Cited For Abuse
by Karl Bode 01:05PM Monday Jun 25 2012
While Apple has been singled out for historically being fairly awful when it comes to supporting improved worker conditions at outsourced factories in China -- there's a flurry of companies that haven't gotten quite the same scrutiny from an American tech culture suddenly semi-conscious to how their must-have gadgets are produced. The Verge directs our attention to a new report from the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights that reports that companies like AT&T, Motorola and WalMart all sit on their hands when it comes to trying to improve conditions at the VTech electronics factory in Guangdong, China:
quote:
According to the report, the VTech factory's 10,000 employees are made to work 12-15 hour days, including mandatory overtime that exceeds China's legal limits by between 237 to 273 percent. The workers receive substandard wages — about 6.5 percent of what factory workers earn in the US — and are said to be denied between $7.3 million and $12.3 million in rightfully owed health and social security benefits each year.
That's of course before you even get to the physical beatings and resulting suicides. The report notes that companies like AT&T and Motorola have done absolutely nothing; not even request that the factory at least adheres to China's already fairly-pathetic working standards.

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atuarre
Here come the drums
Premium
join:2004-02-14
Conroe, TX

RE

As long as they get their iPhones, and other gadgets the people do not care about this. But as soon as America implodes because the politicians are playing their dog and pony show, Americans might be the ones in a third world country making electronics for the rest of the world.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Re: RE

If we were to ask what many of these politicians want, it's worker protection laws about as strong as China's.
wentlanc
You Can't Fix Dumb..

join:2003-07-30
Maineville, OH
And none of the businesses who are making money from this slave labor have the decency to make a little less money, support their own country and workforce. Lets put our hands on our wallets and pledge allegiance to the dollar....

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

1 recommendation

Re: RE

Because those that tried to keep manufacturing here quickly learned that no one really gives a shit about Made in America if it costs 6x as much.

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable

1 recommendation

said by wentlanc:

And none of the businesses who are making money from this slave labor have the decency to make a little less money, support their own country and workforce. Lets put our hands on our wallets and pledge allegiance to the dollar....

And I bet you don't want to pay double or triple for your electronics. Walmart is in business because people will buy the cheapest crap they can and Walmart makes plenty of money from it. If I put up a store next to Walmart and sell own US made products at a higher price I will go out of business quickly.

Robotics
See You On The Dark Side
Premium
join:2003-10-23
Louisa, VA

Old News

This has got to be the worst subject I have seen on this site in a long time.

Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto

Re: Old News

I agree. Just because some of these companies have been "outed" doesn't mean this is news. It's known for a long time, hence nobody is doing anything about it.
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben

TKJunkMail
Premium
join:2005-12-09

Uh oh

In before NWOhio's anti-Google rant (since they own Motorola now).

Anarcho
Premium
join:2012-06-25

apples factory in china

people are comitting suicides there daily still everone looks the other way.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

Re: apples factory in china

said by Anarcho:

people are comitting suicides there daily still everone looks the other way.

Since you brought Apple into this so factually.

Ever consider that perhaps the working conditions are not better at all the places that make the worldwide phone carriers "free phones" ?? The thing about making the fancy iPhone and top of the line Android phones is that there exists the options to have better pay, better working conditions, better of lots of things. This is hard to achieve when your product is in the lowest tier of quality and price.

It's just crazy to put the blame on the big players in handset manufacturing while ignoring the fact that the carriers are making billions on the cheap to free junker basic phones.
--
Say no to JAMS!
JTY

join:2004-05-29
Ellensburg, WA
Apple doesn't own a factory in China. They sub it out to Foxconn, which is one of the largest manufacturers in the world. Some of their plants which are the size of small cities have over 400K workers. In a single plant, they make everything from iPhones to Xboxes.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: apples factory in china

And that would be a valid excuse for.......?
JTY

join:2004-05-29
Ellensburg, WA

Re: apples factory in china

It's been shown that the suicide rates are actually in line or lower than average. In addition, Apple actually pays Foxconn extra, to pass directly to the workers that make their products. None of their other customers do this.

But, it won't matter in time. Foxconn announced a while back they want to replace the bulk of their work force with robots.

Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8

Re: apples factory in china

Apple only did that after "outrage".

Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
said by Anarcho:

people are comitting suicides there daily still everone looks the other way.

No one forces them to work in these plants. Of course their other options are not good.

pog4
Premium
join:2004-06-03
Kihei, HI
said by Anarcho:

people are comitting suicides there daily still everone looks the other way.

There are not daily suicides at Foxconn. Where do you even get this from? Does reality have any meaning for you?

China has a somewhat high suicide rate at 20 per 100,000.

In 2010, their worst year, Foxconn had 14 out of 930,000 workers commit suicide... or less than 2 per 100,000.

The US and Canada are at roughly 11 per 100,000.
--
My Site

greedyUSA

@rr.com

its all about the greed

Well if americans wouldnt be such greedy SOB's and trying to make more money then they need to these jobs would be in the US and we wouldnt be reading about this.

but its all about the american greed and how many houses and cars and other toys we can buy to out do everyone else.

Its pretty sad that I went to a Cherokee Indian Reservation the other day and all the "Indian" products had made in China on them.

America is in a pretty sad state of affairs and no one gives a rats ass about it.
HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:5

This is why the first world can't compete

We as consumers are addicted to cheap electronic gadgets. We all know why they're cheap, but we don't like to think about it.

If Chinese manufacturers were forced to adhere to the same basic human rights principles that we do, maybe there would be more jobs in these industries here.
--
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net
Os

join:2011-01-26
US

1 recommendation

Re: This is why the first world can't compete

Except they're not cheap for us. They're just cheap for Apple to make.

How else do you think they got that stock price into the stratosphere?
FloridaBoy

join:2009-06-22
Bradenton, FL
I was going to say the same thing as osraven but he beat me to it.
HeadSpinning
MNSi Internet

join:2005-05-29
Windsor, ON
kudos:5

Re: This is why the first world can't compete

I was thinking more in terms of VTech's sub $20.00 cordless phones, etc.
--
MNSi Internet - »www.mnsi.net

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Yawn...

The same people who bitch about "sweatshop" conditions are the same people who won't pay a damn dime more for their tech gadgets so that they are produced in "ideal" working conditions.

People in these countries would literally sell their own parents if they had to to get these jobs, because even with the comparatively low pay, it still provides a better standard of living than they would otherwise have.
--
Romney 2012 - Put an adult in charge.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Re: Yawn...

I agree that a lot of people are hypocrites with this stuff. How many hipsters cry around about the poor, yet are listening to their protest songs on an iPod?

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

2 recommendations

Re: Yawn...

said by Os:

I agree that a lot of people are hypocrites with this stuff. How many hipsters cry around about the poor, yet are listening to their protest songs on an iPod?

Pirated protest songs at that.
--
Romney 2012 - Put an adult in charge.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
Really?

Tell you what. How about the corporations that make the millions and billions pay that dime to have things produced in an "ideal" working condition.

I pay my dime all the time and gladly do it by refusing to use automated services and going to lines that have actual people servicing them whenever I can. In addition, I also pay inflated prices for many services that should certainly cost less as they reduced their cost by sending jobs over seas or "downsized". However, that savings only turned into profit for them and the stockholders.

So don't come here preaching your nonsense when you are the actual hypocrite.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Yawn...

said by Skippy25:

Really?

Tell you what. How about the corporations that make the millions and billions pay that dime to have things produced in an "ideal" working condition.

And how do you think they make all that money? By selling expensive stuff? Doubtful.
said by Skippy25:

I pay my dime all the time and gladly do it by refusing to use automated services and going to lines that have actual people servicing them whenever I can.

If you want to waste your time, go for it.
said by Skippy25:

So don't come here preaching your nonsense when you are the actual hypocrite.

Considering what you are using to post your message here, I must ask, do you even know what the word hypocrite means?
--
Romney 2012 - Put an adult in charge.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Yawn...

So in a nutshell you simply say it's OK for everyone else to pay that dime but not the corporations that 1.) Are exploiting it 2.) Are the ones directly causing it 3.) Are the ones that ultimately benefit from it?

Really, I would expect no less from you. But even you would have to see the shear stupidity in you saying otherwise.

nonamesleft

join:2011-11-07
Manitowoc, WI

Imagine that..

This is no surprise. ATT and moneyrola are the devil anyways.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Apple

Apple has more than enough money to make their gadgets in the USA but our regulations, red tape, and taxes make China more favorable to manufacturing. In my opinion, some of the worker protections we have here (like the prevailing wage law in Massachusetts, overtime protections, minimum wage, etc) drive jobs out of the country. That is how the free market operates. Massachusetts is talking about raising the state minimum wage to $10/hr and if that passes, companies will move their jobs elsewhere and we'll have the highest unemployment rate in the country.

The biggest sources of income in Massachusetts is government jobs and government assistance. Private sector employers avoid Massachusetts like the plague as it is too costly to do business here with all the taxes and regulations.

Maybe if we roll back some of our regulations, our unemployment will drop.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Apple

So if we all just work for free (removing overtime protections) and work for what is already below the median income, we'll all magically have jobs?

Yea, it's not that simple. As long as we allow for the trade agreements that sent these jobs out of the country, they're never coming back because we can never be competitive with third world labor, and if we end up going that route, we will have riots in the streets.

Companies are making plenty of money. See the stock market's gain since Obama took office. To say that Obama is somehow anti-business is one of the most laughable notions in politics right now. They're making more money than ever for the most part, they're just not doing anything to provide stimulus to the economy other than lining their own bank accounts. It's a Wall Street recovery.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
Put the burden of our regulations on the companies that use offshore sourcing by requiring the offshore companies to abide by our labor regulations (minus minimum wage requirements) or US companies are not allowed to use them or import their goods here. PERIOD

Then we dont have to worry about child labor, safety standards, overtime pay and everything else.

For those of you that are going to argue their law and culture against ours let me point out to you that there are many things they are required to do by our laws or they dont do business here. Lead paint is one example. In addition, many multinational corporations lay out requirements for ALL of their divisions in all of the world. The same thing can easily apply to our labor laws.
JTY

join:2004-05-29
Ellensburg, WA
The thing is, most people don't want to work in manufacturing. Before I moved away from my family, I had all sorts of people offer me factory work, because they couldn't get enough people to do it. The money wasn't bad either. Just folks would rather make the same money working at a desk or counter. Much like it's hard to get people to work in agriculture.

bobredone

@comcast.net
No, maybe if we enforced laws that are on the books and don't roll back laws that HELP our ECONOMY like NOT TREATING COMPANIES AS PEOPLE thanks to the idiotic right-wing supreme court justices Scalia and Roberts. Maybe if government and the private sector work together more by not allowing companies to screw the consumer.

If we adjust current regulations and remove the right ones ( i.e NOT MINIMUM WAGE, EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION) and remove the loop holes that actually force companies to send jobs overseas like replacing our current tax system, minimum wage has nothing to do with it, get over yourself. If we roll back essential regulations, we will only far farther down the pit, with mittens it will get worse, and we will be stuck with someone was as dumb as Bush, and won't do anything except cater to the right wing.

Also, Apple doesn't have that money to make all of there products here, possibly accessories, again our free market system is setup that middle class doesn't succeed, you only succeed if you screw them.

If you want to go back to the days of mass human rights violations, child labor and slave wages like it is in China, be my guest, because your ignorance and stupidity will shine as bright as the national political toilet seat cleaning up after the SH*T we hear spewed from Republicans and the right wing.

••••••

El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL

How much do you wanna pay for something with a 2 year life?

Leaving out the whole outsourcing America (and Canada) for a moment here, we have to ask ourselves how much we want to pay for a device that's going to be performing up to spec for a year and obsolete in two.

Since I've entered into smartphone territory, I've been through a couple, and their sooner than later trip to a landfill or charity leaves me a little perturbed. Their cost, and the wasted created isn't good for anyone.
--
Everything in moderation... Including Moderation --Oscar Wilde
chances14

join:2010-03-03
Michigan

Re: How much do you wanna pay for something with a 2 year life?

So what if it's obsolete. Just because it's obsolete doesn't mean you have to get a new phone every 1-2 years. I will never understand the "must always have the latest and greatest" mentality.

El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL

Re: How much do you wanna pay for something with a 2 year life?

said by chances14:

So what if it's obsolete. Just because it's obsolete doesn't mean you have to get a new phone every 1-2 years. I will never understand the "must always have the latest and greatest" mentality.

Assuming I still had a "dumb phone" I'd agree with you wholeheartedly. However the minute a new feature comes out that requires a more powerful phone, or a phone has a new feature that everyone wants, most people upgrade. I'm not saying I like it, but that's generally what happens.

I'd argue the blame lies both with phone manufacturers and with consumers.
--
Everything in moderation... Including Moderation --Oscar Wilde

Unions

@sbc.com

Unions

and people bash UNIONS! unions are not perfect, far from it. At least Unions have changed all that here in the US.. Oh wait, we are going back to no UNIONS, higher hours, lower wages.......

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10

Re: Unions

Then learn a skill; the market for unskilled labour is disappearing rather quickly.
ackman

join:2000-10-04
Atlanta, GA

Who cares

It's only China.