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Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:47 AM

Your iPhone Was Built, In Part, By 13 Year-Olds Working 16 Hours A Day For 70 Cents An Hour

One Foxconn worker Mike Daisey interviewed, outside factory gates manned by guards with guns, was a 13-year old girl. She polished the glass of thousands of new iPhones a day.

The 13-year old said Foxconn doesn't really check ages. There are on-site inspections, from time to time, but Foxconn always knows when they're happening. And before the inspectors arrive, Foxconn just replaces the young-looking workers with older ones.

In the first two hours outside the factory gates, Daisey meets workers who say they are 14, 13, and 12 years old (along with plenty of older ones). Daisey estimates that about 5% of the workers he talked to were underage.

Daisey assumes that Apple, obsessed as it is with details, must know this. Or, if they don't, it's because they don't want to know.


The Business Insider link covers all the details, but if you want the emotional impact, I encourage you to listen. If you don't want to listen you can read a transcript here. I just finished with it and I am completely taken aback.

I know that this show was posted here before (in the other Apple-centric threads), but this Business Insider overview is the best one I could find that covers the whole thing.

46 replies, 7987 views

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Reply Your iPhone Was Built, In Part, By 13 Year-Olds Working 16 Hours A Day For 70 Cents An Hour (Original post)
joshcryer Jan 2012 OP
Bonobo Jan 2012 #1
cliffordu Jan 2012 #2
tabatha Jan 2012 #4
Bonobo Jan 2012 #5
tabatha Jan 2012 #9
joshcryer Jan 2012 #11
SidDithers Jan 2012 #36
joshcryer Jan 2012 #7
Sen. Walter Sobchak Jan 2012 #23
joshcryer Jan 2012 #26
Logical Jan 2012 #37
Initech Jan 2012 #3
joshcryer Jan 2012 #10
joshcryer Jan 2012 #17
AverageJoe90 Jan 2012 #19
joshcryer Jan 2012 #20
flvegan Jan 2012 #6
joshcryer Jan 2012 #8
tabatha Jan 2012 #13
joshcryer Jan 2012 #14
Cerridwen Jan 2012 #38
tabatha Jan 2012 #39
Zalatix Jan 2012 #18
think Jan 2012 #40
guyton Jan 2012 #12
joshcryer Jan 2012 #15
cstanleytech Jan 2012 #16
joshcryer Jan 2012 #21
Ter Jan 2012 #22
Ellipsis Jan 2012 #24
joshcryer Jan 2012 #27
Ellipsis Jan 2012 #30
joshcryer Jan 2012 #31
Ellipsis Jan 2012 #33
joshcryer Jan 2012 #34
Ellipsis Jan 2012 #35
DeathToTheOil Jan 2012 #25
raouldukelives Jan 2012 #28
joshcryer Jan 2012 #29
raouldukelives Jan 2012 #43
dmallind Jan 2012 #44
Skittles Jan 2012 #32
Edweird Jan 2012 #41
Snake Alchemist Jan 2012 #42
Scuba Jan 2012 #45
joshcryer Jan 2012 #46

Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:49 AM

1. They also built your:

Acer Inc. (Taiwan)
Amazon.com (United States)
In 2011, Amazon and Foxconn formed a joint-design manufacturing company. The move was meant to produce an Amazon branded smartphone sometime in 2012.
Apple Inc. (United States)
ASRock (Taiwan)
Asus (Taiwan)
Barnes & Noble (United States)
Cisco (United States)
Dell (United States)
EVGA Corporation (United States)
Hewlett-Packard (United States)
Intel (United States)
IBM (United States)
Lenovo (China)
Logitech (Switzerland)
Microsoft (United States)
MSI (Taiwan)
Motorola (United States)
Netgear (United States)
Nintendo (Japan)
Nokia (Finland)
Panasonic (Japan)
Philips (Netherlands)
Samsung (South Korea)
Sharp (Japan)
Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)
Toshiba (Japan)
Vizio (United States)

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:51 AM

2. That's exactly right, Bonobo.

But the OP won't admit that. I wonder what device they use......

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:57 AM

4. The ROFL is in the signature line.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:03 AM

5. It has always been my feeling that people that CLAIM to be laughing online...

are those with the least sense of humor.

The internet is a world where you can try to portray yourself as you wish to be seen.

It is often the case the people who do not laugh often like to appear that they do.

Reminds me of my favorite character from Second City Television... Sid Dithers.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:14 AM

9. Josh has a sense of humor.

People are too varied, to define them by rules.

(The reason I made that note, was I once made the mistake of speed-reading his ROFL as part of the post.)

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:18 AM

11. You have no idea how much laissez-faire claptrap amuses me.

It really, really makes me laugh, hard. It's so crazy, logical inconsistencies, asinine belief systems.

Just have a go at John Galt's speech to understand the level of depravity that ideology espouses!

I've been "on" the internet for going on almost two decades now and laissez-faire never ceases to amuse and entertain me.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 07:54 AM

36. ...



Sid

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:07 AM

7. I built my own computer using an ASRock motherboard. My next will be US made Supermicro.

I admit it, my current motherboard, one piece, likely came from a factory like that.

Eventually I will build my own computer using Open Hardware.

Meanwhile I won't run around defending the cheap ASRock motherboard I brought because my other computer blew up and I couldn't afford a Supermicro (actually, I didn't even know about Supermicro at the time).

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:52 AM

23. All the SuperMicro gear around here says Made in China

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 03:40 AM

26. How about a Futijsu TS mainboard?

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:21 AM

37. So many apple defenders here. It gets annoying.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 12:54 AM

3. So basically it's this:

Pretty much every major computer part manufacturer. A few I don't see on there are Gigabyte, AMD, and most AMD Radeon manufacturers.

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Response to Initech (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:15 AM

10. For PC building you can use Futijsu TS mainboards in Germany, or Supermicro made in the US.

You can build a computer without using slave labor.

Gigabyte has a factory in Nan-Ping, they should be on the list. edit: erm, that list might be Foxconn-only, so nevermind that bit.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:01 AM

17. Steve Jobs on Foxconn: 'We're all over this'

Said Steve: "We are on top of this. We look at everything at these companies. I can tell you a few things that we know. And we are all over this. Foxconn is not a sweatshop. It's a factory -- but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theaters... but it's a factory. But they've had some suicides and attempted suicides -- and they have 400,000 people there. The rate is under what the US rate is, but it's still troubling." Steve also said that Apple's "got people" over at Foxconn currently trying to figure out what's going on -- we figured as much but it's always good to hear it straight from them.


http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/01/steve-jobs-on-foxconn-were-all-over-this/

Looks like Apple isn't all over it after all, or they actually approve of child labor.

Meanwhile I find the purity test very off putting, it happens in every thread that mentions Foxconn. OK, I have sinned, my motherboard is on there, and likely came from a similar factory. Care to actually discuss this now? I don't have a smart phone, though I do have a cheap likely made in Taiwan cell phone, not sure of its origins, it was free. I don't use phones much.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:10 AM

19. IMO.....

Apple probably was trying to be legit about their investigation, but may have been scared off by either Chinese big business or the crooks running the government in Beijing. Either one wouldn't surprise me, although I wish Apple would fight back even harder the next time they get rebuffed.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:17 AM

20. That's reasonable, from a purely capitalist business perspective, but it's against FCPA.

I hope Obama, since he's been enforcing the hell out of the FCPA, comes down hard on Apple ones he's reelected (he wouldn't dare before he gets reelected, imho), if that's the case. We can't allow this sort of thing. We can't allow "blind eyes" or corruption to win the day. Apple, completely oblivious, or wholesale ignoring this, is just part of the problem.

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:04 AM

6. Good post. Now, what are you prepared to do about it?

And I ask that of everyone. Even myself. I don't have an iPhone, but my Droid 2.3 was likely built in the same fashion.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:09 AM

8. I think Open Hardware is the eventual solution.

We are too technically oriented to be using slave labor to manufacture our electronics. I'm quitting my job sometime this spring and am going to start working on open hardware, because we can't give up the lifestyle (as evidenced by the dismissals and purity tests being posted here). But we can give up the slave labor. In fact, we must demand slave labor be ended.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:19 AM

13. Thankfully, I have avoided cell phones.

Open hardware is a good thing to do. What are you going to build?



(Hey your ROFL in your signature line is a distraction.)

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Response to tabatha (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:31 AM

14. Xilinx FPGA based Linux machine is my current idea.

Using my own PCB design. A lot of the parts will still be "Made in China" or whatnot, but you can slowly get past that by learning the techniques to build the components yourself. And those parts aren't reliant on slave labor so much machine fabbing labor. I know FPGA's aren't all that good for general purpose stuff, but the basic goal is to eventually have an open hardware architecture design.

I'm not much into H+ stuff right now (Humanity Plus), but once I quit my job this spring I'll have more time than I'll know what to do with.

Sorry about the ROFL, if you really want me to remove it I will, but it should only be there a couple of more weeks!

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:26 AM

38. An idea for you sigline (OT)

Perhaps, rather than remove your sig line with the you could just put a divider line between post and sigline or hit a couple of 'returns' after the post to create a white space divide so it's less likely to appear as part of the post.

That caught me off-guard a couple of times when I read a serious post of yours and I had to do a double-take. Not necessarily a bad thing unless the reader is just skimming the post.

My .00000002 cents.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:30 AM

39. No, just kidding about the ROFL.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:03 AM

18. Good idea! Open hardware and open software is power to the masses.

 

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Response to flvegan (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:30 AM

40. Until consumers in the U.S. boycott products made using unfair labor practices

the song remains the same.

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:19 AM

12. Support minimum wage laws?

If you support minimum wage laws in the US, then you really really need to support the idea of an international minimum wage or you'll just be triggering the export of our jobs to the lowest bidder.

How would it work? I'm not sure, but one idea would be to assess import tariffs on goods produced outside the US based on (the amount of labor involved * the difference in minimum wages).

I.e. import duties to adjust for differences in minimum wages to give our labor force an even chance at getting work.

In the meantime, banning trade with China over civil liberty and pollution concerns wouldn't bother me at all.

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Response to guyton (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:39 AM

15. I think we, as a consumer oriented culture, just don't care that much. We want the "cheap stuff."

Apple was targeted by the author (if people read the article it's quite good), because they have an enormous, overwhelming profit margin. At least mainboards have a very low profit margin and are almost sold at cost. This whistle blowing (wrong term?) is going to at the minimum, if we can have good hopes, help end the child labor practice, I don't know for sure, but I think it will anyway.

If you do apply those tariffs the cost for electronics will skyrocket, and we can't have that!

There has to be a concerted effort to 1) bring back manufacturing here (most computers were made here in the early age of computing!) and 2) automate the heck out of it. Perhaps an automated electronic manufacturing grant would be the way to go. The government could set aside $10 billion to the first 10 companies to achieve it (plus the patent rights!). The Fujitsu TS plant in Germany automates 90% of the assembly of their mainboards.



We don't need this slave labor, and the comments that "it's how stuff is currently made" really kill me from a technology standpoint, we can do better!

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Response to guyton (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:39 AM

16. I dont see that as likely to happen with the trade agreements we have in place now.

The only "real" solution in the end though is a world government with one world currency and a living wage minimum however that isnt likely to happen imo for atleast 100 or more years if ever.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:26 AM

21. Nah, automation would end it. Just requires sophisticated AI.

It can be done as the manufacturers in Germany show, but it would be expensive to do the R&D on it. We need incentives, like a government grant with a nice payout, to get it done. I mean, as long as labor is extremely cheap, we're not going to even try. Think about it. .70 cents an hour. At 30-60 phones an hour (per laborer) you're looking at between 1 or 2 cents per phone. They likely go through many more phones than that per hour.

So I think we need a grant motivator to get companies to research and develop the technology necessary to remove the laborers from the pool. Even if the machines require a dollar an hour of upkeep (above and beyond what it would cost the human laborers), you'd be winning.

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Response to guyton (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:27 AM

22. International laws are the root of all evil

 

No New World Order, no globalism.

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 03:12 AM

24. poke, poke, poke....

Have at it.

"Think Fair" - Apple becomes the world's first Fair Trade tech company - who's next?


For the first time, Apple has disclosed the identity of 156 suppliers, and said will become the first tech company to join the Fair Labor Association (FLA).

This means that the FLA will investigate Apple suppliers and issue regular reports on their labor practices.

“We’re extremely proud to be the first technology company admitted to the FLA,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations.

“Last year we performed more than 200 audits at our supplier’s facilities around the world. With the benefit of the FLA’s experience and expertise, we will continue to drive improvements for workers and provide even greater transparency into our supply chain.”

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/foremski/think-fair-apple-becomes-the-worlds-first-fair-trade-tech-company-whos-next/2073

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Response to Ellipsis (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 03:43 AM

27. We'll see if they'll admit to the child labor practices or if they'll dismiss it.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 05:07 AM

30. Own a flashlight do ya... portable phone, how 'bout that backup battery on your logic board

Perhaps if you you really wanted to change people's awareness you might want to post article that could make a difference... not just what's current in the news.


MENGXI VILLAGE, China — On a chilly evening early last month, a mob of more than 200 people gathered in this tiny eastern China village at the entrance to the Zhejiang Haijiu Battery Factory, a maker of lead-acid batteries for motorcycles and electric bikes. They shouldered through an outer brick wall, swept into the factory office and, in an outpouring of pure fury, smashed the cabinets, desks and computers inside.

News had spread that workers and villagers had been poisoned by lead emissions from the factory, which had operated for six years despite flagrant environmental violations. But the truth was even worse: 233 adults and 99 children were ultimately found to have concentrations of lead in their blood, up to seven times the level deemed safe by the Chinese government.

One of them was 3-year-old Han Tiantian, who lived just across the road from the plant. Her father, Han Zongyuan, a factory worker, said he learned in March that she had absorbed enough lead to irreversibly diminish her intellectual capacity and harm her nervous system.

“At the moment I heard the doctor say that, my heart was shattered,” Mr. Han said in an interview last week. “We wanted this child to have everything. That’s why we worked this hard. That’s why we poisoned ourselves at this factory. Now it turns out the child is poisoned too. I have no words to describe how I feel.”

http://worldlabour.org/eng/node/476



Your just out to poke at Mac sycophants.



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Response to Ellipsis (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 05:16 AM

31. Nope, I'm not, but they come like flies to honey for some reason.

And if you read the thread you'd see ample solutions posted by me here, none that gloss over slave labor as you're doing here.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 05:50 AM

33. Not glossin'... just perspective. Own a cell phone? Then you've contributed 3.2 million deaths

Could anyone imagine that cell phones are tainted with the blood of 3.2 million deaths since 1998? Also, that the same thing happens with some children's video games? And that mega-technologies contribute to forest depredation and spoliation of the rich natural resources of paradoxically impoverished peoples?

In the case of these new high techs, it is Coltan that is at stake --the minerals columbium and tantalite, or Coltan for short. Tantalite is a rare, hard and dense metal, very resistant to corrosion and high temperatures and is an excellent electricity and heat conductor. It is used in the microchips of cell phone batteries to prolong duration of the charge, making this business flourish. Provisions for 2004 foresee sales of 1,000 million units. To these properties are added that its extraction does not entail heavy costs --it is obtained by digging in the mud-- and that it is easily sold, enabling the companies involved in the business to obtain juicy dividends.

Even though Coltan is extracted in Brazil, Thailand and much of it from Australia --the prime producer of Coltan on a world level-- it is in Africa where 80% of the world reserves are to be found. Within this continent, the Democratic Republic of Congo concentrates over 80% of the deposits, where 10,000 miners toil daily in the province of Kivu (eastern Congo), a territory that has been occupied since 1998 by the armies of Rwanda and Uganda. A series of companies has been set up in the zone, associated to large transnational capital, local governments and military forces (both state and "guerrilla") in a dispute over the control of the region for the extraction of Coltan and other minerals. The United Nations has not hesitated to state that this strategic mineral is funding a war that the former United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright called "the first African world war" (and we understand by world wars, those in which the great powers share out the world), and is one of its causes.

In August 1998, the Congolese Union for Democracy (Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie-RCD), launched a rebellion in the city of Goma, supported by the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA). Since then, in a struggle in which, behind the myth of ethnic rivalries, are hidden the old colonial powers that continue to ransack the wealth of post-Colonial Africa, the war has been rife between two, loosely defined parties. On the one hand the RDC and the Governments of Rwanda and Uganda, supported by the United States, relying on the military bases such as that built in Rwanda by the United States company Brown & Root, a branch of Halliburton, where Rwandese forces are trained and logistic support is provided to their troops in the DRC, together with United States combat helicopters and spy satellites. The other party is made up of the Democratic Republic of Congo (led by one of Kabila's sons, after his father was assassinated by the Rwandese), Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/69/Congo.html


So you admit to putting a little "honey" out there do ya?

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Response to Ellipsis (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 06:16 AM

34. This sort of rhetoric is pointless. Merely using electricity, as you are doing now...

...contributes to such things.

Gas turbines? Tantalum.

All electronic devices (not just cell phones)? Tantalum.

150,000 deaths and 5 million illnesses annually due to global warming, alone.

Do you think that makes it OK to pollute? Do you think that makes it OK to do these things?

Fuck no it doesn't!

Purity tests are bullshit. This argument is the same argument used by primitives to denounce technology ( "all technology is bad" ), and by capitalists to denounce egalitarianism ( "all technology must come at the expense of others and that's just business, nothing personal" ).

For what it's worth I have a very low tech lifestyle, just a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and an internet connection. But I see no reason to play these purity test games, as they're pointless. All technology in our capitalist system is destructive and hurts other human beings.

That doesn't make it OK.

That doesn't mean I can't post an OP about how it's not OK.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 06:50 AM

35. Exactly my point.

I enjoy your posts. doesn't mean I can't take exception.

It's all good.

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 03:35 AM

25. What ISN'T Made in China?

 

But we've none but ourselves to blame, in your country and mine, because we buy the products.

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 04:20 AM

28. If you have a 401k this is how your bread is buttered.

On the backs of cheap slave labor and environmental destruction. Congrats.
Maybe when your done patting yourself on the back for your returns you can shed a crocodile tear for them.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 04:36 AM

29. Don't have a 401k.

Hope you're not addressing me. I merely posted a link to a story that not many know about, particularly the NPR story that many would've overlooked if it weren't for Business News making a very short overview.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:33 PM

43. Not at all. I was just making a general observation.

About people who consider themselves "liberal" or "progressive" profiting from and supporting this type of behavior. Sorry to cause any offense, if I did!

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 02:26 PM

44. Where do you think defined pension plans invest?

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 05:45 AM

32. Americans LINE up for this crap, and make a HERO out of that asshole Steve Jobs

PATHETIC

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:37 AM

41. I have a HTC Touch Pro II. I'm one of those non-conformist types.

 

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 09:44 AM

42. But have you seen all the cool apps? nt

 

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Response to joshcryer (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 06:19 PM

45. Apple is reportedly holding ~ $55 Billion in cash. If they paid a living wage....

... that would be way down to what? $50 billion? $40? Five? One?





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Response to Scuba (Reply #45)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 08:58 PM

46. *Very* simple calculation. 90 million iPhones. $8 per phone to manufacture.

Assuming that $8 is directly reflected in the labor costs, and we go by the $2.08 per hour living wage estimate for China, which is about 3 times what these Foxxconn employees are paid, we can calculate how much manufacturing costs would be:

90 million * $8 * 3 = 2,160,000,000

However, since the first $8 in the manufacturing costs, the total hit to them would 'only' be 2 times that amount.

90 million * $8 * 2 = 1,440,000,000

So, around $1.5 billion dollars more. Over the lifetime of the iPhone.

Pretty sick, isn't it?

If the Apple corporation cared about these workers, they could easily remedy these working conditions. The company would be fine with being paid more for it, and it would not make the iPhone cost much more.

Frankly I think they should get paid twice living wage, if you ask me (or 6 times what they currently get paid).

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