Re: Talk is cheap
What? Tottering Jesus man.
I don't know where you're from, exactly, but I'm absofuckingloutely certain it isn't from anywhere near actual work being done. I hear you on shitty working conditions in lots of places, but your sense of scale, your grasp of foreign politics, your understanding of commercial leverage and knowledge of manufacturing is stunningly skewed. Like, the first non-laboratory example of terrestrial gravitational lensing occurring in the wild skewed.
No customer has leverage at Foxconn. The only entity that has leverage at Foxconn are the rather stuffy fellows that make up the Chinese government. If you aren't in Tibet or Taiwan then your government isn't going to actually do anything in China, they're pretty happy with things the way they are.
Everybody likes China just how it is, including the Chinese government. They make our shit, make scads of money, we get good prices and nobody has to run around with rifles in a really nasty willy waving contest. If you were born in the last three years or so it might have slipped by you, but explody willy waving contests traditionally precede any favorable trade agreements with foreign nations. Even as perpetually fucked up as our various governments are, skipping the traditional opening round (ha!) of trade negotiations is a pretty god damn big step forward for everybody. However bad working conditions are, they're not as bad as stacking those working conditions on top of a war torn populace, who don't even like most of the shit they make.
This next bit, I know a LOT about. When you're manufacturing at scale, like Foxconn is doing for nearly every product that uses electricity, the manufacturer has as much leverage over the client as the client does over them. It takes years and years and many, many billions of dollars to get production at that scale profitable.
I am looking, right this very moment, down onto our fab floor at a $41,000,000 machine we are building that will do vibration testing on several thousand smallish electronics assemblies simultaneously (it's pretty cool). That project started in July 2012 and will be put on a ship in October of this year with full capacity online by March of next year. That machine will cut about 16 minutes off the total production and test times and will do so until at least 2025.
There is no Amazon for bespoke manufacturing equipment, you pays your monies today, we'll send along invoices every 90 days for running costs, and we'll call you in a year or two (or longer) when it's ready. There is no knob to turn if you want more, or less, rounded corners. There is no lever to pull if you want your widget in a different color, there is no fucking way any manufacturer is going to shut down the production of 83 other manufacturers products so you can cut a hole in the ceiling and airlift out your equipment because some group of women who haven't carried the torch of women's lib and gotten jobs complain because they read a story on their phone about working conditions in China and had to text and email it to all their other friends then hop on the 'social network' of the month and broadcast it to anyone too far away from a brick to shut that fucking thing up when it 'dings' because some far off tart 'liked' it.
Good luck with that pal. Hey! Maybe you can start a Facebook group and maybe do a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $7,000,000 to cut the hole in the roof and you can levitate the equipment out with enough 'Likes'. If that doesn't work, maybe those 33,000 Foxconn employees surrounding you will help! Why not, right? They've got fuck all else to do. A group of Fat Westerners has shut down the factory and nobody can even communicate with them because although the Fatties phones look just like the 3,000,000 other phones sitting on the line, the workers phone don't have a translator that understands 'wut hpnd? Thnk got nuff likes? doz bng trampld hurt?'
That's OK though. See those very confused Asian people in suits over there? Yeah, they want to know if you brought the $763,000,000,000 to pay for apparently prematurely terminating the 8 year production contracts of 5,000 different companies. They think maybe you might have eaten the money, that's why you're so fat. You can try to explain that your parents have a $500 cap on the credit card they gave you. It's probably pointless anyway. See those new guys who just came in? The tall, slender ones that are a lot darker than everybody else and who appear to be in really, really great shape? Most people wouldn't think those fellows were French, but sure enough. They got early severance, with benefits, from the French government when the HR component of Sandline was purchased by an unknown Chinese manufacturer. Well, that's kind of cool right? You know where all those mercenaries from Libya and Ivory Coast went! You better think fast, I think they've decided to look inside you and see if the money really is there. Unless you have a zipper installed you should probably just shit your pants now. They might kill you prior to looking inside if you're all covered in shit.
If that all sounds too exciting you should try visiting the nearest Chinese Consulate. You're going to want to stand out, so I would go for the sandwich board approach. Maybe 'FREE TIBET' on the front and 'TAIWAN IS NOT A TOY' on the back. You should also explain that Nixon was a crook after all and that it's really, really not cool to keep the Mongolians trapped behind that wall like some sort of zoo or farm.
Hey! You could bring takeout from the nearest Mongolian diner. I guarantee there's one within 2km of your present location. Those places really seem to thrive in areas where people have enough free time to complain about the working conditions inside Chinese factories while sipping the coffee made from beans hand harvested in South America sweetened with sugar hand cut in Haiti frothed up with organic milk that costs so much the farmer can't give it to his kids and drink it from a hand thrown coffee cup made made by orphans inside the largest wood fired kiln that uses trees hand cut by children who are working off their parents debts that really seemed to spike after the copper mine switched to a more traditional, mercury heavy smelting process that also had the nice side effect of getting all the algae, fish, turtles, newts and aquatic birds out of the river. The drinking water doesn't smell like fish anymore AT ALL!
Let me know how that goes. Alternatively, you could consider longer term solutions that people will actually listen to. Changing anything is a hard thing, changing something as huge as Chinese factory conditions is really huge. You know what happens if you boycott manufacturers like that. They ramp up production to offset the unit price losses with volume. Nothing else changes. All you did was fuck hundreds of thousands of workers over. So, that's not the route I would recommend.
You want to make things better for your fellow man. That's an admirable quality. But if you want to succeed you need to accept the fact that your grandchildren might get to see some of your efforts come to fruition. That's what it's going to take. Lifetimes of effort. If you're in for that big of a commit that's great.
But know this, you can't stop if you start. You make promises of working towards a better tomorrow and you bail when you realize there is less than zero way to support yourself & family while you're on your mission and you have permanently, irrevocably and eternally blocked any foreigner in the future from getting traction. Don't do it if you can't commit, knowing you'll die before you see big changes. You'll cause more harm than good.