Maybe it's just me but....
...I don't see Apple reaching for their laywers already, so I can only presume, err... cont Page 94.
Apple has refuted claims made by the BBC’s Panorama programme that it is not working hard enough to protect the rights of workers. The programme Apple's Broken Promises claimed that Pegatron - a contractor making the iPhone 6 - was abusing rules on working hours, keeping workers' ID cards, and using underage workers. …
Q: what is Apple's new motto?
A: Sleep Different
Q: How & where does Tim Cook sleep?
A: Very well thank you in a big comfy bed
If the truth hurts, it must be Apple!
If the BBC had any more stones left, they'd investigate HTC, Google, Nokia and Crackberry as well. If Apple's setting an example, gawd forbid what these 4 are up to!!!
Upvoted for the correction, but downvoted (in principle) because I love people making corrections who themselves make mistakes - and I'm gobsmacked that nobody else has commented, since the Vulture community is usually on this sort of thing like rabid hyenas... :-)
"Grammer"...? Jimmy Edwards would surely have you bent over a chair for that one... (for the cane... oh, er, missus, stop tittering...)
The use of 'refute' to _apparently_ mean 'deny' is (it seems to me) a recent change in language that has been popularised by politicians, who have been loudly 'refuting' accusations for many years. They do this so that if the accusations are proved to be true then they can always say, truthfully, that they never denied it. People have been too lazy to look the word up to establish its meaning and so this incorrect use propogates. Politicians may not be smart, but they're smarter than the average person and they're full of feral cunning.
(A similar thing happened with the word 'obviate', where people said things like, " this new gadget obviates the need to .....". If you know what the word 'obviate' means, then you'll realise what is wrong with that.)
it is not, they said "a million people in its supply chain, finding that 93 per cent of the instances were compliant."
that means 7% were not compliant, which is 70,000 people were not compliant, that is a hell of a lot!
imho, even 60hours is too long a working week for anyone doing physical labour, especially anything repetitive, like assembling phones etc...
"Apple has undertaken to enforce a 60-hour maximum working week and claims that it has tracked the weekly hours of a million people in its supply chain, finding that 93 per cent of the instances were compliant"
Translation: "Approximately 70,000 people in our supply chain are working at least 60 hours a week to our knowledge"
So since the BBC has "unmasked" Apple as not an ethical employer, should we expect all the trendy BBC staff to eschew their Macs, iPads and iPhones either as a matter of corporate policy or simply as individual choices made on humanitarian grounds?
Or is it more likely that there is a wide gap between the principles and standards promoted in an investigative
entertainment programme and the reality of what should not get between right-on media luvvies and their status symbols.
Who fancies organising a mass iBurning outside Media City? It might even make the ITV news.
Seriously? You're really suggesting that all those fanbois give a rat's ass about where their iToy came from? If they were genuinely concerned about that then they would buy a Fairphone. But they don't. All that matters to them is that they have a shiny gadget to hug.
I doubt it.
I am sure all major consumer doodad manufacturers insist, and publicly so, that the most stringent policies for employee welfare are enforced.
It is easier for the western consumer to buy the doodad if he or she feels no furry animals were hurt in it's manufacture.
The same company will of course also insist that the unit price of the doodad makes adherence to that policy financially impossible for the manufacturer.
That's the thing about corporate public statements. Generally they overuse words like 'endeavour to ensure' or 'make all reasonable attemps to . .' and so on. Anyone remember J.J. Harriman (I think!) in The Man Who Sold The Moon? He greatly admired the postal service's terms and conditions because the one thing they never promised to do was deliver a letter, any letter. Instead they promised to TRY to deliver a letter by whatever means they could (such as carrier pigeon or putting it in a bottle and floating it down the river), but that they were in no way liable if no letters ever got delivered.
On the subject of Apple though, I think the issue is not that they are no better than their competitors when it comes to worker welfare, but that they made such a bloody song and dance about how much they cared and how they had thwarted the will of the evil factory owners, and it turns out they give no bigger a shit than all the other tech companies about how their stuff gets made so cheaply.
where Samsung makes Note 4's. And now they are building a second plant.
Vietnamese workers can strike, form unions, demonstrate and the VN Labour Code is very definitive (and superior to the US labour 'standards'). There are national pension and health plans, too.
Come to think of it, may be the benefits are why Apple is NOT in VN!
Ah but the conditions in Vietnam, as in South Korea itself, are steeped in the filthy communist idea that a worker deserves a fair rate of pay for his labour and the even more insidious notion that, just because a person runs the factory or owns the company is no reason they should get100-200 times the shop floor rate.
Cue the downvotes from entrepeneurs and upper managers everywhere (but mostly, I suspect, in merka)
T'was ever thus. I would have paid more attention to this if the Beeb had taken a swipe at working conditions for a plethora of tech/gadget manufacturers. Perhaps they could have approached it from the 'Demand' and 'Desire' angle and placed more emphasis on the habits / actions of consumers in the West. The majority of what we import / consume is made under pretty awful conditions for the workers at the sharp end, be it clothing, foot wear or technology. I realize that Apple apparently make something of an ethical approach to workers conditions etc. Well, good luck with that, it isn't going to be easy. Exploitation goes all the way down the slippery slope of the supply chain. If you happen to be at the bottom of that chain you are hit hardest because you have nowhere to move.
Surely the point is that Apple have put themselves up as people of good will (as always, appearance before substance) and therefore they deserve to be targeted when they fail so egregiously to meet their own trumpeted standards? I agree with you and other posters that the same may happen in other manufacturers' plants, but they don't shout about how well they look after their staff.
If you make boasts, be prepared to stand behind them and not play the usual Apple card of "We're too good to talk to you people". They had their chance to put their case on the programme, and they refused. They should suck it up and put their efforts into cleaning up their act to match their publicity machine instead of whining about how unfair the BBC is.
If you say in effect "we have policies to ensure decent working conditions for employees in our supply chain", then it's perfectly reasonable for people to hold you to that standard and flag up if that's not happening. Apple's position in response to this programme seems to be that they know the standard isn't being met, but things would be worse if they weren't trying. Well, fair enough, but if you can't ensure they're met then don't trumpet your wonderful ethical policies, just work quietly to get there first. Other manufacturers are doubtless in the same boat, but they're not making grandiose claims and thus exposing themselves to accusations of hypocrisy.
@ Credas / @ Bloodbeastterror
Honestly peeps I was unaware that Apple "trumpet [their] wonderful ethical policies". If they make such a 'thing' about it then yes, I agree, they should be able to publicly put that to the test. (the only Apple (Macintosh) products that I own are over 30 years old and still work as intended).
I am just reasonably sure that almost every imported product is made at the expense of workers conditions and pay. Therefore I consume as little 'new' product as possible, make what I do have last as long as possible, recycle as much as possible and look for pre-owned alternatives to the latest shiny-shiny if indeed I really 'must' replace something and have a very, very, stern talk with myself about the merits of opening my wallet in any case. So I admit I am probably not representative of the general all-consuming populace, sadly.
Apple's an easy and lazy target, because they do make some effort to be transparent. Full lists of suppliers on their web site, published standards and summaries of audits etc. But Dell, Lenovo, Sony, Asustek and others are a larger proportion of Pegatron's output. But it has to be said that Apple's business model (10 million of a new model delivered to end users within a couple of weeks of the unveiling) places tremendous strain on suppliers during the first few weeks of production. At least the workers were being allowed to sleep!
Now give a moment's thought to the people in the supply chain for your christmas lights, and all the other disposable crud you buy with tin in it.
Apple employ Pegatron et al to manufacture their products, Pegatron employ the labour, therefore it is Pegatron and, by extension, the Chinese govt who are directly responsible for working conditions, not Apple.
Furthermore, a metric shit ton of other companies use Pegatron's facilities, where was the criticism of them? At least Apple publicly and transparently acknowledge their part in the whole process and make efforts to improve the worker's lot, and do a demonstrably damn sight more than others.
Perhaps if first world countries hadn't pissed away their manufacturing expertise and capacity, focussing instead on dubious "financial services" (I'm looking at you in particular, neoliberal Britain), we might not have jejune and didactic journalism of this sorry calibre.
Expecting the inevitable downvotes in 3...2...1...
35 might be an exaggeration. I've worked in Paris offices where I've waited in vain for people to come back from lunch on a friday. But I have to say that the French workforce is one of the happiest (and productive!) I have worked with.
Just where does it say we should be subordinate to tbe time clock and bloody miserable to boot?
@Mike Shepherd; That's the rub, isn't it? Apple, along with other 'premium' brands, have seen production costs plummet as they've sought cheaper and cheaper labour markets, and what they've generally done with those cost savings is increase profits and dividends.
I'm pretty sure Globalisation wasn't supposed to be like that. Globalisation was sold to us as an opportunity to level the plying field by creating a global market, yet all it seems to have achieved is a workforce who can never hope to own even one of the products they produce, while the West produces less and less, while continuing to consume more and more of this tat.
Not all but very many workers in China continue to be dawn to the cities for work because of economic allure, but the majority of those leave children, wives/husbands behind, sometimes many hundreds of miles away. Whilst the wages appear reasonable, when compared to subsistence farming, leaving the kids with grand parents who struggle with the burden, and not seeing them for 6-months at a time, is not an easy thing to bear. If you are young and single it's fine, but what sort of housing could you expect if starting a young family in the city - have you seen what's happened to property prices in big urban/city areas over the past 10-15 years.
Add to that the fact that if you do travel some 900 miles for work and you come from the 'wrong' region/ethnic group, you can come up against some pretty nasty discrimination that can leave you further out of pocket and generally make life rather difficult all round. Such matters aren't, of course, the sole preserve of China and it's economics.
The point I was trying to make, in my own inarticulate way, is tha $6,500 a year for someone living in a city, paying rent, buying food, paying bus or train fares, buying clothes and having a little to send home is not exactly a king's ransom when compared with a subsistence (plus a little surplus to sell) farmer who will generally get most of his food from the sweat of his hands, without having to purchase it, will generally not travel far from the farm, engages in barter for life's (very) little luxuries, and so on.
Plus I think my original point remains. How many assembly workers earning $6,500 a year can afford the products they are assembling? When I contracted (NEVER use the word 'worked' or they expect results) at BMW's factory back in the 80s, my Triumph Spitfire was the only non Beamer in the employee carpark (it was also the only car that needed regular bump starts from groups of sneering teutonic carworkers at knocking off time, but that's a whole other issue)
Oh, and $6,500 a year is still cheaper than building stuff in their target markets.
1. Apple boast of their ethical manufacturing thus deserve to be judged against such standards.
2. Apple unlike many tech companies make huge profits on their hardware, they could afford to reinvest these in setting up ethical manufacturing companies, I believe the cash reserves apple are sitting on exceed the GDP of many of these countries they source from, yet they choose not to.
"1. Apple boast of their ethical manufacturing thus deserve to be judged against such standards."
I'm sure Apple hasn't said anything that isn't technically, factually accurate about the employees in their supply chains. Other than just being honest, if they did, it would open them up to lawsuits. So if you're reading something into their statements that they're not saying, that's your fault, isn't it?
"2. Apple unlike many tech companies make huge profits on their hardware, they could afford to reinvest these in setting up ethical manufacturing companies, ..."
Give me a break, it's not Dearborn in 1922 where Ford could assemble a car end-to-end in one location from local trees and whatnot, and we're not talking about final assembly necessarily. One of the issues at hand is apparently a tin mine in Indonesia. Do you really think Apple should start its own tin mine?
...to compare and contrast what happens in these factories for people building Apple equipment with Samsung equipment, and HTC equipment, and Xiaomi equipment?
That way, we'd be able to judge better whether the Apple policies were making things "better" (a value judgement) for those workers assigned to Apple production compared to those assigned to other vendors.
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