Apple does occasional audits, but what more can you do when the people you audit lie to you because they _want_ to work?
> While overtime is allegedly often required, most workers want to work overtime to make more money, according to an anonymous diary written by a CLW investigator in the factory.
The question for me is, what's the mechanism for enforcing accountability down the chain.
Foxconn operates the plants, so what is the mechanism for incentivising them to comply? What penalties or sanctions do they face for violations? That's really the only way to get to the root of this, but it can't be financial penalties to Apple. That would create perverse incentives and moral hazard.
Presumably the rule of law, and penalties under Chinese law. The issue here is that the rule of law and punishment are both fairly lax in China.
Which again, comes down to accountability.
I don't follow. What perverse incentives and moral hazard?
His whole job was to lean on suppliers and get them to do the most work for the least amount of pay. He basically trimmed all the fat from their Chinese suppliers, streamlined their production and essentially blackmailed suppliers to meet their insane production quotas and deadlines.
I'm never surprised when I hear this stuff now considering it was Cook who started all of this and now he's the guy running the company.
So it is ok to force me to do overtime if my colleagues want to stay? Does not matter if I am overstressed, have children or any other circumstance?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m a friend of the working person. I’m just aware that people are projecting their own values onto this situation in ways that are unfortunately not helpful to many workers who want long shifts. Whether or not they should be allowed to work as long as they want is a big, thorny question.
Will not be better to let them choose? (For real without pressures).
> I’m just aware that people are projecting their own values onto this situation in ways that are unfortunately not helpful to many workers who want long shifts.
Long shifts are profitable only if everybody else is not doing them. Otherwise, everybody has more money and prices go up causing inflation. "Extra shifts" should - by definition - be the exception, not the rule.
> Whether or not they should be allowed to work as long as they want is a big, thorny question.
Higher accident rate, worse health, more stress, etc. are not good. If money really will solve their problems, it will be better to reduce Apple/Foxconn profits in exchange for better lives for their employees.
That’s assuming the money stays in that region and doesn’t get sent to other places. People might come to this area to work but send money back to their families in other places.
The alternative to compulsory overtime doesn't have to be mandatory non-overtime.
This is just one assembly line.
I understand it makes for a nice meme to claim that it is completely absent, though.
Ah yes, of course Apple is not to blame here...
Apple going in bed with Foxconn is their choice. Apple can opt for a more fair supplier who pays their employees fair wage, and give them more fair rights (not up to Western standards but nonetheless a substantional improvement). If a small company like Fairphone can do it , so can Apple.
This is a non sequitur.
It has taken Fairphone considerable effort to arrange these working conditions. It effectively makes their device more expensive, and gives them far less choice on suppliers.
Apple is such a powerful company with deep pockets that they could easily arrange better working conditions for employees of Foxconn if they wanted.
This is a problem that needs to be solved by governments.
Government intervention would help, but I assume not before labour organises to put pressure on the government in the first place.
This "overtime is where workers make extra $" is the rule in the west as well.
They lie to you because they _want to exploit their workers_, which is exactly why the audits were in place.
I have family over there as well, my wife is Chinese, but those connections are up north. She has an uncle who was a mining company executive, I can't talk about him it's too dangerous. Really.
Then why talk about him?
Most people would give in since they would be in the middle of purchasing a new house and needed the money right then, and going through court or whatever would take too long.
> they would buy the property but before handing over the money they would drag their feet and demand repairs
The deals were already closed when the demands were made.
Sounds like something covered by tort law.
In NY, the standard is roughly that after signing a contract the buyer writes a check for 10% of the purchase price to the seller's attorney in escrow. This is typically done after a home inspection, but you still have mortgage and potentially other contingencies. If the buyer backs out for a reason not stipulated in the contract, the seller is entitled to the 10% escrow as damages - but that is not going to happen without litigation. If the seller tries to back out, the buyer will have a lien on the property.
Every state and every transaction can be different, but once you get far enough along, it is generally in your interest to have the deal close. If not, you're going to start a months long process pretty much from scratch.
Someone asking for an addition though would be well beyond what is reasonable; and I can't imagine any seller actually agreeing to that.
I don't think anyone is surprised about Apple breaking labour laws, either.
If they overhire, the excess staff would be stuck with nothing to do. And consider the negative press any time companies announce layoffs.
Excess staff aren't like machines you can just turn off and turn back on during peak seasons. Can't just create an API and invent AWS with them.
There are some companies that don't fire excess staff during slow periods. Staff come in half the month for half pay. And then when things pick up, back to normal. I don't know how they'll handle health benefits though.
Are health benefits in China provided by employers? I always understood that (anti) pattern to be mostly unique to the US, due to salary caps during WWII.
I got this from the article. It's not a clear answer though
Dispatch workers don’t receive benefits that full-time employees get, such as paid sick leave, paid vacations and social insurance, which provides medical, unemployment and pension coverage, according to CLW.
Base wages CAN be higher for dispatch workers, and are paid by third-party firms on a short-term basis and are not employed directly by Foxconn
Social insurance is the keyword there. Might be an amount paid by company on behalf of the employee. Looks like a 401k-ish scheme.
In Norway my employer also providers supplemental insurance that provides lower wait times.
So no, not unique to US really. What countries have you lived in?
Significantly better than dealing with the NHS these days, as I'm able to get a GP appointment with a few hours notice, and I've witnessed someone go in with a slip disk in their back and be in surgery 30 days later (minimum period of time required to be eligible for surgery to give the disk a chance to slip back in on its own).
They even give you a menu with a choice of meals during surgical recovery. The contrast is stark.
Oh, and zero deductible. Everything was free, completely covered. Effectively getting the policy at a significant discount (by only paying income tax on the cost of the plan), and corporate policies are significantly better value than individual policies anyway, as the likelihood of claims (on aggregate across the entire corporation) are lower.
Yes... In US that is "no care" (not actually the case as there is Medicare and Medicaid and emergency treatment) while in South Africa it is care with low efficiency and high likelihood of secondary infections and complications.
It's not your judgement to make - there is already a law.
Besides, it's the job of the management to deal with ups and downs of supply and stocks. They are equipped to deal with it. Why should it fall on the shoulders of the worker? They have families to feed.
With this endless watering down of all worker protection, we will soon be bringing Victorian workhouses.
You'd be right if I'd said, "This is no issue. Or there's nothing wrong with it."
I prefaced the statement with, "I Don't see..." In other words, it's my own opinion on the matter - not a blanket statement on behalf of everyone, just mine.
I want to believe you'd have come to the same, on your own when well rested.
That sounds surprisingly doable.
- During peak production periods, resignations are not approved.
- Some dispatch workers have not received promised bonuses.
- Student workers do overtime during peak production season, even though regulations on student internships prohibit this.
- Some workers put in at least 100 overtime hours each month, during busy production periods. Chinese labor law limits monthly overtime to 36 hours.
- Workers must get approval to not do overtime. If requests are denied and staff still choose not to work overtime, they are admonished by managers and miss out on future overtime opportunities.
- Workers sometimes have to stay at the factory for unpaid meetings at night.
- The factory doesn’t provide adequate protective equipment for staff.
- Work injuries are not reported by the factory, and verbal abuse is common there.
How the hell do they enforce this?
Long ago I spent days on Omegle (the random chat website). I talked to a chinese woman. Most chinese people I met there were pretty sensitive and slow to type (english is not their favorite language maybe). Rapidly I told her how much China has influenced me as a kid. Food, silk clothing, martial art, architecture, philosophy (that's a bit broader than China but you get it). She was happy for a second then said "well not everything is good here". Vaguely hinting at the idea that government was too strict. Nothing revolutionary but she then went silent all of a sudden. She apologized a few times for saying such things about her country with some "oh my god" and then left.
I since know a bit more what freedom of speech means.
No, this is what happens when one leaves the fox guarding the hen house.
If incentives were aligned with regulations, there would be no need for regulations to begin with.
Same thing with managers. Lacking an incentive to follow regulations, they will naturally focus on instinctual outcomes; working harder, producing more, building quicker, etc. You need to provide incentives to stop them from doing the obvious, instinctual thing. Just like Foxes!
It would be fascinating to know why Forbes and Bloomberg seem funded to deride Apple.
> Bloomberg, of course, is the publication that published “The Big Hack” last October — a sensational story alleging that data centers of Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies were compromised by China’s intelligence services. The story presented no confirmable evidence at all, was vehemently denied by all companies involved, has not been confirmed by a single other publication (despite much effort to do so), and has been largely discredited by one of Bloomberg’s own sources. By all appearances “The Big Hack” was complete bullshit. Yet Bloomberg has issued no correction or retraction, and seemingly hopes we’ll all just forget about it. I say we do not just forget about it. Bloomberg’s institutional credibility is severely damaged, and everything they publish should be treated with skepticism until they retract the story or provide evidence that it was true.
Anecdotally people with power have been doing terrible things for probably most of human history.
The idea of skydiving feels completely unnatural to me.
But like with many other things - this is mostly because I haven't been there even once.
I suspect it is because speaking out against abuse of power would have historically gotten you and possibly your family executed.
I.e. power corrupts, because when you gain power, you judge more harshly those with less of it.
Humans have a lot of natural tendencies that are counterproductive to a peaceful society.
OT: American Factory (2019) documentary was a good watch too.
Edit: Vote with your wallet in capitalism; what goes around comes around to bite ...
Companies like Apple would just need to cut into their ginormous profit margins instead of being able to sit on literally (edit: hundreds of) billions of dollars in cash.
 Wealth and Secular Stagnation: The Role of Industrial Organization and Intellectual Property Rights. https://t.co/ZQ5RgHGdFo
The issue on the article seems to be about too many contact workers during rush time which honestly seems reasonable if not inevitable.
The use of dispatch workers doesn't happen by magic. It had to be an explicit decision by senior executives. It required several executives in Foxconn to knowingly and deliberately break labour laws and Apple to close their eyes and look the other way.
I hear they will releasing a new iPhone SE the size of an iPhone 8 in April that I'm interested in. Though probably no Touch ID in that which stinks.
Touch ID is a way better UX ..grab phone with thumb and boom phone is open. One quick/seamless step vs. Face ID...grab phone, look at it and swipe up. Three steps vs. one ..no thanks Apple! Bad UX ..making the user do more then before!
Because people like them and people pay for them?
Your opinion of preference for TouchID seems to not be shared by the majority who prefers FaceID. it just works
Furthermore, having your phone flat on the table and just wanting to peak at it is a major and common use case I'm anybody can relate to. I'm fine with FaceID but definitely regard it as a step back and the cases where I can't use FaceID or it has failed easily outnumber situations where I couldn't use TouchID.
But some people find it easier to swipe up with another finger and not have to hold their thumb anywhere in particular at all. That's fine too.
That's comparing to Face ID ..grab phone..look at phone and push up. That's three steps vs. one.
And rumors are the new phones will have a wider-angle lens and IR projector to make it work better at more awkward angles (e.g. on a table)
It’s not just the unlocking, it’s the ease of entering saved passwords and logging into apps.
Also, you’ve counted grab phone as a step in one of your examples not the other, really it’s 1 step vs 1.
The only downside of Face ID is, I can’t easily unlock my phone when it’s flat on my desk.
I see what you are saying but sooner or later robots will be used. If you don't agree that they should be used if they are more efficient, then by the same token we shouldn't use computers when it's putting people holding calculators out of work.
Are you convinced that no other work would become available for these people that would justify their cessation of manual labor?
I know America is really bad at redistributing wealth, but society doesn’t actually have to be that way.
Many young people in China don't want to work overtime, and many do not work in factories, and many demand higher salary, that's how jobs are shifting to Vietnam, Africa and so on. Things will just work out.