Comedian upset at Apple Computer using Chinese contractors with poor labor practices


log in

Advanced search

Message boards : Politics : Comedian upset at Apple Computer using Chinese contractors with poor labor practices

Author Message
Profile Bob DeWoody
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 May 10
Posts: 1458
Credit: 549,710
RAC: 122
United States
Message 1162104 - Posted: 14 Oct 2011, 5:06:00 UTC

Mike Daisey a former Apple I-Pad/I-pod enthusiast is now conflicted after seeing the conditions under which Apple electronic components are assembled. He visited a factory in China witnessing the conditions under which the workers must endure.

When compared to our labor laws I'm sure that most factories in China and all around the Pacific rim must seem barbaric to someone from the west. But from their point of view I'm sure they don't understand why he is so upset.
____________
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required.

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31322
Credit: 11,814,893
RAC: 22,302
United Kingdom
Message 1162163 - Posted: 14 Oct 2011, 11:11:25 UTC

But from their point of view I'm sure they don't understand why he is so upset.


Of course they don't, because the employers make damn sure that their workers don't get to hear about the Western world and our working conditions. If they did they'd all go on strike and their economy would collapse.

Then again if everybody stopped buying iPads in protest they'd all lose their jobs. For them it's a lose/lose situation.

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12315
Credit: 6,610,785
RAC: 8,706
United States
Message 1162189 - Posted: 14 Oct 2011, 13:53:15 UTC

Can you imagine what the conditions must be like at the plant that is building those $25 dollar knock off iPads for India?
____________

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31322
Credit: 11,814,893
RAC: 22,302
United Kingdom
Message 1162192 - Posted: 14 Oct 2011, 14:07:28 UTC

But its always ween that way in the far east, and the people making all the money have no interest in changing it. When I was a lad in the 50's and 60's anything with a label reading "Made in China" or "Made in Taiwan" was treated as a joke. These days they make damn good stuff, which is competitively priced, but we all know how.

Perhaps UNESCO should earn their keep?

Luigi Naruszewicz
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 99
Posts: 525
Credit: 5,095,684
RAC: 4,776
United Kingdom
Message 1162572 - Posted: 15 Oct 2011, 8:25:46 UTC

The main reason that the I-Pad/I-pod and other manufactured items are made in China, India and else where is because we as consumers want things to be cheap as possible, and means keeping the labour cost down. If it comes to choice of improving worker conditions in the east or keeping the price down then most consumers in the west are going to vote for keeping things cheap.

____________
.


A person who makes no mistakes, creates nothing.

Profile Chris SProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 00
Posts: 31322
Credit: 11,814,893
RAC: 22,302
United Kingdom
Message 1162574 - Posted: 15 Oct 2011, 8:31:00 UTC

most consumers in the west are going to vote for keeping things cheap.


Importers and wholesalers might to maintain sales, not sure about the end user. I think a lot of people might be happy to pay another $10 for an iPad, with a gurantee of fair conditions for those making it.

Profile Dr Imaginario
Send message
Joined: 10 Aug 11
Posts: 172
Credit: 22,735
RAC: 0
Portugal
Message 1162654 - Posted: 15 Oct 2011, 15:57:35 UTC - in response to Message 1162572.

The main reason that the I-Pad/I-pod and other manufactured items are made in China, India and else where is because we as consumers want things to be cheap as possible, and means keeping the labour cost down. If it comes to choice of improving worker conditions in the east or keeping the price down then most consumers in the west are going to vote for keeping things cheap.


Wrong!!!! The only reason this equipments are made in those countries is because the companies that produce those equipments have a paranoia about margin, and they just want to keep the shareholder happy.

Multinationals don't give a crap about the final consumer, in fact apple and most of them have international price policy, what means that no matter where you are the same product will cost the same to final consumer.

The only thing that change from country to country is margin according to the trade conditions with the wholesalers whom for the multinationals are the real customers.

The end customer, means you and me will pay whatever price the multinational decides do list for the product.

China, India, vietnam, Idonesia, they are cheap labour countries with no wellfare laws, in fact people will be happy just for having a job, as their parents used to work on the rice fields and now the sons are working on industry and in a big city.

History repeats itself, just look at england and the us during the industrial revolution, see how familes where living anf working and in which conditions...

Not many different from those countries that I point but with 150 years difference.

Conclusion mankind didn't evolved that much. I would be ashamed that in some consumer products margin can be up to 80% just because is made in China, where if it was made in Europe or the US because it's a capital intensive society the margin would be like 70%.

of course the fact that is the china's indias and vietnams of this world corporate tax and income tax is almost non existant for those companies due to joint ventures and other tax benefits resulting from economical special zones in those countries.

So do you still real think that Multinationals are really thinking about you as a final consumer when they ar producing a Ipod or a Iwhatever in China or whatelse?

After all what is good for the shareholder is good for the company and for the final user.

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12315
Credit: 6,610,785
RAC: 8,706
United States
Message 1162715 - Posted: 15 Oct 2011, 19:04:28 UTC - in response to Message 1162654.

The main reason that the I-Pad/I-pod and other manufactured items are made in China, India and else where is because we as consumers want things to be cheap as possible, and means keeping the labour cost down. If it comes to choice of improving worker conditions in the east or keeping the price down then most consumers in the west are going to vote for keeping things cheap.


Wrong!!!! The only reason this equipments are made in those countries is because the companies that produce those equipments have a paranoia about margin, and they just want to keep the shareholder happy.

There is no paranoia involved. It is simple fiduciary duty. You are entrusted by law with making the most possible for the shareholder. If you knowingly don't you can go to jail, never mind the civil lawsuit from the shareholder. Damn hard to explain to a jury why you didn't take the low bid unless you have a documented reason.

Conclusion mankind didn't evolved that much. I would be ashamed that in some consumer products margin can be up to 80% just because is made in China, where if it was made in Europe or the US because it's a capital intensive society the margin would be like 70%.

Really 80%? If you say so.
____________

Luigi Naruszewicz
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 19 Nov 99
Posts: 525
Credit: 5,095,684
RAC: 4,776
United Kingdom
Message 1162770 - Posted: 15 Oct 2011, 23:34:01 UTC - in response to Message 1162574.

Importers and wholesalers might to maintain sales, not sure about the end user. I think a lot of people might be happy to pay another $10 for an iPad, with a gurantee of fair conditions for those making it.


There might be some people who might pay more, I still reckon most people would not like to spend more.


Wrong!!!! The only reason this equipments are made in those countries is because the companies that produce those equipments have a paranoia about margin, and they just want to keep the shareholder happy.


As Gary has said, it is not a paranoia but a duty. In fact every company be it big or small reason for existance is to make money and that is the prime reason. Making the product or providing a service is just a means to making money.

History repeats itself, just look at england and the us during the industrial revolution, see how familes where living anf working and in which conditions...


Yes and because of improvement in the standard of living the cost of manufacturing has become too expensive in these countries. The standard of living and standard of working conditions in China/India will eventually rise till it will become to expensive there as well.
____________
.


A person who makes no mistakes, creates nothing.

Profile Bob DeWoody
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 9 May 10
Posts: 1458
Credit: 549,710
RAC: 122
United States
Message 1162820 - Posted: 16 Oct 2011, 4:16:04 UTC

I doubt that an I-pod/pad would just cost $10 more if built in factories that meet western safety codes and were the factory workers paid the US minimum wage. I have a feeling the prices would on an order of magnitude of at least 10 greater under those circumstances.
____________
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required.

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12315
Credit: 6,610,785
RAC: 8,706
United States
Message 1162911 - Posted: 16 Oct 2011, 15:46:02 UTC - in response to Message 1162820.

I doubt that an I-pod/pad would just cost $10 more if built in factories that meet western safety codes and were the factory workers paid the US minimum wage. I have a feeling the prices would on an order of magnitude of at least 10 greater under those circumstances.

IIRC there is a chemical solvent required to make IC chips that the MSDS says may not be in the same building as a female of child bearing age due to its extreme toxicity. In the USA you can not discriminate on the basis of sex in employment. You figure it out.

____________

Profile Dr Imaginario
Send message
Joined: 10 Aug 11
Posts: 172
Credit: 22,735
RAC: 0
Portugal
Message 1163040 - Posted: 16 Oct 2011, 22:30:25 UTC - in response to Message 1162715.

There is no paranoia involved. It is simple fiduciary duty. You are entrusted by law with making the most possible for the shareholder. If you knowingly don't you can go to jail, never mind the civil lawsuit from the shareholder. Damn hard to explain to a jury why you didn't take the low bid unless you have a documented reason.


The main purpose of any company is profit, But don't be naive, margins can be maintained independent of the location, mainly because the cost structure change. In the US and EU industry is more capital intensive (big machines huge output low price by unit) when in China and India, machines are basic, labour is intensive, conditions are zero and enviromental regulations do not apply. Not to mention about tax excemption regimes. But at the end is only startegic decision as profit remain the same.

During my days of international finance consultant i saw two factories/plants of similar capacity for the same product and same company. One was based in switzerland it head advanced machinery and 75 employees all with universty degrees the other was base in xan shiao in China, Xangai special zone. It had the same capacity but it had much less machinery and 5000 employees (more or less considering temps). The cost per unit was identical in fact a few cent's cheaper in Switzerland. The only reason why they built a plant in china, was a tax benifit granted by the government,so basically this company would be able for 8 years to remitt money to the us tax free.

Price of the product, is about 3,50 USD all over the world.

Conclusion mankind didn't evolved that much. I would be ashamed that in some consumer products margin can be up to 80% just because is made in China, where if it was made in Europe or the US because it's a capital intensive society the margin would be like 70%.

Really 80%? If you say so.

Yes margins for certain products of companies I worked for, including Apple can be up to 80%

In case of Apple, the only reason they moved production of it's star products to China has only to do with:

1- No existence of enviromental laws or care about labour safety (there are procedures because of SOX but is all quiestionable).

2 - There was a decision made long time ago that US would only manage the Brand in terms of marketing. Production sites should be outsourced and moved out from the US as oe of the core business of APPLE is selling High-Tech marketing not selling Hi-Tech products.

studies where made that production cost per unit would be indetical if a worl wide plant was built in Texas or california. Start-up costs would be higher, but the cruise speed would be achieved earlier.

Selling price of all Apple products are bottom dowm, in other words. The price of the product and margin are fixed, then the challenge is how to achieve it.

The price of in IPAD /IPHone is around 600 USD. Is real even if it was produced in texas or california believe should be surprisingly low, comparable with the same costs in china plus outbound freight.

BarryAZ
Send message
Joined: 1 Apr 01
Posts: 2580
Credit: 12,006,348
RAC: 4,661
United States
Message 1163043 - Posted: 16 Oct 2011, 22:41:50 UTC - in response to Message 1162572.

One of the primary reasons we want things to be as cheap as possible is because our wages (relative to the very top end folks) have at best been flat or perhaps been significantly reduced over the past 25 years. So the low cost of imported consumer goods masks what would otherwise be an attenuation of our standard of living.


The main reason that the I-Pad/I-pod and other manufactured items are made in China, India and else where is because we as consumers want things to be cheap as possible, and means keeping the labour cost down. If it comes to choice of improving worker conditions in the east or keeping the price down then most consumers in the west are going to vote for keeping things cheap.


____________

BarryAZ
Send message
Joined: 1 Apr 01
Posts: 2580
Credit: 12,006,348
RAC: 4,661
United States
Message 1163044 - Posted: 16 Oct 2011, 22:43:19 UTC - in response to Message 1162574.

I doubt it is as little as $10 more, or even 10% more. I'd guess we'd be talking 25% more (just a guess).


most consumers in the west are going to vote for keeping things cheap.


Importers and wholesalers might to maintain sales, not sure about the end user. I think a lot of people might be happy to pay another $10 for an iPad, with a gurantee of fair conditions for those making it.


____________

Profile Gary CharpentierProject donor
Volunteer tester
Avatar
Send message
Joined: 25 Dec 00
Posts: 12315
Credit: 6,610,785
RAC: 8,706
United States
Message 1163059 - Posted: 17 Oct 2011, 0:21:13 UTC - in response to Message 1163040.

There is no paranoia involved. It is simple fiduciary duty. You are entrusted by law with making the most possible for the shareholder. If you knowingly don't you can go to jail, never mind the civil lawsuit from the shareholder. Damn hard to explain to a jury why you didn't take the low bid unless you have a documented reason.


The main purpose of any company is profit, But don't be naive, margins can be maintained independent of the location, mainly because the cost structure change. In the US and EU industry is more capital intensive (big machines huge output low price by unit) when in China and India, machines are basic, labour is intensive, conditions are zero and enviromental regulations do not apply. Not to mention about tax excemption regimes. But at the end is only startegic decision as profit remain the same.

During my days of international finance consultant i saw two factories/plants of similar capacity for the same product and same company. One was based in switzerland it head advanced machinery and 75 employees all with universty degrees the other was base in xan shiao in China, Xangai special zone. It had the same capacity but it had much less machinery and 5000 employees (more or less considering temps). The cost per unit was identical in fact a few cent's cheaper in Switzerland. The only reason why they built a plant in china, was a tax benifit granted by the government,so basically this company would be able for 8 years to remitt money to the us tax free.

So the several tens of millions of dollars in capital played no part in the decision? I'd think the investment potential of this money would skew the result strongly to China. Then add in the tax breaks.

Question, does China allow foreign ownership of a plant?

____________

Message boards : Politics : Comedian upset at Apple Computer using Chinese contractors with poor labor practices

Copyright © 2014 University of California