When Occupy Wall Street (or whatever area they choose to congest) protesters aren’t busy shitting in public or pissing on each other, they’re condemning corporations and capitalism. Big corporations are evil, their CEOs are evil.
The Occupiers will, however, overlook select corporations and their CEOs in their condemnations.
Apple Inc. is one such corporation… Because the Occupiers gotta tweet their gibberish from their iPad or iPhone, or ask Siri where to go to get a free test for Hepatitis A.
From THIS NY Times article (I encourage you to read the entire article as I’m not gonna put it all here):
In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing.
However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.
Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.
This is true of ANYTHING made in China; I’m well aware of that. But every Apple owning zombie I know claims that Apple is different.
Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant (Ed. I highlighted that shit).
Apple was warned long before explosions that caused deaths occurred. Fuckers.
I have to listen to shit like this from Apple zombies all the time: “But Steve Jobs was different than any other CEO out there.” Nope… he wasn’t. And neither is his successor, Tim Cook. Hell Apple sounds worse!
A quote from the “squeaky clean” Steve Jobs:
“I actually think Apple does one of the best jobs of any companies in our industry, and maybe in any industry, of understanding the working conditions in our supply chain,” said Mr. Jobs, who was Apple’s chief executive at the time.
“I mean, you go to this place, and, it’s a factory, but, my gosh, I mean, they’ve got restaurants and movie theaters and hospitals and swimming pools, and I mean, for a factory, it’s a pretty nice factory.”
That’s bullshit, Jobs…
Others, including workers inside such plants, acknowledge the cafeterias and medical facilities, but insist conditions are punishing.
And a former Apple executive says what?
“We’re trying really hard to make things better, but most people would still be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone or iPad comes from.”
I will say the Occupiers are quietly urging, via petitions, Apple to work with their suppliers to improve working conditions in China… They won’t change things, though..
What about from the suppliers’ perspective….
Every month, officials at companies from around the world trek to Apple’s headquarters or invite Apple executives to visit their foreign factories, all in pursuit of a goal: becoming a supplier.
When news arrives that Apple is interested in a particular product or service, small celebrations often erupt. Whiskey is drunk. Karaoke is sung.
Then, Apple’s requests start.
Apple typically asks suppliers to specify how much every part costs, how many workers are needed and the size of their salaries. Executives want to know every financial detail. Afterward, Apple calculates how much it will pay for a part. Most suppliers are allowed only the slimmest of profits.
So suppliers often try to cut corners, replace expensive chemicals with less costly alternatives, or push their employees to work faster and longer, according to people at those companies.
“The only way you make money working for Apple is figuring out how to do things more efficiently or cheaper,” said an executive at one company that helped bring the iPad to market. “And then they’ll come back the next year, and force a 10 percent price cut.”
Now here’s something that’s been back page news; which, in my opinion is even worse. This is all specific to Foxconn, Apple’s largest Chinese supplier:
Apple’s factories in China are employing tens of thousands of students, some of them on forced internships. Some of these kids are as young as 16.
In December, 1,500 students were sent by just one vocational college in Henan, China’s most populous province, for internships at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant, which Apple CEO, Tim Cook, visited last week. The Yancheng Evening News, which exposed the practice, interviewed students who said they were going against their will and that their schools were acting as “labor agencies”.
This intern deal has been largely ignored, by Apple, in labor quality discussions.
Students of nursing, languages, music and art are being corralled into internships of between three and six months, during which 10-hour days and seven-day weeks are not unusual, according to Sacom and a number of Chinese media reports, which claim colleges and universities are acting as employment agencies, sending their pupils to Foxconn not for relevant training (again, highlighted by ed.), but to bolster the workforce during summer and winter holiday periods.
In the summer of 2010, when Foxconn was in crisis after several suicides among the workforce at its largest plant in Shenzhen, 100,000 vocational school students – mostly in their late teens – were sent from Henan for three months.
China Daily reported that some students at a vocational school in Henan’s capital, Zhengzhou, were not told of the work until nine days before they were due to leave home. Teachers told students they must leave “as ordered by the provincial government” and that all those who refused would have to drop out of school.
Apparently, Foxconn hires an average of 27,000 interns a month, for an average tenure of three and a half months. Foxconn says the interns’ working day should not exceed eight hours for five days a week, and they should never work seven days in a row.
The Guardian’s own inquiries have confirmed that 10-hour days and six-day weeks are standard. The FLA said conditions for students were difficult to regulate because under Chinese law they were not defined as employees and no employment relationship exists between the factory and interns.
So the youngest workers have the least protection. Unreal…
I fully understand that the above is true with all companies that outsource labor to China and other crappy places to save money. It would be awesome if American companies could keep all facets of their businesses within our borders. Unfortunately, the American consumer doesn’t want to pay the premium for a true American product.
What’s also unfortunate is that the American consumer doesn’t realize the trade-off involved when their product of choice is made more affordable because of offshore labor. The human factor.
There’s a 100% chance that some young man or woman, who had a hand in the manufacture of your iPad, iPod or iPhone (or even my Droid) is living a crappier life than your cat or dog.
I get pissed because of the lack of media outrage, the blindness of Steve Jobs’ freakin’ cult like followers and the unwillingness of Americans to demand an American product.