I remember coming up when an electronic device carried the name of a foreign company, it was considered cheap. Not just in price, but durability also. Now that I think about it, it’s still cheap, in durability. To drive this point home I will use Apple products made in China. Especially with China being the nation America is in debt with the largest, this should be interesting how these pieces fall lol. We all know someone who owns an Ipad or Iphone. They run a few hundred bucks, give a take. They are made by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (trading as Foxconn). For the remainder we’ll address them as Foxconn. Foxconn is a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. It is the world's largest maker of electronics components. Foxconn has factories in Asia, Europe, and South America that together assemble around 40 percent of all consumer electronics products sold. Foxconn has 13 factories in nine Chinese cities—more than in any other country. Their largest factory worldwide is in Longhua, Shenzhen, where hundreds of thousands of workers (varying counts include 230,000, 300,000, and 450,000) are employed at the Longhua Science & Technology Park, a walled campus sometimes referred to as "Foxconn City" or "iPod City". Covering about 1.16 square miles, it includes 15 factories, worker dormitories, a swimming pool, a fire brigade, its own television network (Foxconn TV), and a city center with a grocery store, bank, restaurants, bookstore, and hospital. While some workers live in surrounding towns and villages, others live and work inside the complex; a quarter of the employees live in the dormitories, and many of them work up to 12 hours a day for 6 days each week. Another of Foxconn's factory "cities" is Zhengzhou Technology Park in Zhengzhou, Henan province, where it is reported 120,000 employees work. Foxconn continues to expand, and planned factories include sites at Chengdu in Sichuan province and Wuhan in Hubei province. Let’s break those numbers down a little more. 1.1 square miles is the total area of Leadville, Colorado, and their population is 2,688 people. The thought of all those people in one place, along with the buildings seems mighty CROWDED. If that word even gives the situation the right description.
Apple’s products were made in America at one time. President Obama asked the late Steve Jobs why those jobs could not come back here, and he replied, “Those jobs are not coming back. Reason being, companies are in the business of making a profit, not keeping Americans with jobs. They will outsource to the cheapest laborers with the fastest turnaround time. At the moment, Foxconn can produce the cheapest and the quickest. Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp Iphone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the IPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.
A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 IPhones a day.
“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”
Am I the only one who feels no human being on this planet should be working under those conditions, and anyone who feels differently should not be in a position of power. What China does is keep their currency, the yuan, low in order to make the price of Chinese-made exports cheaper. If their currency is low, you know their pay is low. Now, let’s go to Foxconn. A typical Foxconn employee on the assembly line makes anywhere from 1,500 renminbi to 2,200 renminbi a month, based on 160 hours of work. At that salary, the wage ranges between $1.50 and $2.20 an hour, based on the exchange rate of 6.3 renminbi to the dollar. Many even work more than the maximum allowed under the law. (Apple’s own code of conduct says that except in emergency or unusual situations, workers at its suppliers may work no more than 60 hours per week.) Ask a Foxconn worker and a typical schedule is 10 working hours a day, plus one weekend day. It is common to violate the legal limit. But assuming they work the maximum, and none of those hours occur on Saturday or Sunday (which would make them eligible for double time hourly rates) the figures are 1,700 renminbi a month in basic salary (at 10.6 renminbi an hour, or about $1.70), 36 hours at time-and-a-half (at 15.9 renminbi, or roughly $2.55) and you get a total of 1,700 + 572.40 = 2,272.40 renminbi. At 6.3 renminbi per dollar, that is about $360 for a month. In China, factories generally calculate that there are 22 working days a month, on average. So you can see the total is 2,272 divided by 22 working days and you come up with 103.27 renminbi in pay per day, or about $16.40 a day. How can someone in America live off of those conditions? That would be impossible to care for your family with these wages. Not only are the wages crazy, the living conditions are extreme for those living in the dormitories. Are they at home or in jail?
I guess after working for that low of pay, living like you are in prison, and working on top of each other for long hours off of a biscuit and some tea, suicide may become a thought. Suicides among Foxconn workers have attracted media attention. One was the high profile death of a worker after the loss of a prototype and the other, a series of suicides linked to low pay in 2010. Suicides of Foxconn workers have continued into 2012, with one in June 2012. The rate has substantially reduced since 2010. Sun Dayong, a 25-year-old man, committed suicide in July 2009 after reporting the loss of an Iphone 4 prototype in his possession. Stop, let’s read that again, “One was the high profile death of a worker after the loss of a prototype”. He took his own life because he lost a fukn prototype. WOW, I’M SPEECHLESS OVER THIS ONE, AND I’M RARELY SHORT ON WORDS!!! In reaction to a spate of worker suicides in which fourteen people died in 2010, a report by twenty Chinese universities described Foxconn factories as labor camps and detailed widespread worker abuse and illegal overtime.In response to the suicides, Foxconn installed suicide-prevention netting at some facilities, and it promised to offer substantially higher wages at its Shenzhen production bases. Workers were also forced to sign a legally binding document guaranteeing that they and their descendants would not sue the company as a result of unexpected death, self-injury, or suicide. SMMFH……..
I know some may be wondering why I chose China, and not the entire world. If those numbers above didn’t give you enough reasons, I’m pretty sure I’m about to rock your world with these statistics. In 1985 America’s trade deficit with China was only 6 MILLION a year. And I did say MILLION! By 2011, America’s trade deficit with China was 295 BILLION. AND YES, I DID SAY BILLION! In 2001, we spent 102 billion on products made in China. In 2011, we spent 399 billion. I know those numbers are staggering, but wait, I’m not done yet, unfortunately. We have a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth. I think the Aliens’ trade deficit with the Martians, are the largest in the world tho LMAO!
Some will argue the fact that America has been creating jobs lately. True, we have, but let’s take a look at these jobs being created. The National Employment Law Project says that 58 percent of the jobs being created since the recession have been low paying jobs. Low paying jobs are defined as jobs paying $7.69 - $13.83. If you worked 40 hours a week for all 52 weeks, you’d make 28,766.40, and that’s before taxes. With the price of everything constantly rising, how do you support a family on this? I find it crazy how from 1999 to 2009 the net gain of jobs in America was ZERO! What we have to do as American’s is, stop buying Chinese made products. I know for some they may feel this is hard to do, but if you want your kid(s) or youngins in your family to have a decent life in America, you’d consider this. Our education system has to get better. One of the reasons Apple outsources to Foxconn, one that does not get much coverage, is that we do not have a large number of skilled workers in those fields. True enough I do not think Americans will work for those wages, but if Americans don’t do something soon they will be, and not by choice either! Every chance you get to advance the learning of a kid(s), whether yours or not, I encourage that we all do so. We must start to prepare them for what is really going on in his world. Things will not stay the same, based off of the way things have been going, it’s about to get rougher than ever. Now let’s address the elephant in the room. We as human being should stop supporting any individual, company, nation, etc… that subjects another human to the working and living conditions such as those at Foxconn. It is time to stop having the train of thought that their conditions do not effect you. Mainstream media down plays it just for those reasons. If the shoe was on the other foot, and you knew the citizens of China could come together and get you and your family from under those conditions but wouldn’t, you’d be pissed. Especially when the only reason they wouldn’t do it was, because they were too comfortable, you’d be ready to kill yourself. Oh wait, people are killing themselves over there, and we’re living comfortable. For those who decide to do nothing after reading this, please remember this in the years to come, because if something doesn’t change fast you will find yourself in their shoes. In doing my research on this topic, I’ve come to realization that I will now watch what I buy thoroughly. What you support says a lot about you, and if I have to be a little uncomfortable to take a stance against all that is going on, uncomfortable I’ll be. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I pray you have learned something that you can put to use, and help someone else. SHALOM!!!