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Foxconn's Other Dirty Secret: the World's Largest "Internship" Program

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the apprentice-slave dept.

China 183

pigrabbitbear writes "In light of a series of reports that have emerged over the years, one of many dark stories of suicide now points at one of the lesser-known but more unsavory aspects of Foxconn's much-criticized labor practices: with the help of schools and government officials, the company runs a massive internship program built not on voluntary education but on 'compelled' factory work for teenage students. According to Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation."

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Import tariffs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048421)

now! :p

Re:Import tariffs (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048623)

Wont happen, too much money from corporations being used to loby against it. China on the other hand has massive import tariffs for US goods. So companies more or less have to make stuff over there if they want to see in China.

Re:Import tariffs (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048659)

PreviousPost.replace(/see/g,'sell');

It's a great opportunity! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048423)

I'm looking forward to working my way up. Some of the old timers have made it all the way up to the roof they said.

Re:It's a great opportunity! (-1, Offtopic)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048693)

You could have gotten modded funny for that, but I don't waste my mod points on cowards.

Re:It's a great opportunity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049637)

Good thinking

Re:It's a great opportunity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049897)

I hope you didn't waste any mod points by posting that worthless reply.

Re:It's a great opportunity! (2)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048713)

But then you jump off into the company-approved safety net. Then you get suicided.

oh the humanity! (-1, Flamebait)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048459)

really starting to scrape the bottom of the hyperbole barrel here... let me add a couple more:
* Shocker! Foxconn does not have Sweet and Low in the cafeteria!,
* zOMG! Foxconn employees do not get MLK day off!
* Zounds! Foxconn cut funding for employee softball team!

maybe we can keep thinks on a more even tone, for the sake of conversation?

Re:oh the humanity! (1, Troll)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048631)

So you are putting no sweet anbd low at the same level of FORCED UNPAID LABOR by underage students? Stay classy iTard

Re:oh the humanity! (5, Insightful)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048711)

I was with you right up till the iTard line... Foxconn and really china's labor practices in general are horrific, but it isn't apple to blame, it is the entirety of silicon valley, and possibly some blame can go on the U.S government and their lobyests for more or less doing nothing to discourage companies from off-shoring everything that is humanly possible to do.

Re:oh the humanity! (-1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048811)

Oh I know that its not just Apple, but it is generally Apple zelots who try to downplay this stuff.

Re:oh the humanity! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048911)

If you read the parent posters other posts you would see he is either a paid shill or a rabid Apple fanboy, so iTard is actually spot on.

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049061)

harsh! would a shill tell you to stfu? if you look at it from the perspective of /.'s silly shrill biases recently, any reasonable poster must be a shill. Actually, I take it as a compliment - my first "shill" ad hominem. Is there an achievement badge for that?

Re:oh the humanity! (2)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049695)

yes, a shill would. shills are little more than paid trolls.

Re:oh the humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049847)

second "shill" ad hominem. Better switch to AC so my karma doesn't tank. Is there some place I can go to get paid for my "shilling?" I'll line up for some of that!

Re:oh the humanity! (3, Insightful)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049291)

... but it isn't apple to blame

Correct. Their shareholders deserve the blame. Apple's just a corporation. Own Apple stock? You're a slaver. Buy Apple products? You enrich slave owners. FOAD.

Re:oh the humanity! (4, Insightful)

EL_mal0 (777947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049943)

but it isn't apple to blame

I disagree. Apple is contracting with Foxconn to churn out millions of iDevices. Regardless of what other Silicon Valley companies are doing, Apple is the one that is dealing with FoxConn. If they think that the workers deserve better treatment, they have it in their power to see that their demands are met; if they aren't, then they can contract with someone who will. "I'm just following the status quo," is a poor defense.

I work for a company that deals with a lot of contractors. If a contractor isn't living up to our expectations (usually safety related), we find a new company to do that work. If they're not living up to our standards, they don't come on our site. Our safety numbers reflect this. (I think our bottom line benefits, too, but those numbers are a little trickier to pin down.)

I think that a company's handling of contractors reflects their values. Apple (and I guess the rest of Silicon Valley) values money more than good working conditions.

Re:oh the humanity! (3, Insightful)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048981)

the whole summary is linkbait. Follow the articles... the internship program may be unpaid (like internships in the US mind you), but it's not "unvoluntary". From rtfa:
* "Liu had traveled hundreds of miles for a chance to get hands-on experience working for China’s leading electronics maker."
* "Liu’s internship — which he landed through a labor placement firm in the nearby city of Guangzhou — would have included housing, food, and a small stipend estimated to be about half the salary of a typical factory worker"

if you actually read the text, the worst you can say is that many Chinese schools require internships in order to graduate. This is probably on par with US vocational schools. So let's hold off on the "zOMG won't somebody think of the childrenz!"

Re:oh the humanity! (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049063)

I like how you glazed over the part where he KILLED HIMSELF a month later.

Re:oh the humanity! (0)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049121)

dude probably had mental problems. who kills themselves over an internship after just a month?

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049729)

especially considering how many kill themselves just to get the internship

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049783)

WOW! A bit harsh. How do you know what his mental state was when he killed himself?

And just so you know mental states can change very rapidly. It is possible that there was a lot going on that will never be known. How much of it was Foxconn's fault is what the real concern is. I know personally that high stress environments do not add to one's mental well being. I had a job that had what I would consider unreasonable demands, and if I was faced with the prospect of ruining my life and quitting(like was suggested in TFA) or continuing under those demands, there's a possibility that I wouldn't be making this post. And I consider myself to be perfectly fine mentally. If Liu had similar issues with his job, and was unable to leave, then I can see that it would be very reasonable why he'd kill himself.

Might want to look at more than just the fact that peoples lives are making your i-products cheap.

Re:oh the humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39050069)

Tell us about the job that nearly drove you to kill yourself. Oh wait, you probably can't do that, because it would show you are either a) lying or b) a pussy.

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050187)

chillax, AC. parent is relating a story from his experience. i don't doubt him, and even if he did make it up, the point he is making still stands. Things like suicides are multifactoral and there is no single cause.

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050111)

exactly my point. mental illness is multifactoral. Let's agree that there are many contributing causes. The statement "foxconn casued the suicide of this dude" is false. We agree, yes?

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050425)

tfa: "Foxconn revealed that Liu’s internship had been terminated about a week after it began, on July 7, because he failed to show up for work for several days, and that the company had been trying to arrange to have him sent back to his hometown."

sounds like he only put in a few days work, and foxconn let him stay in the dorms for a few weeks with no work, then he killed himself. Sounds unstable to me.

Re:oh the humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39050367)

Holy shit! Foxconn has nets out their fucking windows to catch suicidal workers attempting to leap to their death.

Gosh, you think knowing your entire life is going to be a meat grind might make someone jump out a window? In the real world, absofuckinglutely!

Slashdot is dead.

Re:oh the humanity! (5, Informative)

leehwtsohg (618675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049369)

You read this part, right?

The Henan provincial government declared that 100,000 vocational and university students would be sent on three-month internships at Foxconn’s Shenzhen plants.

At one vocational school in Zhengzhou, wrote Hu Yinan, students were informed of the government’s requirement after the summer semester had begun, and that “all those who refuse would have to drop out.”

Re:oh the humanity! (5, Informative)

dan828 (753380) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049453)

You seem to have missed this part: "This isn’t the venerated internship of the privileged college student, building valuable work and life skills with school credit and on-the-job training in place of pay – if such an internship even still exists. Historically, Foxconn’s low-wage internships involve essential factory labor by poor students, some of whose areas of study have nothing to do with electronics, and turn the “school credit” idea on its head. According to SACOM, vocational students, including those studying journalism, tourism and languages, have had practically no choice but to participate in such internships if they want to graduate from their schools. As temporary workers, they have little legal protection or recourse in the event of injury, over-work, or underpayment. And if they complain, they could jeopardize their diplomas."

Re:oh the humanity! (-1, Troll)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049579)

how is this different than US?
* your internship turns out to be menial. In the US it's filing papers, fetching coffee. Same deal.
* vocational students must do internships as part of their education. This is how it should be. It's a VOCATIONAL school.
* temp workers are not covered by a company's benefits programs. Same as in US - I've temped, I can attest to that.

I'm not seeing anything new or shocking here. Just hyperbole and apple-bashing. They are teh evilz!

workers saflty / labol laws apply to temps IRS (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050381)

workers saflty / labol laws apply to temps also in some cases the IRS has ruled the temps to be full employees in some cases.

* your internship turns out to be menial. In the US it's filing papers, fetching coffee. Same deal that is breaking the law.

* vocational students must do internships as part of their education. But the VOC part is doing a real job part of the class load not being a copy / coffee boy.

Re:workers saflty / labol laws apply to temps IRS (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050555)

I can confidently call BS here. [citation needed] that a menial internship is breaking the law, even in the US. And considering how premium the foxconn jobs are, it makes sense that a foxconn internship could fulfill a VOC requirement.

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049023)

also...

me:

maybe we can keep thinks on a more even tone, for the sake of conversation?

you:

Stay classy iTard

'nuff said.

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049779)

i'm sorry...what were you saying about ad hominems? being rude or unpleasant never proved anyone factually wrong. just factually unpleasant.

Re:oh the humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39050021)

uh oh a h8r. are you directing your response to me or to the AC parent? the only ad hominem is from him.

Re:oh the humanity! (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049193)

lastly, if you rtfa there's nothing about underage students. it's vocational college students. no 12 year olds in the sweatshops. sorry if that messes with your mental image.

oh the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048777)

This downplay was brought to you by Chinese manufactured hardware.

Re:oh the irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39050117)

You assume no one here is using a computer manufactured of hardware entirely produced in the West?

Internship anyone? (4, Funny)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048465)

So, the next time you see an internship "coworker" in your company, do the math, and get the hell out of this sweat-shop.

Re:Internship anyone? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048919)

Ssshhh, don't give away Hollywood's dirty secret. The entire LA area will have a severe waiter shortage if anyone gets wind of this.

Re:Internship anyone? (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049241)

Plus the "EA Spouse" [livejournal.com] debacle of course led the entire Slashdot herd to boycotting Electronic Arts' games.

No? Inhuman working conditions are not an issue as long as they get to play Dragon Age?

Re:Internship anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049273)

Engineering Interns are paid about $9-$14/hr. I'm not sure why the rest of the modern worlds career minded interns accept unpaid internships.

(Rhetorical question of course. It's probably something to do with the internship positions requiring 0 specialized education and an over abundance of uneducated whelps willing to fill the positions for the chance of being the 4000th credit in some movie.)

Re:Internship anyone? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050265)

I can't speak for every company, but in my company internships are viewed as a way to recruit talent while also providing a service and still getting some level of business benefit. The process resembles Google's Summer of Code in a sense - anybody who wants to hire an intern has to essentially propose some kind of project and there is a selection process. You can't hire an intern and just give them a stack of papers to file. They can perform routine administrative tasks as part of their job just like anybody else, but you have to create a genuinely interesting project for them to work on. Interns are also involved in special programs at a corporate level beyond working in a particular department/etc.

Now, with the general turn in the economy it seems like our internship program is almost non-existent these days. That should also tell you something - if it were just a cheap labor sweatshop then it would be booming...

Who cares (2, Funny)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048469)

You got your iCrap (TM) why would it matter to you how it was made and who made it? It's so shiny and Apple claims it really, really cool.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048525)

It's so shiny and Apple claims it really, really cool.

You mean nokia, HTC, moto, sony, samsung, et al aren't Foxconn's customers?

Re:Who cares (2)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048613)

Of course they are. Apple just happens to be the hand-picked boogey man at this time.

Re:Who cares (3, Insightful)

Stele (9443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048731)

Makes sense. Apple makes a HUGE margin on their devices and has $80B+ in the bank. They could certainly afford to build them right here in America, and still make a nice profit, but they choose not to.

Re:Who cares (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049075)

To be fair people don't buy iPhones as such. Most iPhones come on a contract and is over paid for by a large margin. The increase in cost would be largely paid by the cell phone companies who will be reluctant to charge more than the other cell companies, for the sake of what $40 is the sum banded around.
  The Itouch and wifi only tablets would be more expensive but they could still be produced in china or people can go for the contract option and 3g

The only losers as such would be the cellphone carriers and they will make it back somewhere.

Re:Who cares (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049775)

Regardless, islaves make Apple money. Everything else is just spin and damage control.

But hey, did you hear about the features on the next ipad?

Re:Who cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048833)

Nokia, Motorola, Sony and Samsung, yes, they are Foxconn customers. HTC to my knowledge is not, I believe they do the bulk of their manufacturing themselves.

Re:Who cares (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048951)

Far as I know you are correct. In fact HTC started as a third party manufacturer for other companies before making their own products.

Re:Who cares (1)

DansnBear (586007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049017)

Not ot mention: Acer Inc., Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Cisco, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Vizio. Not trying to defend Apple for any wrong doing, but why does everyone think that Apple is the only company that uses Foxconn?

Re:Who cares (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049489)

At least until 2012 Nokia did make its most imporant phones in Finland. Paying adult, educated workes who were protected by European welfare and safety laws, and who could even buy the phones that they manufactured.

Not only Apple wouldn't dream of opening a single factory in the USA, they also had the arrogance to make declarations such as "it's not our job to fix unemployment in the USA". While exploiting slavery in China, at the same time they plan to build a spaceship-like building for their managers in the USA. While at Foxconn people killed themselves, or perished in explosions, or coughed blood because of gas leaks, Steve Jobs said: "hey, but they have restaurants and swimming pools". Let them have cake - at Foxconn's restaurants.

I'm wondering about Samsung, myself (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050493)

At least for phones. I have a GS2 and my battery is made in Korea, and the last time I pulled one apart it seemed that all the parts were labelled as made in Korea as well. I supposed perhaps it is assembled in China, or perhaps Samsung makes other products there, but I don't see any MIC logos in my phone.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048925)

My thoughts exactly. I don't care how many animals had to die to make my hot dog, likewise for my iPhone.

Keep working hard kids (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048475)

One day you might get paid!

Re:Keep working hard kids (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048569)

Correction: Once we've ruined your hands we won't have to worry about paying you -- We'll have already extracted all the work from you as you're capable of providing for free. The older kids are glad to replace you at entry level fees -- It's better than starving on a farm.

It's really quite sad. Too bad NOTHING is made in the USA / Canada anymore.

Re:Keep working hard kids (3, Insightful)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048629)

Plenty of things are made in the USA and Canada these days. Microelectronic gizmos, not so much,

Re:Keep working hard kids (4, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049373)

Burgers, fries, and rap music.

That's about it.

Re:Keep working hard kids (0)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050031)

Mod +1

Re:Keep working hard kids (3, Informative)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050539)

Don't forget about laws, Laws and more LAWS!

Re:Keep working hard kids (4, Insightful)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048667)

It's better than starving on a farm. It's really quite sad. Too bad NOTHING is made in the USA / Canada anymore.

Right. Then they could all starve on farms.

Re:Keep working hard kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048793)

Server farms don't magically produce food.

Re:Keep working hard kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049557)

Maybe they can convert to gold farming.

Re:Keep working hard kids (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049517)

It's better than starving on a farm. It's really quite sad. Too bad NOTHING is made in the USA / Canada anymore.

Right. Then they could all starve on farms.

Traditionally, farms exist to produce food. Or, did you mean "starve" as in unable to buy iBaubles? Okay, you got me there.

Re:Keep working hard kids (5, Informative)

Temposs (787432) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048759)

Actually, about 65% of what US consumers buy is made in the US. It is a myth that nothing is made here. It's mostly the clothing and consumer electronics and other cheap plastic shit which are so completely outsourced.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/business/worldbusiness/20iht-wbmake.1.20332814.html [nytimes.com]
"Thirty years ago, U.S. producers made 80 percent of what the country consumed, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an industry trade group. Now it is about 65 percent."

Re:Keep working hard kids (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049153)

"Thirty years ago, U.S. producers made 80 percent of what the country consumed, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an industry trade group. Now it is about 65 percent."

I wonder what percentage of what is made in the US is just corn-based junk-food, and how has that percentage increased in the last 30 years.

IOW, we still make 65% of what we consume, but an increasing percentage of this is devoted to turning industrialized calories into poop, as opposed to creating products that require and promote useful activities.

Statistics thrown off by... (2)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049527)

McDonald's food probably qualifies as industrial goods, and is probably 99% made in the in the good ole USA!

guess what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048483)

same o' as in the 1st world!

Forced internships? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048501)

Is this a Bill Clinton program?

Re:Forced internships? (5, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048615)

Is this a Bill Clinton program?

Close, but no cigar.

Re:Forced internships? (3, Funny)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048671)

Okay, now *that's* funny.

Re:Forced internships? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048673)

Say what you will about the guy, his interns volunteered.

Re:Forced internships? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049279)

I say put him back in office and give him 3 Interns!

The World's Largest Corrupt Organization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39048547)

And their goals of enforcing U.S. anti-piracy laws on every nation in the world:

http://www.cfr.org/united-states/debate-over-anti-piracy-laws/p27208

Wow. (3, Funny)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048561)

I feel incredibly guilty for not researching the company behind my Kindle before giving them my money. Of course, I'd feel even guiltier if I were reading this post on my Kindle.

Re:Wow. (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048773)

Well what can you do at this point, Foreign labor policies are horrific, but if you wanted to avoid supporting any of them, you'd have had to mail in your post via the united states post office (I don't think it is possible to get first posts that way, any legitimate company that wanted to avoid labor, would not be able to compete on price, and thus would be bankrupt in weeks.

Re:Wow. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048819)

Actually, the policies are fine (other then low tariffs). However they are not followed or enforced. For example, as part of the international trade agreements China is part of an eight hour work day is supposed to be the norm. But it's much closer to fourteen hours.

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049077)

The monitor you're reading this on was probably assembled by foxconn.

Re:Wow. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39050127)

Is that why it says, "Done, but with errors on page."?

Get 'em young (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048601)

Train 'em right, and they'll never leave.

Wasn't there a church with that same philosophy?

Re:Get 'em young (2)

willaien (2494962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048637)

"a" church? Implying only one does that?

Re:Get 'em young (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048695)

Brodie gells!

One more for not mfg'ing in the Third World. (4, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048689)

"In light of a series of reports that have emerged over the years, one of many dark stories of suicide now points at one of the lesser-known but more unsavory aspects of Foxconn's much-criticized labor practices: with the help of schools and government officials, the company runs a massive internship program built not on voluntary education but on 'compelled' factory work for teenage students. According to Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation

Which is also called slavery.

This is yet another reason why we shouldnt be manufacturing in hellholes that will bend over backwards for business, but snap the backs of the people that work for them (should they ask for more than the company approved allotment of freedom).

Perhaps US & EU manufacturing isn't a bad idea after all.

Re:One more for not mfg'ing in the Third World. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049115)

Why do you hate capitalism so much?

Re:One more for not mfg'ing in the Third World. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049155)

What you're missing is that these people love these jobs. They want to work 18 hour days 7 days a week. They want to be compelled into forced labor. They commit suicide for the glory of forced labor. They want this all more than they want to starve back on the farm. Ok, so it's a farm that doesn't much exist anymore because the Chinese government took the land and didn't compensate them kinda forcing them into forced labor.

But they love it!

Re:One more for not mfg'ing in the Third World. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049275)

This is yet another reason why we shouldnt be manufacturing in hellholes that will bend over backwards for business

So not China... or US either.

But... when it's for money and power, who doesn't bend over, unless it's already on top, paying someone else to bend over?

Re:One more for not mfg'ing in the Third World. (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049555)

Internships are also common in America, I thought you had abolished slavery? And Foxconn factories are less hellholes than the subsistence farms they fled to get experience and work.

US & EU manufacturing is not a bad idea in itself, but the cheap consumers and high volumes needed force the companies' hands. Even Samsung recently moved their camera manufacturing from Korea to China to save money. Plus if you really mean that, you would need to move all manufacturing - parts and assembly - here. Do you think there are enough workers in the West to man those jobs?

Re:One more for not mfg'ing in the Third World. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049971)

Do you think there are enough workers in the West to man those jobs?

Workers aren't the problem. There's advanced enough automation to do everything a manned assembly line can do. The real problem is how to cheaply dispose of the toxic waste here.

Re:One more for not mfg'ing in the Third World. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050443)

Nobody in the US is compelled to take an internship, and as a rule they have to at least pay minimum wage. They also need to fully comply with OSHA standards. The rules in the US are likely not quite as strong as those in Europe, but the contrast with China will be dramatic.

Now, the word "internship" in the US does mean different things to different people. In some shops it basically means minimum-wage temp employee. In others it isn't unlike Google's Summer of Code where you're given real projects with real challenges and it is a meaningful experience, often with very decent pay.

Will US involvement in China make China better? (2)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39048905)

~50 years of rationalizing US involvement in China has been predicated on the idea that the US will help make China a better place. Well, this is the decade of truth. Cisco got paid to build the 'Great Firewall of China', and Apple - and many others - have made fortunes exploiting cheap labor. Will the US now use it's hard won influence to make China better, or was that all bullshit?

Re:Will US involvement in China make China better? (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049179)

Will the US now use it's hard won influence to make China better, or was that all bullshit?

Or will "competitive pressure" make the US worse.

Re:Will US involvement in China make China better? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049347)

The only involvement that the US should have with China is one that is harmful to China and beneficial to US citizens.

1989 was about the last time China could have turned things around. Now you have an entire generation of people used to slavery and opposed to freedom that are beyond repair.

Re:Will US involvement in China make China better? (3, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050439)

Uh you did know that china had been communist for 41 years prior to tianamen square? Right?

The chinese people haven't given up and the china of 2012 is better than the china of 1989. There is more civil society
in china now than there was 20 years ago. China still has a long way to go but things have changed. Do you even think
20 years ago we would have even heard about what was going on in these factories???

Cutting off china won't make china free, it will just make it isolated like we did with North Korea and Cuba.
Embargoing Cuba has worked out great...oh wait Fidel Castro is still in power.

Classic Aqua Teen Hunger Force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049169)

"Who would like to join our slavery program? Anyone? ... You'll get college credit." --Ignignot

Not just Foxconn (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39049395)

The excellent documentary/drama hybrid "24 City" [wikipedia.org] (made by talented Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke) has a lot of details on this practice (at least as it existed at one time). Many of the participants talk about mandatory factory internships in high school (considered a communist obligation, apparently). You got assigned to a factory in your junior year and worked there from then on (part time at first, apparently). Then you either go to college or move on to full-time. They made it sound pretty benign. But then again, they made it sound pretty benign when the government forced families to break up too.

They've got nothing to be proud about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049411)

We invented unpaid internship programs here in the US!

Competitors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39049689)

Was someone going to post a link to where I can buy a smartphone which wasn't made in a sweatshop in Asia? Preferably one which is a member of the Fair Labor Association and gets great marks?

Mmmkay thanks.

Apple needs to automate (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39050185)

Apple might do better to just automate the manufacturing process. Putting together things like the Sony Walkman and cell phones has been automated by others for years. Apple makes so many identical units and has so few product variants that they're the classic case for hard automation. Most of the other cell phone makers have far more product variants.

Apple, though, may no longer have in-house manufacturing expertise. They also may be out of touch with their supply chain

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