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Nintendo Investigating Underage Workers At Foxconn

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the mario-approved dept.

China 124

itwbennett writes "Earlier this week, Foxconn revealed that an internal investigation had turned up workers as young as 14 toiling at its factory in Yantai, China. Now Nintendo, whose products are manufactured at that factory, is also investigating Foxconn's labor sourcing."

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I for one (5, Funny)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about 2 years ago | (#41702229)

Welcomed our whip snapping overlords xin li 14f, Yantai. -Sent from my iPhone 5

Re:I for one (2)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about 2 years ago | (#41702237)

forgot to log out

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702807)

Test test

Re:I for one (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 2 years ago | (#41703189)

This is one of the things I love most about the Internet. Once the bytes are transmitted and hit storage mediums frequented by a substantial number of souls, the bytes become quasi-immortal. I'll try to remember to perform a search for your post using whatever über (or uber for this venue, c'mon /. it's 2012, let's get with the Unicode program) engine is all the rage ten years from now. In the meantime, thank you for the reminder, and have a great day.

Re:I for one (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41703255)

or uber for this venue, c'mon /. it's 2012, let's get with the Unicode program

I don't completely understand why Slashdot is being so conservative regarding Unicode support. :) I mean, I'm glad they don't go implementing every geewhiz Facebook datamining social plugin, but the ability to type all the characters in the world would suit this site excellently. There are probably some pitfalls in the process, but it's widely being used on various websites without issued and, I assume that /. hackers are elite enough to solve any security and data storage related problems properly.

Breaking the layout (5:erocS) (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41705357)

I don't completely understand why Slashdot is being so conservative regarding Unicode support.

I've explained this several times. Google site:slashdot.org erocs [google.com] and you'll eventually end up at abuses of Unicode [slashdot.org] , such as breaking site layout with bidirectional control characters, that prompted the use of what amounts to a narrow whitelist of code points.

Re:Breaking the layout (5:erocS) (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41706427)

There are also the wonderful Zalgo characters which can hit posts above you, as well as below.

Re:Breaking the layout (5:erocS) (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41708101)

I've explained this several times. Google site:slashdot.org erocs [google.com] and you'll eventually end up at abuses of Unicode [slashdot.org] , such as breaking site layout with bidirectional control characters, that prompted the use of what amounts to a narrow whitelist of code points.

I understand, but I'm also quite sure there is already well-proven methods to work out such problems. How would all the other websites get around them otherwise?

By having editions in other languages (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41708217)

I'm also quite sure there is already well-proven methods to work out such problems. How would all the other websites get around them otherwise?

By having editions in languages other than English, which provides revenue to pay people to work on features that would be useful to readers of editions in languages other than English. Slashdot, on the other hand, isn't affiliated with Barrapunto or Slashdot.jp.

Working at 14 (3, Insightful)

ottawanker (597020) | about 2 years ago | (#41702251)

That's the legal age in most places of Canada to start working, what's the problem? In Ontario you'd need to be 15 to work in a factory. I had my first job (part time) when I was that age.

Re:Working at 14 (3, Insightful)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | about 2 years ago | (#41702273)

You can work in most states in the USA as well at age 15 or 16 (and often younger for family businesses). Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

Re:Working at 14 (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41702281)

Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

..because a bunch of do-gooders think that its uncivilized. They equate child labor with forced labor.

Re:Working at 14 (4, Interesting)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 2 years ago | (#41702339)

Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

..because a bunch of do-gooders think that its uncivilized. They equate child labor with forced labor.

You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life. Allowing kids to work earlier brings them money but on the whole working at early age deprives them from development. At a younger age kids are easily influenced and will apparently consent to doing stuff they later regret. Civilised societies protect kids from taking risks they cannot oversee, like working too early in life. Sure, such regulations will not suit for an extremely small part of the population. Absence of such laws will however compromise a significant amount of kids and that will reflect onto society later on.

Re:Working at 14 (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41702389)

These workers will not go on to develop the next great idea. They will be workers their whole lives. Starting earlier just means greater lifetime earnings. A brain just means more trouble for them as they will be bothered by the repetitive work, whereas duller minds tolerate it much better. In many cases what they do can literally be replaced by machines.

I also note that you implicitly call China uncivlised, which sounds awfully racist to me.

Re:Working at 14 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702407)

Yeah, but you're comparing workers from a first world country to China. In Canada, you can have unions, people have rights that are respected and upheld by the governement.

Re:Working at 14 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702723)

These workers will not go on to develop the next great idea. They will be workers their whole lives. Starting earlier just means greater lifetime earnings. A brain just means more trouble for them as they will be bothered by the repetitive work, whereas duller minds tolerate it much better. In many cases what they do can literally be replaced by machines.

Thank you Assistant Predestinator for reminding the Betas about Elementry Class Consciousness.
All of the Alphas here remember their lessons and certainly agree with you.
We all have our role: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon.

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703067)

yes yes, every system has rules. If you don't want to be a beta all your life... try to get outside of the system. those who are smart will look for a way out as early as possible.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 2 years ago | (#41704975)

Oh, but the System wants you in!

Re:Working at 14 (2, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#41707897)

I also note that you implicitly call China uncivlised, which sounds awfully racist to me

STOP IT! Just...stop! Race and Culture are two entirely separate things. DO NOT CONFLATE THE TWO!!!

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702429)

At a younger age kids are easily influenced and will apparently consent to doing stuff they later regret.

So, they're adults, then?

I'm confused.

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702523)

I'm confused.

We can tell.

Re:Working at 14 (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41702443)

Correct, China isn't "civilised", in the Latin sense of the word. It's a cluster of medieval agrarian villages, with some industry springing up around major waterways. It's going through exactly the same industrial revolution that "civilised" nations went through in the past, with the same winners and losers.

You can educate the peasants all the like, but then they'll be educated and toiling in the rice paddies, or educated and toiling in the factories. Either way, they're not post industrial and don't have the same leisure to flout their education from the comfort of their keyboards that you and I enjoy, and judging them on that basis is neither fair nor reasonable.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 2 years ago | (#41702615)

It's going through exactly the same industrial revolution that "civilised" nations went through in the past, with the same winners and losers.

OHMIGOD! Has anybody told china about the perils the Spinning Jenny means for employment?

Employing 14yr olds in factory isn't as bad as it sounds. As long as they are neither forced, overly exploited and outright cheated and the limits of child labour are observed. Many of the reported labour conditions at Foxconn may indeed constitute a violation of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. There's no need to let China go through a prolonged Dickensian area. Especially if you have any means to apply some pressure on Foxconn.

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703281)

Correct, China isn't "civilised", in the Latin sense of the word. It's a cluster of medieval agrarian villages, with some industry springing up around major waterways.

Ahh, you mean just like the United States.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41705313)

Nobody's judging the 14 year old's. We are judging the Chinese ruling class, and the Western companies that support them. When you see an injustice, you say "who am I to judge", others say "that's not right". A handful might actually try to do something about it.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41702587)

You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life.

..and you will never grasp the concept that whats good in your book doesnt mean shit to the Chinese people, that are striving for a better life through wealth creation.

You want them to be poor forever? Where exactly are those challenging ideas going to come from? The rice fields that they are fleeing where all they have is the tattered robes on their bodies?

Subsistence farming. Look it up you pompous windbag.

Re:Working at 14 (2)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 2 years ago | (#41703345)

You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life.

..and you will never grasp the concept that whats good in your book doesnt mean shit to the Chinese people, that are striving for a better life through wealth creation. You want them to be poor forever? Where exactly are those challenging ideas going to come from? The rice fields that they are fleeing where all they have is the tattered robes on their bodies? Subsistence farming. Look it up you pompous windbag.

It almost sounds patronising the way you stereotype. Anyway. Any society is better off with well educated people. An educated employee will be able to add more value. Perhaps not because he works harder but more likely because he will reflect on the production process and feed back improvements. Let youths stay in school longer and have them adding value later on.

Or try seeing it this way: There are very few countries with a large base of skilled people that die of famine.

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703261)

Yes, civilised countries realise that people are children until exactly their 18th birthday or whatever other arbitrary and meaningless age restriction they impose.

Re:Working at 14 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703901)

> You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life.

What a bunch of BS. Can you show any proof of your assumptions? namely:
- that kids at the age of 14 are not fully developed yet.
- that working shields you somehow from "challenging ideas".
- that those "challenging ideas" make you reach "higher level of independence".
- that there's no better (or at least alternative) way to reach "higher level of independence".
- that what you mean by "higher level of independence" is good and desirable.

No, you cannot, because they are just based on prejudice. Want to know a few things based on my experience?
1. conventional education, and the bubble many parents fabricate for they children, actually shields them from the real world. You cannot be independent in life when you do not understand what real life is, because the closest thing you have to experience with the real world is what you have seen on TV.
2. people that work and take responsibilities early on are, indeed, more independent and responsible, by virtue of being educated into being so.
3. The reason for kids taking risks they cannot oversee is not that they have a little money, but that they parents do not take the time to talk with them, and do not build a relationship with them on the basis of trust. If your kids do trust their friends better than you, imagine who are they going to ask about drugs?

Re:Working at 14 (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41707103)

What a bunch of BS. Can you show any proof of your assumptions? namely:
- that kids at the age of 14 are not fully developed yet.

Google is your friend. [google.com] Had you googled you wouldn't have looked so foolish, kid. Now get back to your damned homework and leave us adults alone.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 2 years ago | (#41705189)

Children learn by doing. They learn to be independent by practicing it. Forcing them to sit in a classroom all day and "overseeing" everything for them ensures they will never mature. Ask anyone dealing with young adults; this treating teenagers as babies thing is causing huge problems in society.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#41706969)

In my youth, I personally knew a couple of girls that ended up as prostitutes right here in the good old US of A because lawmakers believed the crap you are spewing. You get your pick. 'Child' labor, or 'Child' prostitution. We know what side you stand on.

OK, that IS a bit harsh. It is true, but harsh to say. It would be nice if more people would consider the real world outcome of our drive towards eternal 'childhood'.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41703613)

With the mandatory Foxconn "internship" programs it is forced labour.

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706215)

No, because Foxconn has these 14 year olds PULLED OUT OF SCHOOL and forced to work through national holidays

It is not compulsory, it is forced. That's why people are up in arms. This is not voluntary.

Re:Working at 14 (2)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41702283)

Because in the US and Canada, there are limits on how many hours kids can work. They're supposed to be able to go to school.

In China? Not so much.

--
BMO

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702379)

China's basic education involves pre-school, nine-year compulsory education from elementary to junior high school, standard senior high school education, special education for disabled children, and education for illiterate people. OTOH, bashing "child-labor" is good pr for Nintendo.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703069)

That's the theory. In practise, schooling costs money, those families who cannot afford the fees, graft and expenses are denied to send their children. Too many of the poorer pupils won't attend past junior middle school [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Working at 14 (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 2 years ago | (#41705123)

The original reason for forcing kids to go to school in the US and Canada was that they were taking all the jobs, since they were willing to be paid less. The movement to give the jobs back to adults at the higher pay somehow morphed into some valiant effort to "protect" "children."

Re:Working at 14 (1)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#41705247)

Citation needed. And Alex Jones quality citations are not allowed.

--
BMO

Re:Working at 14 (1)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#41702289)

Maybe it's the way they have been forced to go to work!

Re:Working at 14 (1)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#41702637)

Because allegedly they work from 6 in the evening until 6 in the morning.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 2 years ago | (#41702803)

I cannot translate your sig

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#41705971)

You can work in most states in the USA as well at age 15 or 16 (and often younger for family businesses). Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

Considering that Foxconn overworks their workers, ya, having underage children there looks really fucking bad.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41703015)

Your hours probably weren't equal to or beyond what adults would consider full time, were they? And just because in Canada the legal working age is lower than 16 has no bearing on laws in China.

Re:Working at 14 (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41703029)

"Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah."

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703801)

You forgot: "And I had to go uphill and against the wind both ways !"

Re:Working at 14 (2)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 2 years ago | (#41703289)

The problem here is that the PRC Labor Law, passed by the Chinese government in 1994, establishes the minimum age for working in China as 16. There may be provisions for vocational work, part-time work or vacation jobs, but I personally doubt it without reading the text of the law, and my Mandarin Chinese skills are probably not up to that.

Re:Working at 14 (2)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 2 years ago | (#41703565)

Because if they are working factories, they aren't buying and playing Nintendo consoles and games!

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703847)

From the article:

The factory, which is located in the coastal city of Yantai, had been employing an undisclosed number of interns below the legal working age of 16, according to an internal investigation by Foxconn. Some of the interns were as young as 14, and had been working at the factory for three weeks.

(Emphasis mine.)

Re:Working at 14 (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41704259)

My brother started working when he was 15 too. Worked about 20 hours a week. He was still able to maintain pretty good grades too. There's no reason somebody shouldn't be able to work at 14 or 15. And that's for a "real job". Most kids started working even younger than that delivering news papers. I remember working as a paper delivery boy when I was young, probably around 8 or 10. I remember getting very little money for delivering the paper when I was a kid. But then again, I was just a kid and had nothing better to spend the money on than candy and comic books. It only took a few hours a week, and gave me a little bit of money.

Re:Working at 14 (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41704855)

The problem is that Chinese law is different. Last time I checked, the laws of Canada had no jurisdiction in China.

Re:Working at 14 (3, Informative)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 2 years ago | (#41705171)

That's the legal age in most places of Canada to start working, what's the problem? In Ontario you'd need to be 15 to work in a factory. I had my first job (part time) when I was that age.

The problem is that the legal working age in China is 16. http://www.loc.gov/law/help/child-rights/china.php [loc.gov]

Re:Working at 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41705939)

I too had a job at 14, granted it was only 15 hours a week at that time. I also spent a few hours cutting grass. Not to mention the paper route. School still came first, however. If my grades had suffered, I'd have been forced to quit. I wasn't working in a factory though. I suspect a public library is less-dangerous.

Aptonyms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702255)

Bear Stearns (harbinger of bear market), Bernie Madoff (made off with a lot of money), MF Global (fucked people all over the world), Foxconn. Just sayin'.

Fox or con? (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41705871)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Bear Stearns (harbinger of bear market), Bernie Madoff (made off with a lot of money), MF Global (fucked people all over the world), Foxconn. Just sayin'.

Are you trying to connect Foxconn to News Corporation (Fox), to confidence tricks ("con" jobs), or to the title for a Turko-Mongol king ("khan")?

Come on! (1)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#41702279)

Do you really think that Foxconn uses underage people for one product only?

New Advertising slogan (5, Funny)

Jimbob The Mighty (1282418) | about 2 years ago | (#41702291)

WiiU... For 14 year olds, by 14 years olds...

Re:New Advertising slogan (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41702457)

So what's more evil, forcing 14 year olds to work or getting them addicted to Super Mario?

Re:New Advertising slogan (1)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#41702487)

Yes.

What, not Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702309)

Nothing to see here, move along.

And this is why... (1, Funny)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41702347)

...the iPhone looks like it was put together by a 5 year old.

Owned.

Re:And this is why... (2)

bfandreas (603438) | about 2 years ago | (#41702639)

Actually Foxconn just recently complained that the iPhone 5 is a bitch to assemble.

Re:And this is why... (0)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41702667)

yeah I know lol

The Musical Video (4, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41702367)

[close-up shot of Steve Jobs lounging in a high-tech office, Apple logo]

SJ: "Oppan Foxconn Style!"

[camera zooms out, background is actually a Foxconn assembly line]

14-year-old female worker: "Ooh, sexy lady"

Re:The Musical Video (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#41705297)

The original report I saw over at the Financial Times had the following lines in it:

Foxconn pledged to conduct a full investigation and fire any employee found to have been responsible for the violations. The company also said the Yantai facility “has no association with any work we carry out on behalf of Apple”.

It's a bit sensational to fantasize about Apple standing on the backs of underage workers, but they've been having Foxconn run audits of the Apple manufacturing lines, they've been running audits of the lines, they've had neutral third-parties conduct audits of the lines, and they've allowed journalists to go in with free reign to ask anything and see pretty much anything. While the initial audits did turn up some issues with underage workers, those problems have been quickly addressed and not shown up again. Foxconn just needs to put the rest of their operations under the same amount of scrutiny now.

Re:The Musical Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706909)

Exactly, and when they have perfect working conditions it will raise the price to a point that manufacturing will come back to the US, and we can all pay twice as much for the product.

I'm not saying that is bad, it is just people seem to want ideal working conditions for those who make the products and also very low prices. we can't have both.

What we want to know... (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 years ago | (#41702381)

Who are they sending to investigate? Phoenix Wright? Miles Edgeworth? Or Professor Layton?

Re:What we want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41705473)

Come on mods, this is actually pretty funny.

I am shocked... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41702439)

.... there's gambling going on in the casino!!!!

I was in my boss's office in the late 80's (probably 1988) while he was having a conversation with an old friend who owned another company. Both were computer companies with all their manufacturing here in the US and both were facing a new wave of cheap imported computer products flooding in from Taiwan. The friend told my boss that he had gone to China with some other business men and had seen that US companies there were using labor delivered to their factories every day by the People's army and returned to their barracks by that same army... the army made sure they had the right number of workers every day, made sure they never stole anything, and there were simply no labor laws as long as the US firms kept the Army happy (which was easy back then). He then said that he saw no future in manufacturing consumer goods in the US and was going to shift his production to China. My boss, refused to join that tidal wave and as the years went by and the US generally (and California in particular) added regulation after regulation while taxing him heavily and not protecting him from the modern equivalent of slave labor he eventually closed his doors and all his US workers lost their jobs.

Companies like Apple are the most evil entities in the US:

1. They talk a good line about civil rights and the environment and they back more laws along these lines (in the US where those laws will impact any new upstart who tries to get going in a garage somewhere) while shifting their own production to places like China where none of the laws they embrace will apply to them; they hope their super-gullible customers will fixate on the next shiny bauble and not notice.

2. They demand that the US government and courts protect their intellectual property rights from any infringement by the very same hard working taxpayers of the US who fund that government... while depriving them of jobs in the US and pushing down their wages (by using cheap Chinese labor both in competition with and as a replacement for US workers)

3. They demand all the benefits of capitalism and free enterprise within the US, but then when supply and demand rules within that arena might drive-up their costs for things like engineering and manufacturing they escape from the US to a police-state with a demand-economy (which any small upstart cannot do)

Re:I am shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703631)

1) Apple does not outsource to China. Apple, and almost every major electronics manufacture outsources to FOXCOM for manufacturing. FOXCOM also supplies all the small parts to it's own factories. It is one stop shop for anyone to have any electronics mass produced. FOXCOM build's factories in China instead of the US almost entirely because of the precarious legal jeopardy manufacturing creates in the US. (If I higher you for a risky job and you hurt yourself, it's fiscally my fault.)

2) Apple's average employee makes 130K, about 3x the national average.

3) I'm not really sure what you think you were trying to say, but yes, any upstart and outsource as well. I know a guy who make tobacco less smoking mix. He spent two years trying to get the plant material and the packaging he used domestically. The little bags it cost four times as much, took four weeks instead of and and half, and the quality sucked compared the stuff he got from china. He spend thousands highering call centers to handle his b-2-b sales calls. The US companies just wasted time and basically did nothing. For a quarter the rate plus a commission he found a team out of some other Asian country and how a team of the most dedicated telemarkers I've ever meet. The problem with the US making things is that US sucks at making things. Were too decided on IP and tech.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is much easier to start-up manufacturing again then to start innovating from the beginning.

Re:I am shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41704177)

Please go back to school. That was painful to read.

Re:I am shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41705121)

Please go back to school. That was painful to read.

...and completely false.

Re:I am shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41704987)

(If I higher you for a risky job and you hurt yourself, it's fiscally my fault.)

Yes it is. Because if people stopped whining about how they're not allowed to go around killing off their employees and figured out how to make the process safer, they just might discover that things work better when you don't have high turnover and have to stop the line every time someone's arm gets lost on it.

Even with the laws in the US I still have to laugh when some meatpacker starts crying about how they can't even get illegals to walk through their door for minimum wage because the job is too dangerous. Their great grandpappy took his life into his own hands every day manhandling giant slabs of meat and slashing throats so why shouldn't their employees? Even had one get shut down when it turned out they were charging retards to work for them, collecting money from the government and paying them in shiny trinkets or something. Of course the republicans were out in force on that one: "if they're too stupid to realize they're being defrauded, it doesn't count!"

Re:I am shocked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707427)

"2) Apple's average employee makes 130K, about 3x the national average."

1) Please cite your resource. (for all your points)
2) Please inform us of the region, does that include china?
3) What do you mean by average employee? Average skill, average IQ, average position in chain of command, or the most common reference when used in this context average employee yearly income?
4) Assuming you are revering to average employee yearly income, this is a meaningless number. An example of why this is say I make 1 million dollars a year and have ten employees who make a measly $100 year, my employees average income per year is $91,000. If I were to report that everyone would think that my employees make decent wages, when in reality they are starving and can't even clothe themselves. For reference that is a standard deviation of $287,451.04 with a median of $100 and a mode of $100. Anyone who has ever taken a decent statistics class knows that stating an average is equivalent saying nothing.

Heck I once worked for a hospital (here in the US) the COO made 500k a year and the lowest administrator made over 100K a year (these weren't doctors well except for one of them, the rest were all lawyers and business majors some of which barely had a batchlers degree.) At the time minimum wage was being raised, and the low end wages took several years to catch up, at one point the housekeeping staff was barely over minim wage (I think it was only $0.10 over.) At this same time the administrates were receiving yearly bonuses of almost 90% of their yearly income, while the housekeepers only got gift-cards to WalMart for $25 as a end of year bonus. Just for reference the hospital only had about 700 employees, and in case your wondering I know the administrator wages because the hospital was non-profit and had to publicly report all of this yearly.

This kind of thing is more common than you may think, and the main reason to outsource to china is to pay lower wages. If it costs you $20 an hour to pay an American worker and only $1.00 an hour to pay a Chinese worker, and you don't have to pay the Chinese worker holiday or overtime pay, well you get the idea. Heck there was an MTV show about where American food comes from, and if you just listened to the wages and what the workers had to go through you would understand why it's such a big deal.

And to all those who comment about child labor, take a minute and think about it. 14 isn't a bad age to learn about working. The only case where I could see a child not being allowed to work is if the job were considered dangerous. As it is, it would be better if children were allowed to work, they could earn their own money for the toys (PSP, X-boxes) they want and actually learn what it takes to get those items. On top of that they would learn a better work ethic. No one sees the problem having a child mow their lawn, (And think of the dangerous equipment that takes, lawn mowers often with gas propelled blades, etc...) in fact those children are seen as hard workers. And if you think minim wage is a good thing look up price floors and their effect on economics.
In all reality the US laws that we have passed protect large companies because we all want large profits, and thus we pass laws that we think are going to make us the little man more money. When in reality they have the opposite effect. If you really want a better life then take the time to learn the actual implications of the laws you are voting in, read them and figure out exactly what they mean.

Re:I am shocked... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41704901)

Companies like Apple are the most evil entities in the US:

Why single out Apple other than being an iHater? Foxconn is used by basically EVERY US electronics company for manufacturing and assembly. Samsung also has its own labor issues as well before you try to trot out some fandroid nonsense, too. Apple wasn't even one of the first to move to China, anyway. Your faux outrage rings pretty hollow.

Are you SHITTING ME? (1)

LeAzzholeChef (2576267) | about 2 years ago | (#41702507)

First off.... Children today have a better understanding of game development then some of the adults. Plus children have a bigger imagination then adults. So why not? If the child loves to make games, and has a talent for it, Why can't they do what they love doing? As long as it's not forced labor, I don't see any harm in it. Fuck off you tree hugging twerps.. let these kids work. It's hard enough these days trying to support a family, let the kid earn money for his college.

Re:Are you SHITTING ME? (3, Insightful)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about 2 years ago | (#41702619)

Except this isn't game development. It's an production line. Attach your part to the assembly and pass it to the next station, repeat until the shift change whistle goes. It's mindless repetition for drones, not imaginative thinking to expand the mind.

However, if the kid is paid a decent wage, why not allow it? We are too quick to apply our values to other societies. Kids under the age of 10 scrape a living collecting garbage for recycling in the slums of India. All of a sudden the Chinese kid's life looks much better.

Re:Are you SHITTING ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703095)

the green entrepreneur provides much more value to the community for one. secondly, walking around your village and picking up trash will lead to a plethora of different types of social interactions that will spur the child's healthy natural development; where as standing in on the line all day isn't going to build a model citizenry.

Re:Are you SHITTING ME? (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41704915)

Why not allow it? Because it's better that kids are developing repetitive stress disorder before they are even 18?

Re:Are you SHITTING ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707511)

...or die from hunger before the age of 15 because he cannot work for money to buy food?

Re:Are you SHITTING ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703519)

Wow, shit dude are you like 16 or something? Come back after you've traveled the world some and are a bit more cultured.

Re:Are you SHITTING ME? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41706039)

First off.... Children today have a better understanding of game development then some of the adults.

Nintendo doesn't care. If you haven't built up a reputation within the mainstream video game industry on someone else's platform, Nintendo doesn't want you.

White Man's Burden (1)

ixarux (1652631) | about 2 years ago | (#41703075)

So the West have always wished to save people. Enforce their value system on the rest of the world. And as long as they have an economic stake in another nation, they shall. It's their bloody right. They pay for that right. And we need to respect that. Times really haven't changed. We, the 3rd world, are truly the White Man's Burden. Rescue us from the chains that bind us.

Re:White Man's Burden (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41704933)

You do realize that Nintendo is a Japanese company, right?

What Nintendo what to do about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703125)

If Nintendo find out that they are using 14 years old workers, what they want to do about it?
There's not much OEM/ODM the size of Foxconn/Asus. If Nintendo want to move somewhere else, what is their option which such a low manufacturing costs the foxconn gave them? All they probably do is demand to foxconn, then how you enforce that?

not just child labor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703427)

nintendo also has the worst environmental record of any tech company but since they make cutesy video games instead of unix workstations all the nerds look the other way.

Re:not just child labor (3, Interesting)

Christopher Fritz (1550669) | about 2 years ago | (#41703811)

For anyone who's unfamiliar with this, and is curious, Greenpeace has a Guide to Greener Electronics [greenpeace.org] .

[Greenpeace rep Casey Harrel] said in a Kotaku interview [kotaku.com.au] , that Nintendo (as Kotaku writes, "barely even attempt to submit, or make available, the information Greenpeace require to make accurate judgements." According to Casey (I think; Kotaku suddenly uses the name Corey): "Nintendo consistently scores the poorest on our Guide to Greener Electronics primarily because they donâ(TM)t submit, nor have any publicly available information, on over half the criteria that we use to assess company performance on the Guide."

In other words, Nintendo's "worst environmental record" is the equivalent of a database null. It's not "the worst", it's "unknown".

For the information Nintendo does put out, Greenpeace's rep does note, "those that they do have answers for, are quite poor."

In a response, Nintendo says [eurogamer.net] , "We would like to assure customers that we take our environmental responsibilities seriously and are rigorous in our commitment to comply with all relevant laws relating to environmental and product safety, including avoiding the use of dangerous substances in our manufacturing processes and ensuring the safe disposal and recycling of materials."

Whether one loves or hates a company, it's a bit difficult to fault their abysmal environmental record just because they didn't fill out a third party company's survey.

Disclaimer: I'm a rational Nintendo fanboy. I love their products, but I can criticize Nintendo and their products as well.

Say it ain't so! (1)

danaris (525051) | about 2 years ago | (#41703473)

Wait, wait, wait...

You mean Apple isn't the only company that uses Foxconn for manufacturing?

You mean there are other companies involved with this Chinese behemoth that is so obviously the very worst exploiter of workers in the whole wide world?

But...but...but...how will I get my hate on now that I have actual knowledge like this?

Dan Aris

Re:Say it ain't so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707105)

Believe it or not, the state of Apple's social currency is only important to people who have linked their ego and sense of self worth to Apple products.

Apple cultists "Love" Apple, and so they naturally see any criticism of their objects of affection as "Hate" when really they are only witnessing an exercise in objective analysis combined with an incredulous sense of frustration and disgust with those who refuse to recognize reality.

It's much the same dynamic within religion/science debate. "We are superior. Haters gonna hate!" one side will blithely tell themselves while the other side rolls their eyes and responds, "You guys are fucking retarded! Wrong and emotionally blocked from recognizing why."

Not unheard of in China (1)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | about 2 years ago | (#41703521)

School is more or less standard for kids in China up through middle school. However, some kids are kicked out of school, or choose not to attend for some reason (or their parents pull them out for some reason). It is not unheard of for 14-year olds to be working full-time. For example, there is this 10-year old auto mechanic who does this work "as a hobby" since he was kicked out of school for bringing down the test scores:

http://www.chinasmack.com/2010/pictures/10-year-old-boy-skilled-auto-mechanic.html [chinasmack.com]

China is basically a different beast altogether. This country does not follow the same rules as a first world country, and some things may seem completely alien to us. They are also very hostile to what they view as "western meddling," and with good reason (past history, and frankly western countries do have that tendency). As someone who has lived there in the past, my only advice is that other countries should have strict standards for labor practices if they are doing trade with China, and to realize that China is a very different animal (things may be legal in China that are illegal in the U.S., and vice-versa). In my view, China is really the "Wild West of Asia," in which there is very little rule of law, and things mostly still get done through networking and favors.

I'm not a non-interventionalist, but . . . (3, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41703551)

Foxconn's internal investigation came after a Chinese media report and New York-based China Labor Watch said students from the ages of 14 to 16 were interning at Foxconn's factory in the Chinese coastal city of Yantai. Chinese labor laws prohibit companies from recruiting workers under the age of 16.

I'm not a non-interventionalist. I mean, I believe we insert ourselves into far more situations than we need to and should general stay the hell out, but not as a hard and strict rule. However, I have to ask . . . why is this our problem? China is massive. What are they, one and a half billion people, by now? While some places are just small backwoods villages, they also have some of the largest and most modern cities around. They have their own businesses, government, law, citizens, workers, and probably activists, lobbies, and unions. If they feel that they have a problem with the way businesses are treating their citizens -- and even taking into account the history of China's treatment of their own citizens and dissidents -- isn't that their problem? We're not talking about some little country with a defunct government that is controlled by warlords that is possessed by lawless anarchy.

Because a business in another country sub-contracts business out to them, everyone is supposed to feel a great deal of guilt over something that their own businesses and government don't have a problem with? Are parents selling their children to Foxconn who then takes them away and locks them in rooms with chained and barred doors and forced into slave labor doing stuff that'll cause them to lose limbs and digits?

Their own labor laws say they can't recruit workers under the age of sixteen (though I had my first job in America at 12 and my first real job at 14). So let their government and system of law deal with it. If you feel the reports are true, report it to their government.

Re:I'm not a non-interventionalist, but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41706231)

Buck passing.

Long and short: Buying products from a slave factory means you are directly benefiting from human misery.

Semantics aren't going to alter your karma one little bit.

If you don't pay attention and make wise choices in your life, on the next go-round you're likely to find yourself on an assembly line, living in a barracks, being paid a pittance and dying young.

The West is 'free', but how we use that freedom matters.

Just sayin'.

Re:I'm not a non-interventionalist, but . . . (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#41707917)

Focusing on 'children' is a red herring in this though. If your problem is with slave labor, then you should say it is with slave labor. Saving a 'child' of 14 from slave labor so that they can become non-child slave labor at 18 isn't a virtue. There is nothing wrong 14 year olds having jobs. Not only is it not wrong, it is a good thing. Slave labor is a bad thing. By complaining about the child labor, people are throwing out the baby and KEEPING the bathwater.

I don't get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41703919)

I thought kids loved Nintendo?

New slogan time (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41703965)

Here's some changed ones...
Now you're working for power!
Build it loud!

And we can use these without changing them...
Welcome to the future
change the system
Get N or Get out
Wii would like to play
What will you and i do? (

Nintindo should pull the work (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41704533)

Seriously, China can and does hold Japan hostage via economic means. As such, I hope that nintendo is looking to use this as an excuse.

Foxcoon is like the USA of the past where works ri (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41705315)

Foxcoon is like the USA of the past where works rights where very poor.

They are doing it all.

Under age work

Unpaid work

unpaid overtime

Company town with changing workers the costs of living at work.

and so one.

Re:Foxcoon is like the USA of the past where works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41707861)

oh don't worry, all the stuff is going to be coming back home to america soon enough. just keep voting republican.

At least it's real money earned. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41705383)

Since when does Nintendo care if kids sit for twelve hours a day performing repetitive hand motions and rarely seeing fresh air or sunlight?

Their business model depends on it.

But Apple said there are no underage workers (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41708309)

Can't we believe what Apple says?

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