Sunday, January 22, 2012

I don't like Bad Apple

While there are numerous items where Republicans tend to be on the better side of the argument: such as vouchers, strong military (without being the world's policeman), a general belief in the free market (with a strong safety net), and of course supporting traditional marriage and being against gay right; I am a yellow dog democrat.

  Read how Apple abuses foreign labor This is one of the reasons why.

 Look at some of these facts:

   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.”

Nor should they. Having workers treated like this on a normal manufacturing job is just wrong.  I could see if it was an emergency or if there was some reasons that was absolutely necessary, but this is Standard Operating Procedure.  They need a union.

When an Apple team visited, the Chinese plant’s owners were already constructing a new wing. “This is in case you give us the contract,” the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day.
The Chinese plant got the job.
“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive. “You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”
This is central planning, big government subsidies, and overall socialism that is bad for the world because it kills the human spirit by making people a cog in the process.  It would never stand in American nor should it.
The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.
Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

Obviously it is absurd to pay people $17 a day, and to have them live in dorm rooms.  The damage to the environment is also unacceptable.
The left of the Democratic party should become more energized.  Not only because of the lost jobs, but the violation of human rights, and pollution of the earth.  We should demand that more jobs stay in America and that those that leave don't go to people being exploited.  There shouldn't be any financial incentive in treating workers this way.  The Communists in China are using capitalism in a cynical way to build their military and clout worldwide.
Both parties have agreed to this "free trade" mantra that is an absymal failure as this article indicates if you read the facts closely.
We need "fair trade" where America is insisting on raising the standard of living worldwide with the people we do business with.  It should be illegal for a country to get rich by treating it's workers poorly.  This hurts us here and them there.
The cost of doing the right thing might be higher prices and some less goods but it's worth the right thing here.

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