Chinese Labor Conditions Awful? You Are Guilty, Too

NO RATINGS
View comments: newest first | oldest first | threaded
Page 1 of 5   Next >   Last >>
William K.
User Rank
Production Synthesizer
Chinese labor conditions?
William K.   2/2/2012 9:45:24 PM
NO RATINGS

I was there about sevn years ago, and this was a somewhat newer factory, and the product was much more technical than those overpriced Nike shoes. Some of their products would be classified as "life critical", meaning that if the product failed people could die. But they also made other things in other buildings. 

I would be the first to state that the employees were not having "a picnic in the park", but on the other hand the buildings were not crowded and there was plenty of air circulation. I am certain that they did earn all the money that they were paid.

Of course, it was one factory complex out of hundreds, so it might not have been typical. WE did not get to tour the dormatories, although they did point out that one building was the womens dormatory while the men's dormatory was on the other side of the roadway, about 50 feet away, in the same complex. It would have been interesting to see, but that part did not happen.

Bolaji Ojo
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Chinese labor conditions awful???
Bolaji Ojo   2/2/2012 5:51:49 PM
NO RATINGS

bskram, Different Strokes! I have been in China but haven't had the pleasure of working in a Chinese factory, not even one that could be a model of labor rights. But i know enough from what has been admitted by even Apple and human rights activists that these are not always the best.

bskram
User Rank
Stock Keeper
Re: Chinese labor conditions awful???
bskram   2/2/2012 10:18:12 AM
NO RATINGS

William, your post begs the question. What exactly are you saying? I also spent time in this facility installing equipment and my conclusion is that the working conditions are horrendous. This facility is as bad or worse than what Nike was doing with sneakers and clothing. Back then everyone was up in arms about the slave labor, why is it you do not hear anyone calling for a ban on Apple products? Perhaps I just answered my own question?

Bolaji Ojo
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not Guilty
Bolaji Ojo   2/2/2012 8:13:41 AM
NO RATINGS

James Moriaty, Interesting graphics and charts. It's a complex situation and I am not sure it can be reversed. Thanks for sharing.

James Moriarty
User Rank
Stock Keeper
Hawk
User Rank
Supply Network Guru
Re: Chinese labor conditions awful???
Hawk   2/1/2012 11:40:05 AM
NO RATINGS

William K. Thank you for the additional information. It's obvious change is occurring in China, perhaps not at the same pace some of us would like but these are still significant moves for a so-called Communist country.

These are early development stages for China and I doubt anyone (but the Chinese themselves) can stop the country from overtaking the United States to become the world's leading economy in the future. With that progression in the country's development also comes responsibility too, though. Responsibility to their own citizens and workers, other nations and companies they do business with.

Barbara Jorgensen
User Rank
Blogger
Chinese labor conditions
Barbara Jorgensen   2/1/2012 10:11:14 AM
NO RATINGS

William K: I also thank you for your first-hand report while working in China. I encourage all our readers to read your accounts (below) and continue to do as much research as possible. An educated consumer may be the best agent for change, if that is the direction consumers are headed. Frankly, I'm not sure about that.

William K.
User Rank
Production Synthesizer
Chinese labor conditions awful???
William K.   2/1/2012 8:01:34 AM
NO RATINGS

When I worked in the factory it was because my company was installing equipment that had been purchased for use in the factory. WE were not product producing employees, with the result that our responsibilities were totally different than the factory employees. Also, our management was different. It also meant that we moved around a bit and were able to observe how the employees were working, without being challenged at all. THose dormitories not only save employees from the struggle of having to find an apartment in an area where that is a challenge, they also provide them with a great deal of security for their property while they are at work, and reduce the need for travel to and from work. Supporting a car or motorbike is not cheap, you know.

WE did not live in the dormatories or barracks, since we would have been challenged in communicating because we did not speak the local dialect.

So we did not "live the life of a laborer", but we certainly did get to see them working. IN that part of the world all shops are "sweat shops" because the temperature varied from about 31 degrees C up to about 37 degrees one day, for which there was an official government warning that it was going to be hot. 

Of course the hourly employees in the factory did have to work quite a bit harder than the UAW employees in an American auto plant, but then, as an engineer, I also have to work much harder than those UAW employees in the auto plant, at least , harder than those in the areas that I have seen in the ten years that I have been servicing and installing equipment in auto plants. 

When we were not working I was able to walk around the area and observe that the people did seem to be doing much more than just barely subsisting. So my conclusions are based on the facts that there are a lot of stores and shops selling a lot more than the bare nesessities, which indicates that the folks are doing a bit better than just getting by. The widespread proliferation of shops selling all sorts of fun stuff indicates to me that there are a lot of people who are doing much better than just getting by.

OF course, by some other standards they might not be doing so very well, since in all of my weeks in China I don't think that I saw any fat people, and certainly none of the really obese people that I se here in the USA. So perhaps by that standard they may not be doing so very well. 

William K.
User Rank
Production Synthesizer
Chinese labor conditions awful???
William K.   2/1/2012 8:01:19 AM
NO RATINGS

When I worked in the factory it was because my company was installing equipment that had been purchased for use in the factory. WE were not product producing employees, with the result that our responsibilities were totally different than the factory employees. Also, our management was different. It also meant that we moved around a bit and were able to observe how the employees were working, without being challenged at all. THose dormitories not only save employees from the struggle of having to find an apartment in an area where that is a challenge, they also provide them with a great deal of security for their property while they are at work, and reduce the need for travel to and from work. Supporting a car or motorbike is not cheap, you know.

WE did not live in the dormatories or barracks, since we would have been challenged in communicating because we did not speak the local dialect.

So we did not "live the life of a laborer", but we certainly did get to see them working. IN that part of the world all shops are "sweat shops" because the temperature varied from about 31 degrees C up to about 37 degrees one day, for which there was an official government warning that it was going to be hot. 

Of course the hourly employees in the factory did have to work quite a bit harder than the UAW employees in an American auto plant, but then, as an engineer, I also have to work much harder than those UAW employees in the auto plant, at least , harder than those in the areas that I have seen in the ten years that I have been servicing and installing equipment in auto plants. 

When we were not working I was able to walk around the area and observe that the people did seem to be doing much more than just barely subsisting. So my conclusions are based on the facts that there are a lot of stores and shops selling a lot more than the bare nesessities, which indicates that the folks are doing a bit better than just getting by. The widespread proliferation of shops selling all sorts of fun stuff indicates to me that there are a lot of people who are doing much better than just getting by.

OF course, by some other standards they might not be doing so very well, since in all of my weeks in China I don't think that I saw any fat people, and certainly none of the really obese people that I se here in the USA. So perhaps by that standard they may not be doing so very well. 

Hawk
User Rank
Supply Network Guru
Re: Chinese labor conditions awful???
Hawk   2/1/2012 7:33:42 AM
NO RATINGS

William K., When you worked in a factory in China, did you also sleep in a hostel? And at your hostel, were there nets on the upper floor to ensure you didn't commit suicide?

I am interested in the accommodation you had. Also, don't forget to remind us how only "stupid" workers who can't follow instructions get hurt or how you stayed in China because you were making much more money than you would have made in your home country. You did stay in China, didn't you?

Page 1 of 5   Next >   Last >>


More Blogs from Bolaji Ojo
Could new extraction technology eliminate the conflict over conflict minerals?
If Apple plans to make a splash in the smart watch market, it will first have to dislodge some innovative products already available from competitors.
With margins extremely tight, contract manufacturers are learning to dump some contracts while expanding services in other areas.
What are electronics manufacturing services providers looking for in their OEM customers?
By moving to the core of the industry and offerings services that keep the system humming, a group within the electronics market has rendered irrelevant the question of ownership and control of the supply chain.

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Latest Poll
EBN Dialogue / LIVE CHAT
EBN Dialogue enables you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Open to the entire EBN community of electronics supply chain experts, these conversations see ideas shared, comments made, and questions asked and answered in real time. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats. Stay tuned and join in!
Archived Dialogues
Live Chat 4/3: Business Networks Emerge as Procurement's Future
Rachel Spasser, SVP and CMO at Ariba, discusses the key elements of a strong business community.
Live Chat 3/27: Finding the Procurement and Technology Sweet Spot
Increasingly, choosing the right software and technology tools is critical to empowering procurement to realize strategic advantages.
The Velocity Report Archive
Click here to see our newsletter archive.
EBN Newswire
THIEF RIVER FALLS, MN   4/15/2014
Digi-Key Debuts Innovative Mobile App for Freescale
SANTA MONICA, CA   4/9/2014
Master Electronics Acquires Electro Sonic
Twitter Feed
EBN Online Twitter Feed