I feel its not only the responsibility of the corporate entities but also the resposibility of the government. So government should also be held responsbile equally if there is any labour law violation.
Between the two extremes of , Companies imposing global labor standards on their contract manufacturers , to OEM taking all the freedom in squeezing maximum work out of their employees, the middle path can be found by the OEMs self certifying that they abide by the labor laws of their local governments.
What about using the third party watch dogs that are already present and are familiar with the layout of the land? The supply chain giants, DELL, Apple, HP, etc can all collaborate to influence the labor laws of the countries they operate out of. Where there is a will, there is a way!
Globalization necessitates a less procedural approach to maintaining minimum requirements on working conditions than exists within a single statutory framework. The appeal of off-shoring lies in part in cultural diversity, where views of conditions in the workplace can differ based on prevailing notions of class structure, social Darwinism, etc. American workers have earned the right (so it is supposed) to have a certain degree of liberty and comfort in their lives and this standing simply doesn't exist for many workers overseas. In this situation we have to rely on the honor system, both for the stakeholders here in the U.S. to stay vigilant about walking their talk, for NGO watchdogs to hold the line, and overseas manufacturers to stay faithful to their agreements with contracting organizations. Seeking a quasi-governmental body to give their stamp of approval to an existing situation may not be effective
Even though Companies like HP and Apple impose and enforce labor law auditing at the offshore manufacturing, there will always be problems such as suicides at a Taiwanese Contract Manufacturer Foxconn. They announced the 14th suicde last November 2010 at the shenzhen factory.
One of the videos the Chinese media illustrated a typical day of the life of a worker. Once he/ she signs up for a job there, the worker leaves the family from the remote villages and resides in nearby dormitory. She/ He goes to work every morning at 6am and won't stop until 10 or 11pm. They have to work overtime in order to meet the demand of say a part of the iPads. Then he goes back to dorm and sleep and do the same thing everyday. Life could be pretty boring, tiring and hard to find motivation.
But, having a job is better than not having a job. These folks need to provide financial support to send money back to their families in the villages. At the end of the day, it just depends on how the person thrive.
Foxconn, a publicly traded subsidiary of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, is the world's largest manufacturer of electronic components. Its Shenzhen compound employs more than 300,000 workers and assembles -- at great speed and amid high security -- a wide variety of high-tech gadgets, from computers for Dell (DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) to iPods, iPads and iPhones for Apple (AAPL).
I feel if a company that operates out of USA and has outsourced some of its manufactuing to Asia or any other part of the world, judging the labor conditions of contractor is how easy or relevant unless the parent company puts them in thor network does periodic audits etc. There are difference in the basic working conditions is US and other parts of the world. Thats why the wages are different. If you would want labor to be in the same conditions as in US then I guess you got to pay them accordingly. What is totally no-no in US can be ok in other parts of the world.
I agree that local companies may not welcome the offshore auditors. The point here is that it is very difficult to have the same standards all over the world. Things such as children working to support families are a need in some countries, while they may be crimes in others. Unless you have the same socioeconomic conditions throughout the world, there is no way you can have the same laws and standards. The OEMs and the companies auditing them need to realize that.
It also occurs to me that auditors may not be welcome on every shore and a country would prefer to use its own version of OSHA (if they have one. ) There's a lot of complexity there and I thank our readers for raising all of these issues.
The OEM's should be hold responsible for any problems with the laor conditions in the manufacturing companies. Since the contracts are offered by OEM's so it is their duty to check they are operating as per the global standards and are certified by a know standards organization. Any one who is not certified should not be offered any manufacturing.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.