Apple iPod sweat shops...UPDATE: Apple Launches Investigation

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  06 June 2006
Apple iPod sweat shops...UPDATE: Apple Launches Investigation

people's precious Apple appear to be no different than other large companies....
iPod City: inside Apple's iPod factories
Published: 11:00 AM EST Apple Computer's iconic digital music players are built primarily by female works who sometimes earn as little as $50 per week, according to an article in the print edition of Mail on Sunday.
The report, dubbed "iPod City," offers a rare glimpse inside Apple's massive iPod manufacturing facilities, which are owned by Foxconn and situated in China.
By itself, Foxconn's Longhua facility is reported to house over 200,000 workers -- or a population larger than the British city of Newcastle. Its exterior gates flaunt billboards encouraging anyone over the age of 16 to apply for a job.
Inside Longhua, workers labor a 15-hour day building iPods, for which they usually earn about $50 per month. When they're not on the assembly lines, they live in secluded dormitories that each house 100 people and prohibit visitors from the outside world. The workers are allowed "a few possessions" and a "bucket to wash their clothes."
"We have to work too hard and I am always tired. It's like being in the army," Zang Lan, one of the workers at Longhua, told the Mail. "They make us stand still for hours. If we move we are punished by being made to stand still for longer. The boys are made to do pushups."
According to the report, the iPod nano is made in a five-story factory called "E3" that is secured by armed police officers. The super-slim digital music player is said to include over 400 parts which arrive from component manufacturers all over the world.
Another factory in Suzhou, Shanghai, manufacturers iPod shuffles and is completely surrounded by barbed wire. At this facility, 50,000 workers are housed outside the plant and earn about $99 per month. However, they must pay out of pocket for their accommodations and food, "which takes up half their salaries."
One security guard told the Mail that the iPod shuffle production lines are staffed by women workers because "they are more honest than male workers."
According to the report, Apple is just one of thousands of companies that now use Chinese facilities to manufacture its products. China's low wages, long hours and industrial secrecy, make the country attractive to business, especially as increased competition and consumer expectations force companies to deliver products at lower prices.

Last edited by pixelmonk : 06 June 2006 at 05:56 PM.
  06 June 2006
thats... i am at a loss of words...
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  06 June 2006
I'm not saying that story is false, but something about it doesn't sit right with me. I'm not an apple fanboy, i own an Ipod that died after a year, and that's the extent of my apple buying, however, this scenario sounds unreal, just too extreme. Guess we'll find out though, see if they get hit with the same crap as Walmart when people found out about their sweatshops.
"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu
  06 June 2006
That sounds more like a concentration camp than a factory. If this is true , shame on apple. :(
  06 June 2006
don't believe everything you read, please guys...
  06 June 2006
And how much do people pay for apple products?
  06 June 2006
ah ok, too late, CupO is in...

let the flaming begin

I'm out
  06 June 2006
I don't see whats extreme in the article. I mean it may be if its the first story of its type you're reading, but this is pretty common in such factories in China and is far from being an extreme case. 99$ per month seems to be pretty good in comparison to what they apparently pay in some toy manufacturers etc.
  06 June 2006
I strongly doubt it's only an ipod facility. It's owned by Foxconn, who makes a lot more than just ipods.
You also have to take into account the relativity of payment. Elsewhere in the world money goes a lot farther than it does here. Granted $50 seems very low pay, but it is in a developing nation and not in a particularly urban area if I'm not mistaken. For all we know it's above minimum wage, or above what other campanies pay similar workers. There's not enough comparison in the article to form an ethical conclusion. And what about the businees practices? Are they free to quit? Are the female workers allowed to be pregnant? Why are the workers working there?

I am very against sweatshop practices for any company, but different cultures alter the perspective of what is acceptable and what is not. This article is suggesting conclusions that are based without any sort of comarison to other assembly companies, and I'd like more information.
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  06 June 2006
Thank you gent_k and max_Andrews!

I share your point of view.
  06 June 2006
Its supposed to be $50 a MONTH, not a week.Good thing I dont own an Ipod,but more companies do this so I guess were all just supporting it when we be small electronics?
  06 June 2006
I think just putting this aside as a "bad Apple" is making it too easy. We can suspect similar stories behind every item we buy that has a "Made in China" label (or Bangla Desh or Malaysia or...), be it computers, clothing or cutlery. Our prosperity is built upon their poverty.

It is upon us customers to change this - as long as we buy sweatshop products, there will be sweatshops. Look for alternatives, like this one:
  06 June 2006
Originally Posted by sunmade: don't believe everything you read, please guys...

It's also printed in Arstechnica. I've never known them to publish rumors as news before.

Last edited by fezz : 06 June 2006 at 07:08 PM.
  06 June 2006
That does not make it any better.. ah well others do it so why can't apple.

Quote: I think just putting this aside as a "bad Apple" is making it too easy. We can suspect similar stories behind every item we buy that has a "Made in China" label
  06 June 2006
Originally Posted by fezz: It's also printed in Arstechnica. I've never known them to publish rumors as news before.

How is this a rumour?...
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