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  1. #1
    Tassiecelt Guest

    Default 4 Corners and Apple

    4corners
    #Apple is the world's most valuable brand. But how do they treat workers when no one is looking? #4corners 8.30pm http://t.co/YgMvG9gddO
    2/03/2015 5:43 pm

    I will be interested to see Apple explain the findings in this report by 4 Corners, while it makes me ashamed to own any Apple products, I do wonder if any of the other phone manufacturers are any better.

  2. #2

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    Whilst I didn't see the report tonight, you might find this interesting from Apple on their own audits and reporting Apple - Supplier Responsibility
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  3. #3

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    I don't think the other suppliers are any different.

    The reason I say this is that this is in contradiction to the mandate given to Its suppliers by Apple. I suspect this is a supplier trying to make extra money and Apple is footing the bad publicity.

    Apple conducts audits but it's difficult for them to conduct undercover audits with hidden cameras like a journalist can do. It's just not accepted practice in business but journalists get away with a lot more including leaking confidential information which would result in lawsuits if a business did it.

    I suspect as a fallout of this the supplier will lose their contract and unfortunate a whole heap of workers will probably lose their jobs Which they desperately need. The outcome is that everyone loses but that's the problem with journalists, they don't care about who suffers, they just want their story. If they took it up with Apple, they probably would have rectified the issue with the supplier and the problem would have been solved but then they wouldn't have a story.
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  4. #4

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    This was just a repeat of a BBC piece that aired last year so it's not particularly up-to-date.

  5. #5

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    The elephant in the room is China's appalling record on human rights and working conditions.
    Surely 4-Corners should have interviewed the Chinese political bosses and asked them why they allow such workplace horrors?
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  6. #6

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    Sadly it is the way of the world. In Asia generally, shocking working conditions and wages so the capitalist West can make more moolah!

  7. #7

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    Having watched some of the footage last night (on ACA, I am ashamed to admit), it just showed people with their heads down sleeping (a whole department!) and a couple of managers giving them the hard line. Didn't look that bad to me, to be honest - wasn't like they were getting verbally or physically abused. Who know, it might be their "break time" for some shut eye on the assembly line!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tassiecelt View Post
    I will be interested to see Apple explain the findings in this report by 4 Corners, while it makes me ashamed to own any Apple products, I do wonder if any of the other phone manufacturers are any better.
    Anyone who buys anything made in China or Bangladesh or any one of a number of places with limited or non existent labour laws contributes to the poor treatment of the people there. At least Apple has processes and procedures in place to try to improve the lot of the people who make them impossibly rich.

    I think Apple ends up being a lightning rod for these kinds of issues because they so large and visible, which means that people can sell lots of advertising by using the name in their headlines. That's not all bad and I think it's excellent that Apple actually seem to be (a) concerned about their workers and (b) doing something positive about improving labour conditions in developing countries.

    Out of interest, does anyone know of other companies who manufactures in Asia and who have any kind of programs like this in place? I'm guessing Samsumg isn't quite so concerned with the health and welfare of its workers, is there anyone who is?

  9. #9

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    Tend to agree. There are a couple of challenges:

    1. Until people are prepared to pay twice the price for a Macbook Air or any other Apple product (or other manufacturers bearing in mind that Foxconn actually make the Xbox, PS, Wii etc), this isn't going to change because people will say they want fairness but they aren't prepared to pay for it
    2. We are reliant on labour laws in the countries. Even if we paid double, right now it would probably go into the owner of these manufacturing companies pockets in china, not to the workers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    ...people will say they want fairness but they aren't prepared to pay for it...
    This is very true and a large part of the problem. Every day I see/hear people thinking they're getting a great deal on some impossibly cheap item, while the only way such a thing can exist is because someone, probably quite a few someones and the planet, are being royally fucked to make it happen.

    I'm tempted by places like Aldi at times, but that stuff is so cheap it is impossible that it's being produced in an ethical way. Sometimes I see a special there and want to buy it but it feels really dirty to be buying those things. We dig our own graves, and contribute to the same for people in the developing world, by supporting such indecent business practices.

  11. #11

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    LOL soulman do you think for a moment Woolies, Coles, Myers, Dick Smith etc are any 'cleaner' than Aldi?

    Blame our Government if anyone for these dumb 'free trade' deals. We are too small to compete fairly without tariffs on imported goods. E.G. Hestia closed their local manufacture to have bras etc made in Indonesia exploiting cheap labour, as did Bonds moving manufacture of your undies to China. Hit 'em with a 50% tariff on imports and they would soon manufacture here again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    LOL soulman do you think for a moment Woolies, Coles, Myers, Dick Smith etc are any 'cleaner' than Aldi?
    In an overall sense, no. I do think there are degrees though and I used Aldi because they're an example of the extreme end of it. At least Myer sell good quality Australian made stuff as well, unlike, say Fantastic Furniture, though I have no illusion that they're any more ethical in their dealings with suppliers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soulman View Post
    I'm tempted by places like Aldi at times, but that stuff is so cheap it is impossible that it's being produced in an ethical way. Sometimes I see a special there and want to buy it but it feels really dirty to be buying those things. We dig our own graves, and contribute to the same for people in the developing world, by supporting such indecent business practices.
    That's a tall high horse you're sitting on - Aldi is no different from other supermarkets, it's just they sell higher volumes of the same cheap thing (that is essentially Home Brand quality - some stuff is good, some is terrible), with a much smaller inventory. The majority of the produce sold is Australian, probably moreso than the other big two. I support them, and Lidl, when it comes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrd View Post
    That's a tall high horse you're sitting on - Aldi is no different from other supermarkets, it's just they sell higher volumes of the same cheap thing (that is essentially Home Brand quality - some stuff is good, some is terrible), with a much smaller inventory. The majority of the produce sold is Australian, probably moreso than the other big two. I support them, and Lidl, when it comes.
    Aldi makes some of its savings through only having one brand of most things, no bags, they stack boxes instead of proper shelfs and filling - it also doesn't have a loyalty program, it doesn't advertise as much as the other two (though thats changing).

    I also support Aldi - much of their stuff is Australian made (and their chocolate is amazing!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrd View Post
    That's a tall high horse you're sitting onů
    Trying to make choices I think are decent ≠ looking down on others. I'm not criticising your choices or opinions.

    I run a business. I buy and make and sell things and I have some experience with economies of scale. Seeing products in retail outlets that sell for less than the cost of their raw materials tells me that something is very wrong somewhere, and this is fairly obvious in places like Aldi. I don't feel comfortable contributing to that so I try to avoid it. I have no issue with you doing whatever you think is right.

  16. #16
    entropy's Avatar entropy is offline It's the heat death of the universe, my friends

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    With regard to ALDI, are people familiar with the concept of 'loss leader'? ALDI do Some stuff below cost (to Aldi) to get you in the store so you will buy other stuff with higher margins while you are there. The real cheap stuff usually has very low margins anyway.
    all supermarkets do it.
    coles isn't making any money on milk sold at a dollar a litre. In fact it will be at a small loss. And notice the milk is always, always at the back of the store, and you have to, nay forced to walk past the chocolates on the way to and from the milk fridge, which no doubt have at least a 100% mark up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byrd View Post
    it just showed people with their heads down sleeping (a whole department!) and a couple of managers giving them the hard line.
    You might be onto something here. A few years ago my former director took up a job with Hong Kong University and told me a story about him walking into the offices one afternoon during a visit to find the lights down and everyone asleep at their desks. Might be a cultural thing, like the Spanish siesta, that rag tv has decided to exploit.

  18. #18

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    Interesting, thanks

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