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"Anyone can act presidential. "
It's a lot harder to do what I do.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

USA TODAY…FINALLY SOMEONE….Apple produces amazing gadgets, but at what cost?


Editorial: Apple produces amazing gadgets, but at what cost?

Americans love hot dogs and electronic gadgets, and they don’t like to think much about how either is made. But recent news reports about working conditions at Chinese factories that assemble cellphones, tablets and other devices invite indigestion.The factories have been depicted as dreary places that underpay and overwork employees, some of them underage. National Public Radio’s This American Lifetold of Chinese factories surrounded with nets to stop workers from committing suicide.
Much of the scrutiny has, understandably, focused on Apple, which has become the world’s most valuable company thanks to the phenomenal success of products such as the iPhone and iPad. A remarkably detailed story in the The New York Times recently described an explosion of aluminum dust at a Chinese iPad factory that killed four people, including a young engineer whose face was so horribly burned his girlfriend recognized him only by looking at his legsThe Times reported that Apple had been warned about conditions at the factory two weeks before the explosion, but that no steps were taken to make it safer.
Apple shouldn’t be surprised it’s a ripe target. Its own audits have found labor abuses at its overseas suppliers since at least 2006. Now, faced with a consumer backlash over its manufacturing processes, the company has gone into damage-control mode. It has stepped up its own audits, and tried to buttress its credibility by hiring an independent organization called the Fair Labor Association to check the factories. But the FLA promptly undermined its credibility when its president proclaimed that the factories were “first-class” and “not a sweatshop” — as the audits were barely underway.
Nike, Indonesia anyone?
I will say it again…
There is no more morally defensible position, or nationally beneficial one, for the CIA than to have them HELP the Chinese to set up fair unions.
Where is SEIU? AFLCIO? UMW? TEAMSTERS?
Real unions in china today would duplicate the union movement in america at the turn of the 20th century. That was a moment which saw THIS.
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posted by Epaminondas at permanent link#

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