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Foxconn Says Vocational Students Aren't Being 'Forced' To Work 117

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-is-is dept.
jones_supa writes "Foxconn has responded to the criticism regarding Chinese internship students being forced to work for them. In a statement to Washington Post, Foxconn said that its 'short-term internship program' is in line with Chinese labor laws and that interns comprise 2.7% of its labor force in China. Schools, not Foxconn, recruit students into the programs, the company said, and the programs are supervised by local government authorities and teachers assigned to monitor the students' work. Foxconn has also set up a hotline for interns and outlined procedures that allow them to resign from the program." Related, an anonymous reader pointed at an undercover report on working conditions at Foxconn.
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Foxconn Says Vocational Students Aren't Being 'Forced' To Work

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:05PM (#41313217)

    Unfortunately, we're going to have to kick you out of this school and send you back to your impoverished village. You know, budget cuts and such.

    Now, does anyone else here wish to resign from our completely voluntary short-term internship program? Does anyone else wish to not do their part for glorious China? Does anyone else wish to speak to the press?

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:12PM (#41313279)

    His response is the FoxConn isn't forcing anyone to work and that it complies with local Chinese law. He said nothing to rebut the criticism that the students are being forced to work. He's got his political speech down, talking about all the unrelated aspects rather than addressing the key point that students are being forced to work.

    So from your response you can draw the following conclusions. The students ARE being forced to work, the people doing the forcing are the schools and local government officials, Foxconn is likely involved in pressuring or enticing these entities to do the forcing but isn't actually rounding the people up at gun point themselves.

    Yea, not so nice when you take it out of the political speech.

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:19PM (#41313347) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately, we're going to have to kick you out of this school and send you back to your impoverished village. You know, budget cuts and such.

    Now, does anyone else here wish to resign from our completely voluntary short-term internship program? Does anyone else wish to not do their part for glorious China? Does anyone else wish to speak to the press?

    Back to the village? More like, we'll just kick you out onto the street and you'll be persona non grata in your own country, with a permanent mark on your record kept by the party. It's not about promoting anything like communist or maxist ideals, but about China's government policy of pushing economic growth at the expense of nothing. China want's to be the big dod in the world, economically and technologically. Why go to war to conquer the world when you can just have the world completely dependent upon you?

  • by Loughla (2531696) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:23PM (#41313389)

    But the main difference is that those US internships come with humane working conditions - FTA - 7 hours on a production line with no breaks. This is not the same as an intern in the US who (maybe underpaid) gets regular breaks and time off of work.

    American colleges require internships to help a student find careers, make connections and secure a job. If you've ever had an internship - no one in the company is making millions off of your labor - usually you're nothing more than a gopher or paperwork bitch. From what I can tell, this type of Chinese internship exists to pad a few people's pockets with the labor of many.

    To use a comparison: American Internship is to Chinese internship as Apples are to Getting punched in the head.

  • by happyhamster (134378) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:40PM (#41313561)

    >>What were they supposed to do?

    Pay above-suicide wages, provide decent work environment and career path maybe?

  • Rationalization (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TopSpin (753) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:59PM (#41313757) Journal

    Hard day for loyal western customers that would rather um... pay more for their gadgets than exploit young workers. In the mean time we may find it useful to review the Slashdot poster rationalizations collected from recent responses to similar stories.

    Apple/Foxconn worker and environmental exploitation rationalization worksheet

    Check all that apply

    [ ] Making iPhones in a Chinese factory is better than being a Chinese peasant
    [ ] iPhones/Pads would cost too much if I had to pay my fellow citizens to make them
    [ ] iPhones/Pads would cost too much given environmental regulations I vehemently insist on for myself
    [ ] All the other manufacturers are doing it too
    [ ] Some/Many/Most Chinese workers appreciate 70 hour weeks and breathing my aluminum dust
    [ ] It's not Apple, it's Foxconn
    [ ] It's not Apple, it's the Chinese government
    [ ] It's just capitalism at work
    [ ] It's just communism at work
    [ ] Apple's disposable workers are paid better than non-Apple disposable workers
    [ ] Apple's auditors didn't find any serious issues
    [ ] Some day the Chinese will be too wealthy to exploit
    [ ] Your Android is Foxconn too
    [ ] You're an Apple hater using Apple as a scapegoat
    [ ] I also work 60/80/100/120 hour weeks at my IT job
    [ ] Apple designers are in the US
    [ ] The US did the same thing to the British
    [ ] The US had slaves once too
    [ ] The US has prison labor today
    [ ] It's up to the Chinese to stand up to their oppressive government
    [ ] There are lines of willing workers outside Foxconn factories
    [ ] If any company were to stop the exploitation, I really think it'll be Apple
    [ ] Your free Linux runs on Chinese hardware too
    [ ] Foxconn workers think they have it great, so it's ok!
    [ ] Foxconn worker suicides are lower than Chicago's murder rate
    [ ] We can't pollute the whole world!
    [ ] Half of all US households have an Apple product
    [ ] If we don't exploit them they'll never develop

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @02:06PM (#41314641)

    1. The People's Republic of China is not a socialist government. It is a totalitarian government and nominally Communist.
    2. The idea behind 'socialist' governments is that we are all better off if we agree to pay for some things (schools, roads, health care, defense, etc) together rather than let the rich take all the money and work the rest of us to death.
    3. The idea behind Totalitarian nations is that you are nothing, the state is everything, and you are luck to live here.

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