News Article

Under-Age Workers Allegedly Worked on Wii U Manufacturing

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The latest controversy for Foxconn

If you own a number of gadgets and gizmos from major companies such as Apple, Sony and Microsoft, it's in all likelihood been manufactured by Foxconn, based primarily in China. The reason we can buy technology at affordable prices isn't just because of cheaper parts and research, but due to low-paid labour in Chinese manufacturing plants, as well as similar facilities in other countries predominantly in the far-east. It's an uncomfortable fact of life, but that's the way it is.

Foxconn, meanwhile, has generated unsavoury headlines due to worker riots and suicides at a number of its plants. Apple and Microsoft have recently faced fall-out due to these incidents occurring at facilities producing their products, and it seems as if Nintendo is the next in line. According to reports on Chinese website games.qq.com, it's been discovered that Foxconn employed under-age interns (aged 14 to 16) at a facility, and that the product being produced was none other than Wii U. As reported by Kotaku, the children were threatened with expulsion from school if they didn't work, and this "overtime" could run for an excessive amount of time.

"I did transport work, helping them move goods," said 14 year-old Xiao Wang (alias). "Right now, the night shift is 7:40 PM until the morning... you know, til what time in the morning is uncertain. Whenever the work is done is when you get off your shift. If you don't finish the work, he (the production line foreman) won't let you end your shift. Usually, you can get off by 7 AM. My arms would hurt from the work."

Foxconn hasn't denied that this occurred, admitting to Bloomberg that the under-age workers had worked on a specific site for around three weeks, and that it had since been stopped.

Any Foxconn employee found, through our investigation, to be responsible for these violations will have their employment immediately terminated. We recognize that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action.

This incident is rather damning in light of Foxconn's recent track record, as we alluded to at the start of this article, with frequent reports of poor working conditions and worker unrest. This is also damaging for Nintendo, however, just as similar revelations have been difficult for its rivals. They may not be Nintendo facilities, but Foxconn is contracted by the company to manufacture its products, meaning that a share of responsibility does rest at the source. We have no doubt that Nintendo will issue a statement to address this, if indeed the reports of this occurring in a Wii U facility are accurate.

The problem for Nintendo, and practically every other technology company, is that consumers demand cheap hardware while being — rightly — appalled when worker's rights are neglected. If Nintendo doesn't use a company like Foxconn its games consoles will cost its customers a lot more, and we suspect that would turn out to be a disastrous business decision.

Perhaps we should pay more for technology, or the solution may be for companies such as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to work together and demand higher standards of manufacturing companies. Where do you stand? Should companies like Foxconn be pressured further, potentially with little benefit, or should businesses like Nintendo use more moral manufacturing companies and tell customers to pay more? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (76)

iphys

#1

iphys said:

At least they weren't actual children. It's not like 14-year-olds don't work in other places.

ThomasBW84Admin

#2

ThomasBW84 said:

@iphys 14-year-olds are children, even if they like to pretend otherwise. Hundreds of other wrongs don't make this a right.

Randomname19

#3

Randomname19 said:

I think expensive technology shouldn't be used to make consoles,instead the focus should be on creativity.

Tsuchinoko

#4

Tsuchinoko said:

Its a hard thing to think about, but we have to remember, these are not our necessary items, they are leisure goods. As poor as I am, would I be okay maybe paying double (or more) if it meant protecting human rights and the welfare of children? I for one wouldn't mind maybe saving an extra month or two for my 3DS if it meant that people could live better lives in other countries. People in places like the States, or the UK, Japan, France, Germany, Canada, we take for granted the easier lives we have, and that we could easily have been borne in different places, in different circumstances. Its nice that I paid such a small price for my 3DS, but other people are paying a higher price.

I recently saw a documentary in on TV here in Japan where they had gone to China and filmed the living and working conditions of these people. It was really awful to watch.

ThomasBW84Admin

#6

ThomasBW84 said:

@iphys Yes, teenagers is another term, so is minors, so is children. It's down to each of us what we call individuals under 16 or 18 (working age and various laws are different in each country).

It's also a fact that it's illegal for individuals under 16 to work in this way in China. It should be illegal everywhere, in my opinion, this behaviour from Foxconn is illegal, and my personal view is that it's immoral.

Moguri

#8

Moguri said:

It's very sad, but in our world, the major companies put their interests over the human morality.

ultraraichu

#11

ultraraichu said:

I wonder if they're paid-workers or "Interns" since most interns work for job experience and/or school credits.

siavm

#12

siavm said:

To be against the practices of china and what they do with their people there we would have to stop buying products from there. And that is not going to happen. Especially since the western companies know about these actions yet continue to use china as the one to shop for manufacturing their products.

theblackdragonAdmin

#13

theblackdragon said:

Unfortunately, what siavm said. It's going to take entire nations refusing to purchase these products in order for this to change, and all that will happen is the big-name companies will 'demand' their manufacturers clean up their act (a nice public front and gag orders on their workers will do the trick) or they'll jump to the next place or manufacturing company that hasn't made the news yet for human rights violations. Of course they'll still have to offer cut-rate labor prices to satisfy their cheap Western customers who cry over expensive electronic devices we don't need to survive, and then when they do make the news it'll be 'oh, we didn't know it was happening, sorry guise lol we won't do it again' and the cycle will repeat.

yes i'm in a cynical mood today shut up

Shworange

#14

Shworange said:

Before Steve Jobs died, he met with President Obama. Obama asked Jobs what he could do to get iPhones manufactured in the US. Jobs replied that there was nothing he could do that would ever get iPhone manufacturing brought to the US. The Chinese culture and infrastructure is completely different than that in the US and Europe. When the iPhone 4s was being put together, designers decided to suddenly change to a stronger gorilla glass for the screen. In the US, our factories would have to retool, retrain and allocate large amounts of money for overtime pay. A few weeks later the glass would begin being installed in the units. With the iPhone 4s' release date rapidly approaching, this time would have resulted in the release date being pushed back. In the Chinese plants, workers were woken from their dormatories around midnight, given coffee and a biscuit as well as instructions on installation. The plant then worked around the clock to get the correct glass on the iPhones. Within a couple of days, hundreds of thousands of iPhones complete with gorilla glass were shipped. No production time was lost.
This is what we are competing with. Production companies that will do anything and everything for their customer as the drop of a hat. It goes without saying then that highly questionable and often agregous labor practices will be implemented. When tech companies are questioned regarding this, the usually cite the fact that it all comes down to what price the public is willing to pay for their gadgets. As long as we as consumers have an insatiable appetite for mass quantities of low cost, high tech devices; this will be the result. Many readers on this website have complained about the cost of the soon to be released WiiU. This is the result of that. If you are not willing to pay a premium for your treasured tech, there is a risk it will be produced in a quasi slave labor invironment.
Until we change our prospective and are willing to make more financial sacrifices in the form of higher cost of goods, nothing will change. It is sad. Our drive for stuff is creating this situation, all the while putting ourselves out of work. I know some do not want to hear this and will argue the point, but it is the reality of our current state.

Shworange

#15

Shworange said:

*Environment. Sheesh with all the low cost labor, you'd think they could pay someone extra to figure out auto correct. 😉

dizzy_boy

#16

dizzy_boy said:

what bugs me is that these kids parents don't step in to stop them from being used in this way.
and to use their schooling future against them is blackmail as far as i see it.

Shworange

#17

Shworange said:

@iphys
I don't know how old you are. I'm assuming you are in the 14 to 17 year old range (this based solely on your insistence that 14 year olds aren't children when clearly they are).
The story said they worked from 7:40pm to 7 in the morning. A twelve hour shift in a manufacturing plant for a minor is grossly illegal in the US (again I don't know you or where you are from, but I'm assuming you're from the US, Europe, Japan or Australia) and wherever you live. This isn't a four to five hour shift at McDonalds with a break. This is a intense career given to young people who should not be burdened with such tasks. America learned from it's ways during the industrial revolution. Children died or lost limbs in factories. They died in coal mining operations from cave-ins and from black lung by the time they turned 30. Children have the right to grow up and be adults. When they are adults they can get soul crushing jobs like the rest of us. Until then, they should not be forced to live in those conditions. Now it should be our job as westerners to ensure our erroneous legacy is not repeated throughout the world. This will be achieved not through policing countries, but altering our habits as consumers.

ultraraichu

#18

ultraraichu said:

I guess the real question is how many people are willing to support cheaper, affordable, high-end devices while also supporting the labor that goes behind it?

Hard for me to fight against this while typing on the new iPad and living in a apt where over 90% of everything I own is made in china.

MikeDanger

#19

MikeDanger said:

The parents of these children are probably really poor and are working the same way their child is working just for 1 meal in a day. At Nike or Coca-Cola.

The children are working just to pay for school and it says if they don't work hard enough they'll get expelled.

Life in China and other countries is really tough, we complain about our work and minimum pay from working at Burger King for 40 hours a week. But in those factories they work 80+ a week and don't even earn half of what we get for a week at minimum wage.

I see it as a new form of slavery, and guess what, children aren't the only ones being treated in this horrific way.

Is there a way the world can stop these things from happening? I wish I knew...

rjejr

#20

rjejr said:

@dizzy_boy "what bugs me is that these kids parents don't step in to stop them from being used in this way."

For all we know their parents were thrilled that their children get to enter the world of capitalism and indoctrinated at such a young age into the workforce, even if it is as unpaid interns. There are lots of Americans right now who would be willing to "work" as unpaid interns if they thought it might lead to a paying job later on. Meanwhile those same parents are mocking Americans who rather than have their children work after school take them door-to-door asking for free candy handouts. (Well at least the kids get some exercise prior to working on poor dental hygiene and their obesity.)

When I was in HS or maybe even JHS I joined one of those Junior Achievement after school programs which was supposed to build moral fiber or prepare us for the future or some such nonsense. The program consisted mostly of us going door to door selling really cheap plastic flashlights we assembled by hand. I dropped out after 1 meeting b/c even at that young age I knew what slave labor was.

It's wrong to coerce anyone at any age into doing something, whether it's perform sex acts or build WiiUs, and if the age limit is 16 and these kids are 14 - 16 then it is illegal and therefore a story, but compared to everything else going on at Foxcon in particular and China in general these interns may be the lucky ones.

manganimist

#21

manganimist said:

i know that this is wrong, but the wii-u is still pretty expensive: you could still get a computer for about that much. if america stopped this, prices of your favorite gadgets would skyrocket even further.

Capt_N

#22

Capt_N said:

@manganimist: The cost of non-necessity products, is never worth human life. TBD is right: this practice will continue, & any news-made "incidents" will have no more real progress made towards better circumstances, the involved co.s will simply damage-control, & PR away the light from their incriminating deeds.

bahooney

#24

bahooney said:

See this is why I never buy any new technology; I wait until it's been out for a while and pick up a used console/game. That way it's one less person feeding the demand and ramping up production. I bought my 3DS used, works like a charm, AND that was one less console a worker had to make.

Hardy83

#25

Hardy83 said:

@MrDanger88 Is that a joke? You do realize that these children were being threatened by both the work place, schools and parents to do this "internship" or be kicked out of school.

It wasn't a job like working a Mcdonalds, it was forced child larbour so they can get an education.

While that might not be a bad idea in say the Canada or EU where child and labour laws are pretty good, China...ehhh not so much.
It's just trying to justify child labour, that's it that's all.

LavaTwilight

#26

LavaTwilight said:

I don't know what the laws are in their countries so I can't rightly say whether or not they are 'underaged' however I think in ANY job all staff should be treated with respect and not be expected to work excessive hours. Also, if they have schooling to do, they should be even more limited to the time they can work. No staff should ever be treated poorly and that's what it boils down to. No one should be forced to do something they don't want to do, and for a low wages, well since they're not being 'forced' (if they are then it's wrong by it's own merit) then they agreed the wage and should stick with it.
As for Nintendo, they seem to me to be the kind of hands-on company which will make sure anyone they contract are reputable. Media speculation can unfortunately tarnish any silver to brass but until we hear definitive reports what can be said?

theblackdragonAdmin

#27

theblackdragon said:

@MrDanger88: from the looks of your comment, you can't possibly have read the article at hand. posting for the sake of being 'edgy' doesn't make you look cool. it makes you look like an insensitive donkey.

WiiLovePeace

#28

WiiLovePeace said:

I have an idea on how to stop the horrendous treatment of workers in China. If anyone out there with the business knowledge, morals & money somehow reads this, please bring my dream to fruition.
What you do is start a business, say a footwear selling business or some other business that specifically competes with other companies who rely on cheap labour from China. Then you start up factories in China to make your footware just like the other companies do but your difference is you pay the workers there like 1000% the Chinese minimum wage. The CEO & other head guys/gals of your company will have to take some sort of pay cut to cover this cost BUT the leaders of companies like Nike & Apple etc make so many millions that the dint in their pay cheques would be barely noticable if they did this. This way you could provide the same cost of footwear to the consumer, provide a better life to the workers & still have many millions at the end of the day. The ripple effect of this (I imagine) would be that the word would be spread in China of a company providing a proper wage & thus those workers would leave the other companies to come to yours & thus forcing Nike etc. to raise the wage they were giving the workers to match the wage you give yours & since you've priced your goods at a similar price to the Nike footwear before they raised the workers wages they couldn't raise the price of their goods too much more for fear of a lack of sales. Thus in my perfect world the cheap labour in China is over & the world is much better for it. Thanks for reading :)

DestinyMan

#29

DestinyMan said:

That's a shame, it sounds like something straight out of the 1800s industrial age. Child labor, bad conditions, and long hours as well as millions of people to take advantage of is what's making China an economic superpower, that and manipulating their currency and pushing cheap products to make a quick profit. Keep in mind that the factory pollution is absolutely horrible there too.

Shworange

#30

Shworange said:

@rjejr
China is a communist country, not a capitalist one. That's one of the reasons they can create this type of work force.

DrKarl

#31

DrKarl said:

This is the face of globalization. It will get much worse before it gets better. China will need a national labor leader in the mold of Cesar Chavez for things to turn around. There will be crackdowns by the powers that be. There will be death and martyrs.

There is no way to go back. The international demand for cheap goods will ensure that. The only way is forward. Hopefully, for all of us, change comes as soon as it can.

azelsperch

#32

azelsperch said:

@Shworange When Jobs said there was nothing he could do to move manufacturing here, he didn't mean that manufacturing couldn't exist here, but that the current laws and environment couldn't make it financially possible. If all of Apple's competitors are using Foxconn and they aren't, then suddenly the competition has a huge leg up in terms of turnaround speed. The only way to bring manufacturing back would be to change the rules of the game such as increasing taxes on foreign made goods. Look at Brazil and how they refused to accept Apple products made from China. They heavily taxed the items and forced production to take place in Brazil. The cost went up, but it worked out. Similarly, if change is to really happen, it likely won't be Apple, but the US government that makes it happen.

Lunapplebloom

#33

Lunapplebloom said:

Sadly, we hardly ever think about this, but we really should. These kids are being pushed into this slave labor sort of mold, and they end up paying for it with their health. It's a situation that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Now that is certainly appalling. And great job on summing it up @Shworange

I wouldn't mind trying to save up a bit more for any type of electronic device, if it meant that both kids and adults were treated fairly at these factories, or if they were produced somewhere else.

GameLord08

#34

GameLord08 said:

I doubt there's absolutely anything we can stop this, unless we as other consumer regions refused to purchase the products manufactured in China using this kind of abusive labour overall, which is pretty darn impossible given the situation for manufacturing industries outside of China are barely up to par. And yet again, there's China's communist infrastructure which works to the advantage of these corporations - they can create these types of workforces by the dozen, and nothing is seen as violating the law, despite the blackmailing going on.

It does make my stomach churn though - I'm 14, and I'd never want to have to be forced to work under these conditions ever. This is not the industrial revolution of the 19th century, and these are minors going against their will and benefit. I'd honestly say I wouldn't mind paying more for any leisure electronics just to say that there are people in other countries benefiting from this inflation. Honestly. It's sickening, and I also feel rather sorry for Nintendo - it's pretty likely they've inadvertently caught themselves in this situation which they'd probably be all against.

If only morality could supercede state law.

True_Hero

#35

True_Hero said:

We need to start producing our own goods again. We need to get innovative minds to develop faster and more efficient ways to build this stuff in a way that doesn't endanger lives. I know that we can develop ways to do this, but we've gotten lazy and have instead turned to cheap foreign labor. This encourages China to continue to work its people into the ground and costs us money and jobs. Making our own goods may cost consumers more money at first, but the quality will be better and competition will drive prices down. That's my two cents.

Shworange

#36

Shworange said:

@azelsperch
Very good point! Taxes and tariffs could potentially help or even solve the problem. The focus in globalization over the last few decades has blown up in our faces. The only issue is that we need our legislators to buy into this too. Companies have a responsibility to their share holders to make as much money as possible and in order to keep things going the way they are, they will continue to make campaign "contributions" to those that could actually make a difference. It's quite the predicament that could be solved by moral fibre.

Moorpheel

#37

Moorpheel said:

Eh, it's not like Nintendo asked specifically for children to work on their stuff, so I don't see how this is any more special than other similar cases just because it involves the WiiU,

Ryno

#38

Ryno said:

I wish some company would offer the same product, Wii U for example, in 2 variations. One manufactured with cheap Foxconn labor and one manufactured in a country with more fair work conditions like in Japan and sell it 2 different price points to reflect the true costs. It would be an interesting experiment to see how many of us would pay more for something manufactured outside of China.

FonistofCruxis

#39

FonistofCruxis said:

Its awful that other countries enforce this sort of slave labour but as @TBD said, its unlikely to stop. I like @Ryno's idea of a console from China being released as well as the same one but made with fairer working conditions.

Kagamine

#40

Kagamine said:

What's the big deal? He was 14, that's old enough to work. A 12 hour shift is a long day, but it happens. I was working 8 hour shifts when i was 14, I just went into work right after school. My shift was the same way, i didn't leave till the work got done, so sometimes i stayed later. I still work at the same place (Now 17) I never minded the job. I really don't see what the big deal is here.

AltDotNerd

#42

AltDotNerd said:

Nintendo used to manufacture their hardware and software in Japan back in the days of the cartridge era. I wouldn't mind paying more if they were made somewhere else.

theblackdragonAdmin

#44

theblackdragon said:

@Kagamine: The minimum age for working in China is 16. Regardless of your own experience, it is illegal for this company to be employing these minors to manufacture electronics. Your schooling was also not under threat since you say you 'went into work right after school'; these kids were threatened with expulsion from school if they did not work when they were told. Since you still work at the same place, I'd guess you wanted to work there, but these kids have no choice. That's what the big deal is.

@Ryno: I'd love to see an experiment like that happen, especially if both sides were absolutely up-front about the manufacturing methods involved.

DashChargedShot

#45

DashChargedShot said:

Why don't people leave Foxconn? They get life insurance, a place to live, and a little bit of money. And idk, maybe schooling too. Chinese families that are unemployed can work there and get that stuff. What's sad is it really isn't much for the terrible conditions and long hours. I heard there are workers that's climb to the top of their houses and commit suicide so their families can have a bit more money. It's sad, but that's the truth. Foxconn has promised they're working on this. The truth? Maybe they are, if they are, they're working slowly toward that "goal". I'm sure the Chinese people that work there don't like it, but they don't really have a choice. They can live there, even if they have to work way too hard. Also, sadly, this will not change for a long time. We're getting cheap consoles(relatively). If these were made in America or somewhere that wasn't China, two things would happen.
1) We'd have higher-quality consoles(most likely).
2) We'd have to pay more for our consoles.
It's sad, but it's happening.

Joygame51

#46

Joygame51 said:

Here's the point, Kids are being abused by government thugs.
Their lively hood and future are being stolen from them by companies and a government that is looking the other way on laws that are already on the books.
Their family's are in poor living conditions and need the money simply for subsistence a meal or two a day of bad quality and nutrition as well as no time to enjoy life.
If we said NO to china things would not get much better any time sooner . Its the way things are. What can we do?
Hmmmmm, not buy game systems made by nintendo?
Well, maybe thats not the actual solution. However if we want this to stop
we need to consider letting our govenment know we dislike it in some way!
Mr. Romney thinks we can simply tell china off and they will be good little kids and do things our way.... DON'T make me laugh. It has to be world wide or nothing will change. I'm not at all sure how to do this but something needs to be done. 14 year olds are still children.

The_Fox

#48

The_Fox said:

Be it companies using conflict minerals in the construction of electronics to stories like this the sad thing is that most people are willing to ignore it as long as they can get shiny new gadgets for cheap.

Buob

#49

Buob said:

theblackdragon wrote:

especially if both sides were absolutely up-front about the manufacturing methods involved.

Yeah....that'll never happen.
"Come buy our product! One was made by an unpaid kid in China, and the other by a legal adult in Japan!"

Seems legit.

xinoeph

#50

xinoeph said:

Some of the comments on this surprise me, I thought Nintendo fans would more empathetic to these kids

Kyloctopus

#52

Kyloctopus said:

Ugh, Foxconn, just the most controvercial company ever.
You know when you are doing something wrong when you have a suicide issue in your factories.

Zombie_Barioth

#53

Zombie_Barioth said:

Unfortunately most people don't know where their stuff comes from, and things like this are hidden so well the only time you hear about it is in the odd news article like this one. If people understood this stuff they might be more willing to change it.

ultraraichu

#55

ultraraichu said:

I'm surprised everyone is focus on the root of the problem then the alledged tip of the iceberg which is a good thing. The last thing we need is a misunderstanding in which people think Nintendo supports this.

doctor_doak

#56

doctor_doak said:

Well, that puts a dampener on things. Can't say i'm overly surprised to hear it though. But hey, it's the great Chinese economic miracle, right!

I don't think Nintendo, Apple or other businesses that have moved their production to China can feign ignorance about such matters. If I know that the workers are having their rights abused (it's not just Foxxcon) and they're not being paid proper wages, then surely Nintendo does as well. These people are the sacrificial lambs of the global neoliberal economic machine. It's terribly tragic, and it's not going to stop until people stop being obsessed with accumulating enormous wealth.

I don't understand this idea either of companies saying they would have to increase prices for their products if they manufacture them at home. Companies like Nintendo and Apple make mind boggling profits, so I think it's more about not wanting to eat into overbloated executive salaries and lucrative shareholder divedends.

It's an issue I find extremely distasteful, but unfortunately we live in a world that where profits are at stake, morality is simply thrown out the window.

TheDreamingHawk

#57

TheDreamingHawk said:

When they make these sorts of things in an actual country, I think this stupid child labor thing will stop. I really hope they are OK...

Maskeraid

#58

Maskeraid said:

Evil, Heartless response: If they are going to die, they had better do it! And decrease the surplus population!
Happy_Mask's response: FIX IT YOU HEARTLESS FOXCON'ERS! These are children for gods sake! How heartless can you be? D:

Sonomin

#59

Sonomin said:

Quite sad, but there is nothing that anyone can really do. The only thing that can stop it is when China's standard of living goes up and it becomes too expensive over there...

timp29

#60

timp29 said:

Foxconn is like an upmarket Auschwitz with some minor recognition of human rights.
They should be paid more, have maximum length shifts etc.

Bottom line, obviously the prices we pay for our electronics will go up.

On the flip side, if Foxconn get forced to behave in moral and ethical ways, another foxconn will pop up somewhere else, maybe in china, india or indonesia... anywhere life is cheap and exploitation is easy :(

LittleKing

#61

LittleKing said:

Whenever I hear of this stuff, I'm surprised by the people who think this is fine.

This isn't like when you were a teen and you worked at some joint for five to six hours for minimum wage after school. They are forced to work twelve hour shifts (which is all of their waking hours after schooling) in intensive, and sometimes dangerous, jobs, against their will. They are being threatened with their very education, hell, probably sometimes their very lives, whether directly or indirectly, and are being exploited and abused. Do you want a nice simile? It's not a part time job at Burger King. It's like being fourteen and being forced to work in some factory building toys for someone better off in some distant country 65% of your waking hours with no breaks, being threatened and abused, probably being paid $1 a century and a bowl of rice a day. People are trying to commit suicide. What do they do? Set up nets so they can't even kill themselves. They don't even have the right to death, let alone life.

We can regulate things here, say how wonderful we are, then outsource labor to other countries without said regulations. It's perfect. We can say we have a wonderful quality of life while stepping on other people's backs to obtain it. The problem lies at the core of humanity. It is ridiculous that we make all these rules, but make it OK to outsource tasks to places with little to no regulation. What the hell was the point of the regulation in the first place? So that it doesn't happen here, and we can shove the responsibility onto someone else.

A: "We think it is immoral to <insert something here>! makes illegal"

B: "Sir. Is it therefore illegal to go across this imaginary border ten steps away and outsource stuff to the people there who we know will do this highly immoral thing in the process?"

A: "Nope. Carry on!"

Henmii

#62

Henmii said:

That's just the way it goes: For every company the cheapest option is to produce the products in China, with their bad circumstances (for the employees). It's sad but true!

Grodus

#63

Grodus said:

I wanna joke and say "Who cares about rights? I want my console!" but I have to draw the line SOMEWHERE! Jeez, I feel like a total jerk even saying that. And I think companies should do something about this. I can't afford to pay more exactly, but I'll do what I must.

DarkNinja9

#64

DarkNinja9 said:

wow this is crazy i dont even know what side to take o_o but like im ok with 14-16 working on anything but them being threaten to keep working is were i go NO just cant do that <.< and those crazy hrs to work o_o pshh but at the same time i wouldnt want to pay a ton for a new product =/

Kagamine

#68

Kagamine said:

Ah, now after reading the article in full (I was on lunch break before) i see the problem. Also Thanks to @TBD for the information in the comments. It's really cruel that they were threatened with expulsion, I would do anything to avoid expulsion, they certainly know how to manipulate others.
@Robo-Goose It was all legal, i went through the city government in order to get the job, they were aware of all the conditons.

Demonic_St33V

#69

Demonic_St33V said:

I hate to say it.... But meh. I started working a real job at the age of 13, had my parents sign a release form for me so I could do it legally. Worked from the time I got out of school until midnight or 1AM. Worked for that company for 14 years total. When I finally quit, I had gone from being a manual labor grunt to being the IT and logistics manager.

Admittedly, unlike these kids in China, it was entirely by my own choice.

KingDunsparce

#70

KingDunsparce said:

It's terrible when things like this happen. As for those who think the children should quit if they don't like it, they obviously don't understand the situation. These people can't just leave. Their families are counting on them to provide what little money they get from these jobs.

Token_Girl

#71

Token_Girl said:

As sad as this is, it's really the tip of the iceberg. Electronics all use tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold. A large portion of those materials on the market are mined in the Congo by slaves who would envy working at Foxxconn. The money from selling these minerals fuel armed conflict in the country as well. It doesn't diminish this problem, but I wish more light would be shined on the bottom of the supply chain where the worst atrocities occur. I would be happy to pay more $$ for a conflict free computer.

Platypus

#73

Platypus said:

What Shworange said is correct. Right now, it would be impossible for a company to compete well if you manufactured in the US. The reforms would need to begin in China.

Drewroxsox

#74

Drewroxsox said:

I feel kinda bad about what I'm going to say (or type) , but I don't care to know where or who made my electronic. Sorry to the fifty-six interns who were exploited, and to all the people who work there and have no where else to go for work.

MAB

#75

MAB said:

@Token_Girl beat me to it ;) I don't think any of these people realize how many lives are taken just so they can have jewellery and crap like iphones and computers which get updated or disposed of on a yearly basis for next big piece of crap. I don't think ramping up costs will make it any better as that extra money will line the pockets of CEO's and managers or government officials. As long as we are locked into a world that requires us to wake-up to an alarm, turn on a TV, drive a car or take a bus/train to work, sit at a computer, talk on a phone, get that payola at the end of the week then I can ashore everyone that this will never get better anytime soon... Sad but true.

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