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Nintendo Investigating Underage Workers At Foxconn

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  • Re:Working at 14 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Friday October 19, 2012 @02:31AM (#41702339)

    Why is it such a big deal that there are 14 year olds at Foxconn?

    ..because a bunch of do-gooders think that its uncivilized. They equate child labor with forced labor.

    You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life. Allowing kids to work earlier brings them money but on the whole working at early age deprives them from development. At a younger age kids are easily influenced and will apparently consent to doing stuff they later regret. Civilised societies protect kids from taking risks they cannot oversee, like working too early in life. Sure, such regulations will not suit for an extremely small part of the population. Absence of such laws will however compromise a significant amount of kids and that will reflect onto society later on.

  • I am shocked... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2012 @03:05AM (#41702439)

    .... there's gambling going on in the casino!!!!

    I was in my boss's office in the late 80's (probably 1988) while he was having a conversation with an old friend who owned another company. Both were computer companies with all their manufacturing here in the US and both were facing a new wave of cheap imported computer products flooding in from Taiwan. The friend told my boss that he had gone to China with some other business men and had seen that US companies there were using labor delivered to their factories every day by the People's army and returned to their barracks by that same army... the army made sure they had the right number of workers every day, made sure they never stole anything, and there were simply no labor laws as long as the US firms kept the Army happy (which was easy back then). He then said that he saw no future in manufacturing consumer goods in the US and was going to shift his production to China. My boss, refused to join that tidal wave and as the years went by and the US generally (and California in particular) added regulation after regulation while taxing him heavily and not protecting him from the modern equivalent of slave labor he eventually closed his doors and all his US workers lost their jobs.

    Companies like Apple are the most evil entities in the US:

    1. They talk a good line about civil rights and the environment and they back more laws along these lines (in the US where those laws will impact any new upstart who tries to get going in a garage somewhere) while shifting their own production to places like China where none of the laws they embrace will apply to them; they hope their super-gullible customers will fixate on the next shiny bauble and not notice.

    2. They demand that the US government and courts protect their intellectual property rights from any infringement by the very same hard working taxpayers of the US who fund that government... while depriving them of jobs in the US and pushing down their wages (by using cheap Chinese labor both in competition with and as a replacement for US workers)

    3. They demand all the benefits of capitalism and free enterprise within the US, but then when supply and demand rules within that arena might drive-up their costs for things like engineering and manufacturing they escape from the US to a police-state with a demand-economy (which any small upstart cannot do)

  • by Seumas (6865) on Friday October 19, 2012 @07:34AM (#41703551)

    Foxconn's internal investigation came after a Chinese media report and New York-based China Labor Watch said students from the ages of 14 to 16 were interning at Foxconn's factory in the Chinese coastal city of Yantai. Chinese labor laws prohibit companies from recruiting workers under the age of 16.

    I'm not a non-interventionalist. I mean, I believe we insert ourselves into far more situations than we need to and should general stay the hell out, but not as a hard and strict rule. However, I have to ask . . . why is this our problem? China is massive. What are they, one and a half billion people, by now? While some places are just small backwoods villages, they also have some of the largest and most modern cities around. They have their own businesses, government, law, citizens, workers, and probably activists, lobbies, and unions. If they feel that they have a problem with the way businesses are treating their citizens -- and even taking into account the history of China's treatment of their own citizens and dissidents -- isn't that their problem? We're not talking about some little country with a defunct government that is controlled by warlords that is possessed by lawless anarchy.

    Because a business in another country sub-contracts business out to them, everyone is supposed to feel a great deal of guilt over something that their own businesses and government don't have a problem with? Are parents selling their children to Foxconn who then takes them away and locks them in rooms with chained and barred doors and forced into slave labor doing stuff that'll cause them to lose limbs and digits?

    Their own labor laws say they can't recruit workers under the age of sixteen (though I had my first job in America at 12 and my first real job at 14). So let their government and system of law deal with it. If you feel the reports are true, report it to their government.

  • by Christopher Fritz (1550669) on Friday October 19, 2012 @08:15AM (#41703811)

    For anyone who's unfamiliar with this, and is curious, Greenpeace has a Guide to Greener Electronics [greenpeace.org].

    [Greenpeace rep Casey Harrel] said in a Kotaku interview [kotaku.com.au], that Nintendo (as Kotaku writes, "barely even attempt to submit, or make available, the information Greenpeace require to make accurate judgements." According to Casey (I think; Kotaku suddenly uses the name Corey): "Nintendo consistently scores the poorest on our Guide to Greener Electronics primarily because they donâ(TM)t submit, nor have any publicly available information, on over half the criteria that we use to assess company performance on the Guide."

    In other words, Nintendo's "worst environmental record" is the equivalent of a database null. It's not "the worst", it's "unknown".

    For the information Nintendo does put out, Greenpeace's rep does note, "those that they do have answers for, are quite poor."

    In a response, Nintendo says [eurogamer.net], "We would like to assure customers that we take our environmental responsibilities seriously and are rigorous in our commitment to comply with all relevant laws relating to environmental and product safety, including avoiding the use of dangerous substances in our manufacturing processes and ensuring the safe disposal and recycling of materials."

    Whether one loves or hates a company, it's a bit difficult to fault their abysmal environmental record just because they didn't fill out a third party company's survey.

    Disclaimer: I'm a rational Nintendo fanboy. I love their products, but I can criticize Nintendo and their products as well.

  • Re:Working at 14 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2012 @08:21AM (#41703901)

    > You my lad will probably never grasp the idea that a brain needs to develop and needs to be fed with challenging ideas in order for it to reach a higher level of independence in later life.

    What a bunch of BS. Can you show any proof of your assumptions? namely:
    - that kids at the age of 14 are not fully developed yet.
    - that working shields you somehow from "challenging ideas".
    - that those "challenging ideas" make you reach "higher level of independence".
    - that there's no better (or at least alternative) way to reach "higher level of independence".
    - that what you mean by "higher level of independence" is good and desirable.

    No, you cannot, because they are just based on prejudice. Want to know a few things based on my experience?
    1. conventional education, and the bubble many parents fabricate for they children, actually shields them from the real world. You cannot be independent in life when you do not understand what real life is, because the closest thing you have to experience with the real world is what you have seen on TV.
    2. people that work and take responsibilities early on are, indeed, more independent and responsible, by virtue of being educated into being so.
    3. The reason for kids taking risks they cannot oversee is not that they have a little money, but that they parents do not take the time to talk with them, and do not build a relationship with them on the basis of trust. If your kids do trust their friends better than you, imagine who are they going to ask about drugs?

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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