Foxconn Working Conditions Violate Labor Protection Laws and Contribute to Worker Suicides, While Foxconn Replaces Human With Robots

Concerned Residents of Mount Pleasant need to be aware that Foxconn has proven itself to be an irresponsible Corporation which actively exploits it’s workers, pays substandard wages, demands excessive overtime, often breaks it’s promises, and seeks to replace  Human workers with Robots. It is NOT a good fit for Mount Pleasant, WI and should look elsewhere for the slave wage labor it demands.

From The Guardian:

Foxconn’s $10bn move to the US is not a reason to celebrate

The company doesn’t have a great track record of keeping its job-creation promises, for one. Then there’s the issue of worker conditions in China

The announcement by the Taiwanese giant Foxconn that it will build an LCD-manufacturing facility in Wisconsin worth an estimated $10bn was met with considerable fanfare.

But the state has a troubled history in matters of economic development, and the company, a supplier to Apple, Google, Amazon and other tech giants, has a lackluster record when it comes to fulfilling its promises. The news should raise red flags.

The deal, backers say, will create 13,000 jobs in six years – in return for a reported $3bn in state subsidies. Only 3,000 of those jobs will come immediately. Furthermore, the Washington Post has reported that Foxconn has a track record of breaking such job-creation promises. In 2013, the company announced plans to hire 500 people and invest $30m in Pennsylvania. The plan fizzled out.

Cautionary tales

Foxconn investment agreements in Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil failed to deliver completely. In India, for example, the company promised made in 2014 to invest $5bn over five years, creating 50,000 jobs. According to the Washington Post, reality has fallen far short. Workplace safety concerns will also dog the Wisconsin project; recent “right to work” legislation will affect worker-company relations.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is a participant in the Foxconn deal. During Walker’s brief presidential run, it was dogged by questions over failed loans. Businessman and Republican donor Ron Van Den Heuvel was indicted for fraudulently borrowing $700,000 from a local bank. Months after WEDC was created in 2011 the agency, then led by Walker, lent him more than $1.2m, without performing a background check.

Likewise, the state’s manufacturing and agriculture tax credit has been widely criticized as a simple refund for millionaires, according to the Wisconsin Budget Project (WBP) nearly “wiping out income taxes for manufacturers and agricultural producers”.

Six states were reportedly negotiating with Foxconn. Pointing to property tax breaks and job-training costs, Joe Peacock of the Wisconsin Budget Project warned that the total cost of winning the race could exceed $3bn. Similar deals, he said, often end up as a “zero-sum game” for states.

Also from The Guardian:

Life and death in Apple’s forbidden city

In an extract from his new book, Brian Merchant reveals how he gained access to Longhua, the vast complex where iPhones are made and where, in 2010, unhappy workers started killing themselves.

Today, the iPhone is made at a number of different factories around China, but for years, as it became the bestselling product in the world, it was largely assembled at Foxconn’s 1.4 square-mile flagship plant, just outside Shenzhen. The sprawling factory was once home to an estimated 450,000 workers. Today, that number is believed to be smaller, but it remains one of the biggest such operations in the world. If you know of Foxconn, there’s a good chance it’s because you’ve heard of the suicides. In 2010, Longhua assembly-line workers began killing themselves. Worker after worker threw themselves off the towering dorm buildings, sometimes in broad daylight, in tragic displays of desperation – and in protest at the work conditions inside. There were 18 reported suicide attempts that year alone and 14 confirmed deaths. Twenty more workers were talked down by Foxconn officials.

The epidemic caused a media sensation – suicides and sweatshop conditions in the House of iPhone. Suicide notes and survivors told of immense stress, long workdays and harsh managers who were prone to humiliate workers for mistakes, of unfair fines and unkept promises of benefits.

The corporate response spurred further unease: Foxconn CEO, Terry Gou, had large nets installed outside many of the buildings to catch falling bodies. The company hired counsellors and workers were made to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves.

“It’s not a good place for human beings,” says one of the young men, who goes by the name Xu. He’d worked in Longhua for about a year, until a couple of months ago, and he says the conditions inside are as bad as ever. “There is no improvement since the media coverage,” Xu says. The work is very high pressure and he and his colleagues regularly logged 12-hour shifts. Management is both aggressive and duplicitous, publicly scolding workers for being too slow and making them promises they don’t keep, he says. His friend, who worked at the factory for two years and chooses to stay anonymous, says he was promised double pay for overtime hours but got only regular pay. They paint a bleak picture of a high-pressure working environment where exploitation is routine and where depression and suicide have become normalised.

“It wouldn’t be Foxconn without people dying,” Xu says. “Every year people kill themselves. They take it as a normal thing.”

“They call Foxconn a fox trap,” he says. “Because it tricks a lot of people.” He says Foxconn promised them free housing but then forced them to pay exorbitantly high bills for electricity and water. The current dorms sleep eight to a room and he says they used to be 12 to a room. But Foxconn would shirk social insurance and be late or fail to pay bonuses. And many workers sign contracts that subtract a hefty penalty from their pay if they quit before a three-month introductory period.

On top of that, the work is gruelling. “You have to have mental management,” says Xu, otherwise you can get scolded by bosses in front of your peers. Instead of discussing performance privately or face to face on the line, managers would stockpile complaints until later. “When the boss comes down to inspect the work,” Xu’s friend says, “if they find any problems, they won’t scold you then. They will scold you in front of everyone in a meeting later.”

“It’s insulting and humiliating to people all the time,” his friend says. “Punish someone to make an example for everyone else. It’s systematic,” he adds. In certain cases, if a manager decides that a worker has made an especially costly mistake, the worker has to prepare a formal apology. “They must read a promise letter aloud – ‘I won’t make this mistake again’– to everyone.”

 

 

While Forbes reports on just WHY Foxconn is moving out of China –

Latest Foxconn Worker Deaths Build Case For Apple To Move Operations From China

As Dou reports, a Foxconn worker was struck and hit by a train on his way to work on August 19. Why was he struck?

 Well…
These deaths once again shine a light on Foxconn’s harsh working conditions, in which poor factory workers are paid measly wages and forced to work overtime — sometimes 14 hours a day, seven days a week — to build Apple products.

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While Facing Finance, which calls on investors not to invest in companies profiting from violations of human rights, environmental pollution, corruption or the production of controversial weapons, describes the horrors of actual Foxconn working conditions:

Foxconn: Working Conditions in Chinese Factories

The Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., (also known by its trading name, Foxconn), has been accused of violating labour rights for many years.They keep their employees in overcrowded dormitories run by military-like security forces. People work excessive hours, often with no compensation for overtime, which the company claims is done voluntarily. Management controls every aspect of workers’ lives, interfering with their privacy. The concept of privacy is even an illusion, as up to 24 people share a room in huge blockhouses.

Foxconn employs about 1.2 million workers in China. In Shenzhen and Chengdu, a combined Foxconn workforce of 500,000 provides labour for Apple Inc. Violations against workers have already been widely reported over the last decade. However, in recent years these issues have drawn more attention from international media and human rights organisations as there have been a number of suicides and frequent riots in Chinese Foxconn factories.[1]

Meanwhile, technologically illiterate Wisconsin Politicians don’t realize that Foxconn is already replacing taxpaying Humans with tax-free Robots.

From Fortune:

iPhone Maker Foxconn Has Replaced 60,000 Human Jobs with Robots

The biggest manufacturer of Apple (aapl) products is going to replace human workers with robots.

Foxconn (fxcny) has cut 60,000 jobs historically reserved for humans and is in the process of replacing them with robots, according to the BBC and the South China Morning Post.

The factory has “reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots,” according to Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, in an interview with the Post. He added, “More companies are likely to follow suit.”

The news comes days after Foxconn’s founder Terry Gou said there be layoffs at Japanese company Sharp, which makes displays for electronics, to turn it around.

Foxconn added in a statement to the BBC that it is automating numerous jobs that have historically been filled by human workers.

 

The Danger is Real as the Potentially Unconstitutional FOXCONN “Corporate Person” is Granted Superior Rights to the Natural Person by Legislative Decree

h/t JT Irregulars

“Fallone: Foxconn deal tips scales of justice in Wisconsin”

“Our system of justice rests upon two pillars: equal treatment and independent judgment.  Every person who appears before our state courts expects to be treated equally to every other litigant.  In addition, all parties to a lawsuit expect to have their cases heard by judges who are free to exercise their own independent judgment.  Recently, the state Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker approved legislation — a $3 billion package luring Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen TV factory in Racine County — that seriously undermines these two fundamental principles.

“The principle of equal treatment commands that the same rules should apply to all parties appearing before the court.  No one should receive special status.  It is true that the two sides in a case might not be evenly matched, and that one might have more financial resources or a more skilled legal team.  But, even then, both parties in the case should be subject to the same set of laws and procedures and have the same opportunity to argue that the law supports their claim.

“The Foxconn legislation creates special treatment for Foxconn whenever the corporation is sued in Wisconsin courts.  The law forces the Wisconsin Supreme Court to directly take appeals involving ‘Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zones’ (EITM) from the circuit courts. By law there is only one such zone, and that zone is soon to be home to Foxconn. Typically, the high court would hear appeals at its discretion, and then only after the case was heard by an intermediate court.

“The reason for placing cases involving Foxconn on a ‘fast-track’ to the Wisconsin Supreme Court should be obvious.  That Court has a majority of Justices who were elected with the financial support of Wisconsin’s largest trade and manufacturing lobbyists.  The drafters of the legislation expect these justices to be sympathetic to the concerns of manufacturers such as Foxconn.

Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/11/06/foxconn-deal-tips-scales-justice-wisconsin/838140001/

From the Journal/Sentinel:

MADISON – GOP lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker may have gone too far in dictating how courts should handle any potential litigation over a massive flat-screen factory planned for Racine County, the Legislature’s nonpartisan attorneys have found.

The memo from the Wisconsin Legislative Council didn’t come to definite conclusions but found several provisions of the legislation for Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan and its plant may be unconstitutional.

The provisions could give opponents of the Foxconn deal more lines of attack in litigation — and potentially drive up the cost to taxpayers for defending the state in court.

The law signed by Walker on Monday changes how environmental challenges and other potential legal cases over the factory would be handled, including automatically suspending any lower court orders until a higher court has weighed in.

The eight-page analysis highlights this provision among the areas of concern, saying the decision on whether to suspend rulings could be seen as a core power of the court system.

“A court could hold that the provision is unconstitutional if it finds that this provision violates the judiciary’s independence in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsibilities,” the memo reads.

The text of the entire Memo from the Wisconsin Legislative Council may be accessed by clicking on the link below:

foxconn_legcouncil

Below is a screen shot taken from page 1 (of 8) from the above referenced Memo.

Foxconn represents a Corporate special interest which will be granted, via legislative decree, special rights superior to those of the natural person and is not a good fit for Mount Pleasant Residents, the environment, taxpayers, or Wisconsin.

Just say NO to Foxconn  along with heavy metals water pollution, slave labor wages, excessive taxpayer funded subsidies, loss of Farm Land & Green Space, Corporate Greed, Special Rights, and Politician Overreach!

Don’t let this happen to MTP!

I went back to Ohio
But my pretty countryside
Had been paved down the middle
By a government that had no pride
The farms of Ohio
Had been replaced by shopping malls
And Muzak filled the air
From Seneca to Cuyahoga falls
Said, a, o, oh way to go Ohio

The Foxconn Scam!

Is Foxconn and 13,000 jobs truly coming to Mount Pleasant? Well, the Politicians and politically connected Pundits say YES – but Foxconn has a way of scamming politicians and communities. Remember that the promised construction jobs are only temporary – and lead to high unemployment after the work is done.

NO Foxconn in Racine County

From Racine County EYE:

Foxconn, WEDC agreement expected this week

Foxconn Technology Group will bring up to 13,000 new jobs — 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

There you have it – MAYBE 3,000 permanent jobs – yet not one has been created – no employees have been hired – no wages or taxes have been paid – and even the land acquisition for the manufacturing facility has not been purchased. The 10,000 construction jobs are only temporary and will lead to high unemployment afterwards; something which Southeast Wisconsin has become accustomed to.  In other words – it is still all a great big ZERO. Actually it is LESS THAN ZERO, as the Politicians have promised $3B in incentives, tax increases, Tax shifting via TIF’s, a possible new County Sales Tax,  and the creation of a new unelected new taxing authority,  – a RTA! (Regional Transit Authority)

In addition, there are still hurdles to overcome with the land acquisition – while Foxconn also has a habit of backing out of deals, meaning that the likelihood of the manufacturing facility ever being built continues to diminish. It may all be a part of a Donald Trump plan to assist a failed Governor – Scott Walker – in getting re-elected – along with Paul Ryan, Robin Vos and David DeGroot.

From: Talking Racine discusses Fox-conn. The relocation of over 100 residents of Mt Pleasant to the environmental impact it will have on our area to the official contract that will not be available to the public until after it’s signed.We bring the perspective down to the local level to discuss issues that affect our own city of Racine, WI.

Remember that Governor Scott Walker promised to bring 250,000 new jobs to Wisconsin – a failed promise – now he promises 13,000 – yet 10,000 are deemed “temporary” by the Employer, Foxconn – while the other 3,000 which have not yet appeared are promised to start in 2020 – 3 years away.

WHERE ARE THE JOBS GOVERNOR WALKER? (They are MISSING!)

From: Politifact Wisconsin:

Gov. Scott Walker fell short when it came to his top 2010 campaign promise — that the state would add 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term.

But he would have finished much closer had there been four years with the jobs growth seen in 2014 — especially the final four months of the year.

State employers added an estimated 53,400 jobs in 2014, pushing the total for his four-year term to 146,795. That’s about 59 percent of the total Walker promised as a candidate.

For our tally, we use the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, which surveys nearly all state businesses, to get the most accurate picture for Walker’s first three full years in office. We combine that with monthly survey data — which comes from reports gathered from a small percentage of state businesses — to provide the most up-to-date picture for where things stand.

We declared the jobs Promise Broken in September 2014, when it became clear that it would be mathematically impossible to achieve the promise.

Governor Scott Walker, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and Mount Pleasant Village President David DeGroot are all depending on the smoke and mirrors of a moribund promise of future jobs to maintain their elected status; a tainted promise which will never materialize.

Talk is…. cheap!