Send News. Want a reply? Read this. More in the FAQ.   News Forum - All Forums - Mobile - PDA - RSS Headlines  RSS Headlines   Twitter  Twitter
User Settings
LAN Parties
Upcoming one-time events:
Germany 08/31
Chicago, IL USA, IL 10/19

Regularly scheduled events

Morning Tech Bits

11. Re: Morning Tech Bits Jan 26, 2012, 07:52 Beamer
zirik wrote on Jan 26, 2012, 00:57:
Prez wrote on Jan 25, 2012, 17:48:
And it's not impossible to do it the US. It's just impossible to get away with making people into pitiful worker drones under abysmal conditions for next to no pay in the US as happens in China. Those pesky labor laws and such...

its also not fair to compare chinese workers to their US counterparts. china does not enforce laws protecting workers rights. the company i worked for recently outsourced jobs to china and india. their reason? $25 cost for the same hourly job in america is only $4 for china or india. why? because they dont need to provide any health or other types of benefits. no retirement fund to sustain or vacation time thats good as cash.

You're forgetting up-time, too. I spent a week visiting factories in Thailand. Most of them were 24/7/365. China can't promise that, due to Chinese New Year (two weeks off), but it comes close. Thailand is cheaper than China, though, has better infrastructure in many ways, treats its employees better, and doesn't have that downtime. Thailand is stealing a lot from China. But China still has the benefit of everything being over there so any form of adaptability is easy (the Apple article mentions that, when they switched to glass, they found a factory almost instantly that had an entire warehouse full of samples for them to play with for free.)

The craziest part about the Thai factories was comparing them to the ones my company has in the US. Our US factories are automated, in that we have a conveyor belt. The Thai ones? That would be too permanent and not allow flexibility, plus it costs millions to design and install. They just have people running things from one station to another. Wages are so low that this makes sense. It was mind blowing. From what I understand, though, it's a good wage, too. They aren't US wages, but it's a different economy. You can't simply pay US wages in a country like Thailand without blowing the economy up, but as China is learning wages do tend to rise quickly.

The shifts in Thailand were 12 hours, but there were 3 shifts that rotated, so people did a variation of 7 days on and 5 days off, give or take. The workers all lived a few hours outside of Bangkok, where the factories were, so they were given extra time off so that the trip made sense. Other than that they lived in barracks that I did not see.

I did see the barracks in one of the Chinese factories. A very depressing factory. The barracks were... bad. And a worker passed out in front of us. The owner, giving the tour, was mortified, feeling it reflected poorly upon him (it did, but not for the reasons he thought.) He then brought us to a five star restaurant on a nearby golf course in a hotel shaped like a castle, which was also unsettling. We saw what they were feeding workers only from a distance.

In Italy they let us eat with the workers, which was nice. The factory workers got free meals (to try to give them reason not to go out to lunch) that were of a better quality than any lunch I usually eat. Giant balls of mozzeralla for everyone! It was awesome.

China is getting there faster than I expected. I thought the government would hold the working class back forever, but it's changing. Not quickly, but there is change. Thailand is hard to judge. It seemed a much, much better situation, similar to China's but not repressive. It seemed like growth, and it seemed like everyone supported it rather than being forced into it. Can't say the same about the girls that were on every street and in every bar, but hey, Bangkok is creepier than even the stereotypes imply.

There are still some things the US would be good at manufacturing, even if these countries have the advantage of far more factories being nearby. We still send it overseas. Short sighted beyond belief.
Music for the discerning:
Previous Post Next Post Reply Quote Edit Delete Report
    Date Subject Author
  1. Jan 25, 13:51 Re: Morning Tech Bits Silicon Avatar
  2. Jan 25, 16:47  Re: Morning Tech Bits Leper
  3. Jan 25, 17:01   Re: Morning Tech Bits nin
  4. Jan 25, 17:10  Re: Morning Tech Bits Beamer
  5. Jan 25, 17:48   Re: Morning Tech Bits Prez
  7. Jan 25, 18:45    Re: Morning Tech Bits PHJF
  8. Jan 25, 19:14     Re: Morning Tech Bits space captain
  10. Jan 26, 01:03     Re: Morning Tech Bits zirik
  9. Jan 26, 00:57    Re: Morning Tech Bits zirik
>> 11. Jan 26, 07:52     Re: Morning Tech Bits Beamer
  6. Jan 25, 18:33 Re: Morning Tech Bits space captain


Blue's News logo