General Labor and Union Studies Essay

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Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories

By CHARLES DUHIGG and NICK WINGFIELD

Published in New York Times February 13, 2012

Apple is one of the most recognized brands in electronics. The creativity of technical expertise augmented with the strategic leadership has made Apple a brand everyone wants to be associated with. The case presented in the article deals with the outcry of inappropriate working conditions in the Apple manufacturing units located in China.

Owing to high scale globalization many multinational corporations are locating their manufacturing units in the under developed or developing countries, as in these areas they can have cheap labor, less tariffs or taxations and above all less regulations and government interventions. Apple being a multinational corporation of America is also pursuing its desire of attaining cheap labor and relaxed regulations by setting up its manufacturing unit in China. The Apple is accused of violation the decorum of work condition at its manufacturing facility located at Shenzhen also known as Foxconn city. The plant at Foxconn city is the largest manufacturing unit of Apple with 230,000 employees that are reported to be exposed to hostile working conditions and long working hours by the human rights advocates.

Owing to the increasing criticism Apple announced this January that they are collaborating with the Fail Labor Association and allowing them a free and unrestricted excess in their manufacturing facility so as to ensure that no labor harassment is being done in China. This subject of Apple and FLA collaboration is grabbing a lot of attention mainly because of the brand name of Apple.

Apple today is the trend setter of the entire electronic industry across the world and if they open there ways to an authorized and unrestricted audit by Fair Labor Association than other electronic devices companies that are outsourcing the similar suppliers as Apple would be in subtle crisis. Other than Apple many companies are being criticized for the similar stance of poor work conditions but the reason why the issue is more than criticism for Apple. The market value of Apple equates the combined value of Google and Microsoft and perhaps is the richest.

The performance and assessment of Fair Labor Association will be published on their official website as authorized by Apple. The point of argument narrows down when Apple allows an outsider auditor committee to pursue the audit so that the primary and the secondary stakeholders can be satisfied. Furthermore by the allowance of this act Apple will also be able to maintain its image. Today Apple has captured the mind share of the entire technology savvy target market, but by its corporation with FLA it will also be able to grab the heart share of the target markets as well as the human right advocates along with its 700000 overseas workers.

ARTICLE 2

Inequality

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

Inequality and growing income disparity is an unwanted by product of globalization. The American society although considered civilized and well managed is also facing the issues like inadequate distribution of wealth. The reason why the writer associates the income inequality in America with globalization is mainly because of the outsourcing of cheap labor from developing countries. As the matter of stated reality the middle level jobs of America are being offshore mainly on account of global trends and an urge of cheap labor. The point to ponder here is the dramatically increasing disparity within America.

America beyond all doubts is ever rated as a country that has a tendency to attract the fortune. But owing to the present state of its labor market the graduates are underemployed and in some cases unemployed and the workforce availability is shrinking. These consequences are making American less competitive and a major portion of their job and labor market is still waiting for the opportunities to bulge up. The disparity in American society has increased to that an extent that the American top class is now as less as 1%, this 1% are the influencers and the privileged. The writer has written it appropriately "but now we're doing inequality on a world-class level." The striving middle class of America might be looking for alternatives to eradicate inequality but the fact is the rich 1% wants it that way. The sardonic inequality prevailing in the American society has been viewed as the consequence of wealth accumulation that ultimately drives to the lust of power.

America has long been regarded as the paragon of fair and just society but the statistics presents an alarming contrast of the American society in the modern era. The chances of a middle class making its way through the top class are negligible and the expanding disparity is a teaser for the entire nation. The lion's share in wealth goes to the 1% of the rich class and wealth begets power and more wealth. There is a noted multiplier effect on the economy due to the increasing inequality that is trickling down to the masses that are not a part of the top 1%. The upper 1% of Americans is taking approximately 40% of the nation's wealth, if we consider the statistics two decades back the corresponding figure were 12% top class was taking a 33% of the nation's wealth.

The writer concludes that the top 1% is causing the reaming 99% to suffer but the actions and rebellion if demonstrated by the middle class will dominate the power of the top 1%.

ARTICLE 3

How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

By CHARLES DUHIGG and KEITH BRADSHER

Published in New York Times January 21, 2012

The writer sets off the article with a very prudent episode at the Silicon Valley, when Mr. Obama posed a question by interrupting Steve Jobs that "what would it take to make iPhones in the United States? ." This question represents the concern of the American president over the veining unemployment in United States and more and more jobs being off shored to the other countries. The answer that Steve Jobs came up with was simple yet thought provoking, he explicitly replied, "Those jobs aren't coming back," This small epitome is the burning question for the American Policy makers. The explicit reply of the successful and world acknowledged entrepreneur is a symptom to dramatic turn over of jobs from America.

If we reconsider the factors that drive the jobs and production facilities out of America that the fact will be astonishing that it is not just that the Apple is striving to meet its challenge of cost cutting by acquiring cheap labor by outsourcing but there are other augmented benefits acquired by Apple by manufacturing facility outsourcing . Traits like flexible working conditions, the diligent workforce and the ever enhancing industrial skills of the foreign labor market is the major factor that has detached America from its equivalebtes from the race of being technically a part of Apple manufacturing and designing. The writer hereby narrates "Made in the U.S.A." is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.

Apple has a rationale to back this argument of labor flexibility and authenticity oversees as compared to in house American style of working. The concerned authorities at the Apple have been reportedly mounting that the manufacturing facility at China offers authenticity and flexibility. An account narrated in the similar regard by the company executive states that Apple had to once rely on the factory located in China for up gradation of an iPhone that was due in shelves within a week. The basic modification in the iPhone model was the installation of new screen that reach the factory by midnight. Without giving the entire revamping process a second thought the foreman at the manufacturing facility gathered eight thousand workers and after a session training they were all set to work and the plant stated producing 10000 iPhone a day. This exemplary flexibility is the foremost requirement of a successful industry. Apart from Apple many other electronic firms have also engaged in the similar procedures and this flexibility and diligence is what they regard the bottom line of manufacturing. So such manufacturing unit has ever been witnessed in America. This can be an agile aggregation of capitalism at its peak but today the organizations strive for the survival of the fittest.

ARTICLE 4

Come On, China, Buy Our Stuff!

Published in New York Times January 25, 2012

The market of China is considered as the potential market for a lot of international companies. China has always been a center of attention as the manufacturing facilities of all the leading world class products are located in China. The product and services rendered by Chinese labor market excels in the peculiar expertise and flexible labor skills. It is often conceived that the consumer market of China is also a potential market to tap. But this stance has repeatedly failed for many American and European products that were launched in anticipation of huge profits in China.

Many international products stepped…[continue]

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