The first two questions may need a little time to get an answer, as for the third;
There is no child labor in our factory, with workers ranging from 18- to 34-years old.
Other information about working conditions and wages of our assembly workers can be found in this post from @Mike, answering some questions from @Eldr:
First time posting a topic so let me know if I’m doing it wrong or if this conversation has happened elsewhere.
Hi. I’m Mike. One of the core members of the company, I’ll address your questions one by one.
Firstly, nothing wrong in posting this. Absolutely fine & congrats, you made your first post
Was wondering if there had been any discussion or info shared on the working conditions and wages of those who will be assembling the device?
There has been, but not in the community. We’ve spoken about this topic in depth with the insiders but that was ages ago. Its good to clarify these questions once again, publicly.
Are the suppliers at all transparent on such issues and do they offer any certification that they meet or exceed all industry regulations?
As there are tens of thousands of suppliers, some are naturally more transparent than others. But truth be told, you can see it easily when you walk in a factory and take a look at people in the production lines:
- do they tired or normal?
- sad or happy?
- are they healthy or sick?
and so on. Common sense works here.
We’ve never seen any abuse or child labor on any of the factories in this project. However we have seen some not so nice stuff when we started building our supply chain from the bottom of the “food chain”.
Are there any existing international industry standards that could be used to determine what is acceptable and what is not since laws vary between countries and regions?
There are some international labor laws, such as ILO, treaties and so on. The thing is we are a small time customer to big factories and we have no means to affect how they conduct their business.
One important thing to understand in the discussion is that mostly (according my my experience) things are just fine at the factories. Media brings out the small amount of extemely bad situations (like suicides in foxconn).
These megacorporations like foxconn grown out of hand and on some things, extreme results happen.
We also have to remember foxconn employs more than a million people, and statistically (suicides once again as an example) the suicide rate might not at all be bigger than within the general population.
Bottom line is: the conditions are good or “all right” in majority of the factories, but not all of them.
If we ever see anything violating human rights, we WILL interfere and rectify the situation or change the supplier and notify the authorities.
The media here in the states has made it seem as though device manufactures rely heavily on the exploitation of workers, through sub-standard wages and unsafe work environments, to provide us all with cheap electronics. Is this a reality or not?
As I detailed above, the media talks about what makes you click the headline. Think about a headline “everything normal at Eve’s contract manufacturer” - not so sexy?
I had this suspicion in my mind too when I started sourcing in China, but was positively surprised.
Many workers come from very poor areas of china and the factory job is way for them to help their families and save up money to return back to their home provinces. Many times the workers them selves WANT to do overtime, because they view their job as a periodical phase in their lives: they work 1 to 5 years and after they habe saved enough money, they go back to homw province, buy a house, get married and start a family.
Each year roughly 30-40% of the factory workers don’t come back to the factory after the chinese new year’s holidays.
being transparent with consumers about it’s manufacturing process
Indeed, we will show you guys videos from the factories once the production starts so you can see it yourself
I personally would pay a premium for a device that I know is made by people who are fairly paid for their work and are provided a safe workplace. Does anyone else feel the same?
The factories we work with are partly the same as with the big names, partly smaller time guys. Factory workers salaries are on a constant rise and currently between 4000-5000 rmb (roughly 650 euros). This sounds like a little but is a very standard salary in China for anybody not able to speak english / no education. To put into context, salaries are not higher in many poorer countries of the EU (Greece, Romania, etc…)
We are high moral guys and I could not live with myself if I knew other people suffer just for us to make a cent on the dollar more.
I don’t think you have to worry about this thing
I hope this answers all your questions!