Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Apple Faced With Protesters in Taipei

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Apple has come under fire in Taiwan from labor activists.

No, Apple isn’t being targeted directly, rather the group of protesters currently making noise at Apple is trying to get at Wintek, one of Apple’s suppliers.

According to the GlobalPost, labor activists have accused flat-panel maker Wintek of exploiting workers at its factories in Taiwan as well as in its subsidiary's factory in China. GP reports that after months of negotiations, Wintek has not fully addressed the group’s demands, so they're taking their campaign to one of its high-profile customers, Apple.

The labor groups claim that Wintek cut salaries and fired hundreds of workers without warning at the end of 2008. They also allege that the company made employees work unpaid overtime in order to complete orders on time.

Wintek is denying the whole thing and told the GlobalPost in an email that Wintek posted record net losses in 2008, and was forced to institute "cost-saving measures." However, the Wintek statement said that the company provided laid off staff with unemployment packages and said that all policies are in line with local law.

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    ADM-86 , May 22, 2009 5:32 PM
    No, Apple isn’t being targeted directly, rather the group of protesters currently making noise at Apple is trying to get at Wintek, one of Apple’s suppliers.

    .....misleading title very stupid and cheap trick.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    ADM-86 , May 22, 2009 5:32 PM
    No, Apple isn’t being targeted directly, rather the group of protesters currently making noise at Apple is trying to get at Wintek, one of Apple’s suppliers.

    .....misleading title very stupid and cheap trick.
  • 0 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , May 22, 2009 5:38 PM
    Those "labor activists" in Taiwan aren't workers at all. They don't work one day and perform as professional protesters since their were in college. I've been with these people when I was young and naive and since then I have extremely low regard to these people. They'd rather the companies to fail and everybody's dirt poor, instead of seeing companies to survive in bad times and seeking other method to protect labor rights. Most Taiwanese, I'd say 99% and above, would like to see Taiwanese companies to survive instead of going bankrupt.
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    mavroxur , May 22, 2009 5:39 PM
    So....we're talking about unfair labor practices in China? That's like singling out a piece of grass because it's green.
  • 1 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , May 22, 2009 5:51 PM
    mavroxurSo....we're talking about unfair labor practices in China? That's like singling out a piece of grass because it's green.


    Foreign companies in China are constantly targeted by labor inspectors from central, provincial or even county level bureaucracy. Current Chinese labor law is regarded quite protective even by Chinese standard. However, most labor abuses in China actually comes from government-owned enterprises or Chinese companies who have good connections. People simply don't stand a chance against People's Armed Police doing their cracking down on "riots."
  • -8 Hide
    norbs , May 22, 2009 5:53 PM
    Jane McEntegart never fails to find any news something against apple, thanks again for the unbiased news I come here for.
  • 2 Hide
    pharge , May 22, 2009 6:10 PM
    mavroxurSo....we're talking about unfair labor practices in China? That's like singling out a piece of grass because it's green.


    Yes and No.

    For the people got laid off by Wintek, yes.

    But the protest took place in Taiwan which is under a totally different government system and totally different sets of laws.
  • 1 Hide
    dark_lord69 , May 22, 2009 6:10 PM
    Apple, you either love them or love to hate them.
    I am the latter.
  • 1 Hide
    pharge , May 22, 2009 6:14 PM
    oops sorry mistype...

    The people got laid off in China may fit mavroxur's point.

    But the people got laid off in Taiwan and the protestors are under a totally different government system and a set of totally different laws.

    Things in Taiwan are supposed to be much closer to the States than China... business is business... who knows...
  • -3 Hide
    JMcEntegart , May 22, 2009 6:40 PM
    ADM-86No, Apple isn’t being targeted directly, rather the group of protesters currently making noise at Apple is trying to get at Wintek, one of Apple’s suppliers......misleading title very stupid and cheap trick.


    I'm sorry if you feel 'tricked' but that wasn't my intention. Really.
  • 0 Hide
    Nakecat , May 22, 2009 6:43 PM
    That's the big difference between US and Taiwan. Unlike UAW, people in Taiwan are WILLING to work unpaid overtime and hope the company to get better in future. They are welling to take cut in salaries as long as they have a JOB. Even i'm not living in Taiwan now, lot of my friends are doing the same thing there.
  • -1 Hide
    seboj , May 22, 2009 6:54 PM
    nakecatThat's the big difference between US and Taiwan. Unlike UAW, people in Taiwan are WILLING to work unpaid overtime and hope the company to get better in future. They are welling to take cut in salaries as long as they have a JOB. Even i'm not living in Taiwan now, lot of my friends are doing the same thing there.


    Willing or forced? The article would seem to suggest the latter.
  • 0 Hide
    IzzyCraft , May 22, 2009 7:06 PM
    willing to work unpaid overtime or forced to work unpaid overtime or else you are "layed off" due to not making orders on time we had to cut a few people :) 
  • 0 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , May 22, 2009 7:13 PM
    sebojWilling or forced? The article would seem to suggest the latter.


    Willing or not, work overtime without payment is illegal, and employers can take serious risk if they allow so. Many now work late because they WANT overtime payment. Some take stock option and want the company profitable. Others want to climb higher in the hierarchy. Some stay late simply because he doesn't want to see his nagging wife. Some want to retire at their 40s and enjoy the rest of their lives on their savings. Also, generally, willing to stay late is regarded as good work ethics. The work ethics, mentality and methodology are simply different between NE Asian and While people. Don't judge other people from your own perspective.
  • 0 Hide
    seboj , May 22, 2009 7:22 PM
    Quote:
    Willing or not, work overtime without payment is illegal, and employers can take serious risk if they allow so.


    Agreed.

    Quote:
    Many now work late because they WANT overtime payment. Some take stock option and want the company profitable. Others want to climb higher in the hierarchy. Some stay late simply because he doesn't want to see his nagging wife. Some want to retire at their 40s and enjoy the rest of their lives on their savings. Also, generally, willing to stay late is regarded as good work ethics. The work ethics, mentality and methodology are simply different between NE Asian and While people.


    I don't see what that ^ tangent has to do with being forced to work unpaid overtime. This isn't an article on people wanting to move up the corporate ladder, it's about unfair labor practices.

    But hey, I'm just a white guy from the U.S. What do I know?
  • -1 Hide
    Sicundercover , May 22, 2009 7:55 PM
    Not suprising. Apple loves to use slave labor suppliers. One of their other suppliers Foxconn has had many of the same issues.
  • 1 Hide
    deathblooms2k1 , May 22, 2009 8:25 PM
    ADM-86No, Apple isn’t being targeted directly, rather the group of protesters currently making noise at Apple is trying to get at Wintek, one of Apple’s suppliers......misleading title very stupid and cheap trick.


    I have a Tom's Hardware News RSS feed that I use to frequently check the articles. It gets increasingly annoying to click on these articles that have nothing to do with their nice juicy titles. In this situation I read the title and thought to myself "this title is probably misleading" sure enough the first paragraph denounces the articles title, so I said screw it skipped the rest of the article and scrolled down to see if any commentators noticed the same, sure enough the first comment reflects my feelings. So I know I'm not alone in this.

    I used to come to toms for hardware information and the GPU/CPU charts then I got into checking the news. It's becoming harder to do that with articles like this. It's clear that toms knows it's audience but I think that's becoming problematic. It seems like news articles are spun to reflect views that they know the readers will agree with or want to see rather then just posting straight and to the point news. The title of this article should of been "Wintek faced with protestors in TaiPei", I'll concede the article probably wouldn't get half as many hits that way based on Toms audience, however half of us who did click on it wouldn't have felt cheated after reading the first paragraph.

    Plenty of other news tech sites out there, rather then find a new one I'm selfish and just hope that Toms turns around.
  • 3 Hide
    curnel_D , May 22, 2009 8:29 PM
    ADM-86No, Apple isn’t being targeted directly, rather the group of protesters currently making noise at Apple is trying to get at Wintek, one of Apple’s suppliers......misleading title very stupid and cheap trick.

    This site is one of the best about not producing misleading titles to get hit counts. So give it a rest, at least at this article which honestly doesnt do it at all unless you really strain for it.
  • 0 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , May 22, 2009 8:47 PM
    sebojThis isn't an article on people wanting to move up the corporate ladder, it's about unfair labor practices. But hey, I'm just a white guy from the U.S. What do I know?


    Lay off is not unfair labor practice. According to Taiwanese law, employers need to pay certain amount of money. For a white guy from the US, you probably don't know that Taiwan is actually more socialist than the US and China at the moment: college education is cheap, universal health care and now nationalized pension fund (which will bankrupt ROC government in about 10 years).
  • 0 Hide
    seboj , May 22, 2009 8:56 PM
    chaohsiangchenLay off is not unfair labor practice. According to Taiwanese law, employers need to pay certain amount of money. For a white guy from the US, you probably don't know that Taiwan is actually more socialist than the US and China at the moment: college education is cheap, universal health care and now nationalized pension fund (which will bankrupt ROC government in about 10 years).


    Man, here I thought I was talking about:

    Quote:
    They also allege that the company made employees work unpaid overtime in order to complete orders on time.


    Glad you could set this white boy right.
  • 0 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , May 22, 2009 10:31 PM
    sebojMan, here I thought I was talking about:Glad you could set this white boy right.


    I've been on overtime without payment as illegal practice in Taiwan many times already. They could sue the company if they have proof. Apparently, they don't have it. News reports in Taiwan is focused on laid off workers, not unsubstantial allegations.

    WinTek is targeted simply because its situation now looks good under this bear market rally. This is essentially a blackmail action by certain fringe labor activist organization in Taiwan.
Display more comments