From: Jonathan Kirwan
Subject: Re: Examples Of Common MCU's In Consumer Electronics?
References: <email@example.com> <3D7F8BFF.5CC55B23@xympatico.ca>
X-Newsreader: Forte Agent 1.92/32.572
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 21:48:43 GMT
Organization: AT&T Broadband
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 21:48:43 GMT
On Wed, 11 Sep 2002 19:57:33 GMT, "Spehro Pefhany"
>In comp.arch.embedded Jonathan Kirwan wrote:
>> Workers' faces (mostly women) were silent, eyes downcast, limbs moving
>> quickly and robotically.
>Ever been in a needle trade "schmattas" factory in North America? They
>call them sweatshops for a reason.
I've seen films of them, years ago. Didn't know they still operated
quite like that, today. Do they still? If so, where?
>> The report talked about a notorious "36 hour
>> shift" where they must continuously work for a day and a half without
>> going home.
>Sounds extreme. Presumably they get a nap.
No nap. That point was clearly made. The word, "continuously", I
chose to purposely reflect the report's contentions.
>> When the reporter, acting as a London fashion buyer in
>> 2001, asked about his concerns, should he should want to place a
>> last-minute order, he is told that "we'd just make the workers stay
>> I seem to recall the reporter saying that the wage was 72 pence/day.
>> I think that was about US$1, or so.
>Very low, but the rupiah has been in the toilet (around 10,000/USD) since
>the Asian meltdown in 98 (and not-so-coincidentally when they started
>murdering ethnic Chinese- hated for similar reasons to why Jewish people
>were hated in Europe). It's a high risk, relatively high cost (import
>duties, baksheesh and other corruption etc.) environment, IMHO. This is a
>country that outsources it's customs collection to foreigners in order to
>control corruption. Foreign investors probably want to see their capital
>cost covered in 12 months to risk it.
In Indonesia, murdering Chinese didn't start in '98. There was quite
a slaughter of "communist" people in '65 and '66 -- over a million, by
many accounts I've read. Suharto actually banned Chinese surnames,
I've read. He also had, over some time, some 200,000 killed in East
Timor, nearly a third of the population there. This last was the
conclusion of an exhaustive investigation by the foreign affairs
committee of the Australian Parliment, a few years ago. And in august
1997, an internal World Bank report (written in Jakarta) was
disclosed, revealing that "at least 20 to 30 percent" of the World
Bank loans were diverted by Suharto through informal payments to
Indonesian government staff and politicians for graft and control of
power. I guess this supports your point about corruption.
The early wave of the "meltdown" brought about Suharto's removal, I
suspect. Only recently, with his "fall," are additional documents
being brought forth almost weekly and some people are starting to
I'm no expert in this. It just stunned me, the sheer magnitude of it
all. And the willingness to take away land so that so many people had
to work in the factories to live. And to kill them, if they resisted.
I watched a film, many years ago, filmed by a reporter at a
demonstration in East Timor. When shots rang out, the reporter and
cameraman hid behind what seemed to be tombstones as they filmed the
military running up and shooting people in the back, on the ground,
and anywhere and anyway they could. It was an incredible sight.
I agree. Lots of corruption there. But that seems to be a system
that was designed in order to take control of the resources and then
to provide the labor needed to extract and export them. It looked
pretty ugly, from what I saw.
>>>Where's this $100/week coming from, for example? Besides, their quality is
>>>relatively low, they probably waste 7% of raw materials overall. Dealing
>>>only in full container loads of stuff does add to the efficiency though.
>> The wages and work conditions seem to say a lot, anyway.
>The workers are (generally) free to leave. The conditions and pay in
>factories are far better than what they'd be in the fields, believe it or
>not. Multi-nationals are pushing for better fire safety practices (usually
>the laws are already in place, but they may not be followed if it is
>cheaper to slap a few bills in the hand of the inspector). The "Disney"s
>of the world don't give a rodent's hindquarters about the workers welfare
>themselves, of course, they just don't want to see a "60 Minutes" news
>team reporting on how 500 poorly-paid (by US standards) women were burned
>alive (sewing stuffed (C) toys) because all the doors were locked to
>prevent theft. They have their own inspectors.
The pictures and stories have painted both a scary and sad story,
overall. I also recall another comment in a report, pointing out that
Gap actually has a formal policy, a "code of conduct" they claim to
require of their suppliers, which talked about "all applicable laws
and regulations related to health and safety, including fire safety,
sanitation,..." But that since the dormatories weren't on the factory
sites (by design, was the implication), Gap and its contractors
I rather doubt there are many options available to the workers there.