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Working Conditions at FFG Production Plant China


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#1 th0rn

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 03:54 AM

I can imagine that these prepainted models require a lot of work on the assembly line. So i wonder under which conditions these people in China have to work. As a customer i would like to see some kind of statement from FFG regarding their production in China. Do their contractors provide safe, healthy and humane labour enviroment for their employees?  Do they pay a fair wage?

I believe FFG has a responsibility to ensure that their products are manufactured without exploitation of labor.



#2 jetsetter

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:36 AM

I believe they should paint faster, assemble them quicker, and get them on the boat ASAP :-)  

 

 

And still get them to us for approx. $15 :-)

avergonzado_alegre

 



#3 Shooter McGavin

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:43 AM

I bet those little Chinese kids are working their fingers to the bone trying to paint enough Interceptors to restock the shelves!  You go little guys!



#4 hothie

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:57 AM

I'm sure they're working with all of the great benefits that totalitarian communism provides.
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#5 KnightShift

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:04 AM

Are the minis really pre-painted by hand?  I'd have thought that there would be some kind of automated process by now that could do the painting.

It would be nice to get an official statement, however…



#6 Keffisch

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:51 AM

Kind of a loaded question though, innit' ?

 

I think that it could be fun to see the whole assembly line/area,



#7 Aajz_Solari

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:00 AM

th0rn said:

 

I can imagine that these prepainted models require a lot of work on the assembly line. So i wonder under which conditions these people in China have to work. As a customer i would like to see some kind of statement from FFG regarding their production in China. Do their contractors provide safe, healthy and humane labour enviroment for their employees?  Do they pay a fair wage?

I believe FFG has a responsibility to ensure that their products are manufactured without exploitation of labor.

 

 

I agree, and I've been asking myself the same question for some time now. Considering the fact that models are sold out within days (for instance, on the German Amazon site it didn't take 24 hours until every single TIE Interceptor was sold out) and FFG is interested to restock quickly and in high quantities, it would be interesting to know under which conditions that is achieved. I mean, this game is a huge success, so it would be only just to let those who do the hard work have their fair share of that success.

I'd really like to see such a statement.



#8 Skaak

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 11:01 AM

KnightShift said:

Are the minis really pre-painted by hand?  I'd have thought that there would be some kind of automated process by now that could do the painting.

No way these things are painted by machine (aside from possibly a single-color base coat). That's a lot of really fiddly work, and since every ship model is very different from the next it means you would have to have a very exacting robotic setup that was specifically configured for each ship (or could be easily reconfigured to handle a ship that needs paint in completely different places and is a completely different shape/size). That's just not going to happen without a huge expense up-front, and quite probably inventing the technology from scratch. I could be wrong, of course (since my knowledge about miniature construction tech is as good/bad as the next lay person), but I suspect it was a lot cheaper to hire a bunch of people to do the painting by hand.



#9 Fringe Dweller

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:01 PM

Who cares?

 



#10 cleardave

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:17 PM

To the original poster, here's some food for thought;

If you own anything manufactured for Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Dell, Nokia, Motorolla, and others I can't think of right now, there's a good chance it was made under some pretty infamously horrible working conditions and labour exploitation.

If you do own anything from the above, I honestly wouldn't "sweat" (see what I did there?) the X-Wing miniatures process at this point, as you've already been willfully blind to that whole scene.

Full disclosure, between my PS-Wii-60 and iPhone, I've certainly done my share to consume the product made by a line worker that could have likely killed him or herself over the work conditions there.  Google up Foxconn for further reading.



#11 Delta Echo

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:49 PM

hothie said:

I'm sure they're working with all of the great benefits that totalitarian communism provides.

Hothie gets the cookie.  FTW!

Are the working standards compatible to what they are in the states or the majority of The EU…?  How about wages?  While I don't know it for a fact, it's highly doubtful otherwise FFG would be manufacturing here.  The fact that it is cheaper to make them on the other side of the planet and have them shipped across an ocean speaks volumes.  FFG doesn't owe us anything, they have been pretty clear about where our "ships" are coming from.  If this really is an issue with you "save the world" types, just don't buy it… More ships for the rest of us.  If you really want to make a difference in Chinese working conditions, maybe you should take those concerns to the Chinese government as they seem to be the ones with the real authority to establish laws and regulate this kind of thing, right?  And it's not just FFG.  Where did your cool mobile phone come from?  Your sneakers?  Your TV?  Don't be a Hypocrite.



#12 Delta Echo

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:50 PM

You beat me to it Clear Dave.  Well put.



#13 KnightShift

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:21 PM

Am I a bad person for admitting that for the first time ever… I *do* feel guilty about playing this game? :-(

Until this thread I had never thought about the production process behind the minis.  I had just assumed that EVERYTHING had been automated, including the painting.  I mean, this is the year 2013: there HAVE to be means of applying paint to molded products quickly and with tight precision and without involving human hands… right?

There's no way that people will be completely stripped from the equation but that a game I have quickly come to love and enjoy might result from the labors of those who works in harsh conditions for low wages… well, it's put a damper on my mind this evening.

On one hand, I know that it's not avoidable.  It's just the nature of global business right now.

I've even considered that without us wanting to buy and play these miniatures, there would be a number of people who might be unemployed or at least under-employed in China.  That's the one comforting thought that I've borne in mind about this.

On the other hand, without some drastic change in their country, these poeple will never get to enjoy the game that they help to manufacture.  Worse, they'll never get to enjoy even a fraction of the comforts that you and me and most other people take for granted.  And it's our never-ending hunger for such comforts and conveniences that only fuel the continuing businesses practices there.

Wow.  Never thought a Star Wars miniatures game would put me in a moral and ethical quandary :-

 

 



#14 Daeglan

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:53 PM

Something to keep in mind. Are there wages the same as ours? No. But on the other hand the job at Foxconn is often better and pays far more than their other options and is above the prevailing wage and allows them to save money as they make more than their cost of living. Like for example barely scraping by as a farmer. Or being a prostitute. These jobs in these manufacturing facilities are allowing the chines to crawl out of poverty that is induces by their governments economi system. So while the conditions are deplorable these jobs are allowing these people to move up in the world and i see this as a good thing.



#15 Mako13

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:23 PM

" Are there wages the same as ours?".

Just wait.  There are people working on leveling the playing field as I type this.

Also, I suspect many are thankful that they have a job.  Any job. 

I also suspect they may hope that some people asking too many questions don't prod the company they work for to replace them with robots, like has happened to a large number of jobs, internationally.

 

 



#16 Aajz_Solari

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:41 AM

Fringe Dweller said:

 

Who cares?

 

 

Well, is it so wrong to ask where things come from and under what conditions they are produced? Actually, many of the problems of our world are the result of us not asking. Of course, it would be ridiculous to say that we change world economy when questioning the production conditions of toy spaceships, but it's just one of many examples. And I belong to those who do want to know how things come about, and if I'm not convinced of a company's methods and handling of worker's rights and ethics, I give them a wide berth.

Just deciding to close one's eyes doesn't solve the problem.

All that isn't supposed to mean that I'm per se apprehensive or disaffected by anything FFG does, but I'd like to know if I should. But nonetheless that's a decision everybody has to make for themselves.

Just take this with you: in general, we ask too few questions.



#17 Morrissey

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:09 AM

I think what probably gets people's backs up about this kind of question, mate, is that it's become very trendy and "hipster" to ask, and people are left wondering whether the person asking is even genuine, or just trying to be hip? 

It's like the skit in the first episode of Portlandia where the couple in the restaurent obsess over whether their chicken is free range.



#18 DoubleNot7

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:11 AM

hothie said:

I'm sure they're working with all of the great benefits that  provides.

sonreir

 

Companies do not invest in production in China for the high quality lifestyle of the Chinese serfs.  It is simply more cost effective for them.  People cry for a World Community, welcome to it, you have it.  Don't wring your hands and get your stomach in a knot over FFG production or feel bad for playing X-wing.  Do you also question this when using your favorite apple product?  How about every other cheap product you proably don't even realise is produced in China?  Just sounds like hypocritic compassion to me.  Welcome to the real world.

Not all Chinese workers are under age children or near indentured adults.  China also uses convicted criminals to be laborers in factories.  Convicted of what is another matter.  Communism sounds wonderful!

China is in the midst of an industrial revolution, much as the US experienced in the past.  Conditions in any industrialized country have not always been ideal.  This is no different, save the totalitarian communism of their government.  Their industrialization may some day soften the total control of their people as they continue down their industrial path.  If not, I'm fine with that too.

Enjoy that i-Pad

 


Enimo Et Fide


#19 Boomer_J

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:27 AM

 

Now be honest with yourself which tie or x wing expansion would you buy? One made in plush work conditions for 35 to 40$ or the one from overseas for 15$?



#20 elfholme

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:58 AM

My takeaway from this thread is that many people believe it is much better to build robots to do a job you could have just hired real people to do.  As an IT worker, this warms my heart to some degree.






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