Wednesday, January 10, 2007

1/9/07: “Head Monster” Says He Can’t Afford More for Workers; Throws “World-Class” Concert in Las Vegas at CES 2007

After weeks of protest, “’Head Monster’ Noel Lee finally met with worker representatives during the holidays, only to tell them he doesn’t have money to offer them a fair severance or support the community that made him wealthy. Meanwhile Monster Cable is organizing an expensive star-studded awards ceremony and concert for over 4,000 people at CES 2007, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, boasting that this annual show has “become the biggest social event of CES in Las Vegas.” (Monster Cable press release, December 13, 2006) - http://www.monstercable.com/press/pdf/ces07/DealerAwards2007.pdf

“A small group of us finally met with Noel Lee, Monster Cable CEO on Dec. 30th. He told us that company finances were not good, and so he could not meet our demands,” says Yijun Huang, who worked at the factory for over 16 years. “And yet, we know that the company owns several dozen fancy sports cars and is throwing an expensive concert at the Las Vegas CES. Clearly, they are doing well! Unfortunately, the CEO doesn’t want to pay any attention to laid-off workers, so we are going to more retailers and to MacWorld. We hope that Apple will help us put some pressure on Monster Cable.”

Workers are turning to Apple Computers Inc. and to electronics consumers to tell Mr. Lee “Stop being such a monster!” They hope to raise awareness about the plight of Monster Cable workers and more broadly, the issue of labor practices in the electronics industry. Currently, Monster Cable Inc. makes a number of products for Apple Computers Inc., including the iTV link, iEZClick, iSplitter, iCruze, iCarPlay, iCable and iStudioLink, with cost up to $100 per product.

1 comment:

Gary Shapiro said...

Dear Ms. Liu,

Thank you for your letter asking me to help in your action against Monster Cable and Noel Lee.

I have received and reviewed your documents and while I feel for the
displaced workers, I simply do not agree with the entitlement philosophy contained in your request. I know that losing a job is difficult and disruptive and
painful, but it is sometimes part of the free market system which has
made our economy and country strong.

Mr. Lee is a great American and you are unfairly besmirching his name and reputation. Think of what he did for the people you claim he treated unfairly. He provided a great place to work for many years and income for many immigrants with few skills. Today, to compete effectively he had to change his strategy and shift manufacturing outside the United States. He provided severance pay although under no
obligation to do so.

Now you are taking the position that because Mr. Lee is of Chinese
descent, because he is an immigrant, because he gave employment to immigrants, he must be handcuffed in the marketplace and must incur debt, avoid marketing and change his business model because the voluntary severance in your judgment was too low.

I wish your efforts were spent trying to help these people get jobs elsewhere rather than in this quest to get their hopes up that they should be getting something to which they are not entitled. The American way is one of hard work, risk and reward. Noel Lee took a lot of risks and built a company. The employees did not take risks and they do not own the company. This is not a socialist country, and everyone has their shot at the American dream.

I am appalled that you are taking such a harsh view of a great American immigrant simply because he is successful.

I started out as a factory worker but struggled to go to college and
graduate school. Some of my friends made different choices. Our national value is that both employers and employees make choices and that is why our country succeeds.

I will not help you as I find your campaign disturbing and totally
unfair to a great American.

Sincerely,

Gary Shapiro
President and CEO
Consumer Electronics Association