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Businesses China Apple News Technology

Apple-Approved Fair Labor Inspections Begin At Foxconn 334

redletterdave writes "Apple announced on Monday that the Fair Labor Association has begun inspecting Foxconn's Chinese factories, upon Apple's request. Apple said that Auret van Heerden, the president of the FLA, is leading a group of labor rights experts in the first round of inspections at the sprawling plant in Shenzhen, China, more informally known as 'Foxconn City.' The FLA's independent assessment — completely supplementary to Apple's own auditing practices — will involve interviewing thousands of Foxconn employees about the working and living conditions, including working hours, compensation, managerial issues, and health and safety conditions. Foxconn has 'pledged full cooperation with the FLA,' and will reportedly allow unrestricted access to all of their operations. The investigative team will report their findings in early March on the FLA's website. Apple's other suppliers, including Quanta and Pegatron, will be inspected later this spring. By the time summer rolls around, the FLA hopes to have covered 90 percent of facilities where Apple products are built and assembled."
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Apple-Approved Fair Labor Inspections Begin At Foxconn

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  • by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @01:20AM (#39029203)

    First time in forever the crowds outside the Apple store weren't dueling down their shirts over new hardware and Apple runs right out and finds company to shill for it. Amazing.

    FLA is essentially the fox watching the hen house if you ask me. The organization is not particularly well though of, being considered by some merely an attention diversion. Even Wiki didn't have much good to say [] about it. And Non Profit Watch is more than a little skeptical [].

    The take away is that Apple is very sensitive to bad public image press, especially if it makes it into the New York Times, and bodies are hitting the ground.

    But in the background they keep suing android vendors for using hyperlinks on web pages. Because that won't get any one standing outside their windows with placards, and they can lean on the press not to cover it, because its boring technical stuff.

  • by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @02:46AM (#39029657)

    So things are so good that they had to put up nets to stop people jumping off the buildings for joy?

    The Empire State Building also has nets, does that mean all of NYC is a giant sweat shop filled with despair and misery?

    For every million people in the US, there are 106 suicides per year.

    For every million people in the China, there are 222 suicides per year.

    For every million people at Foxcom, there are under 20 suicides per year.

    So, in fact, the very low suicide rate at Foxconn is an indication of joy compared not just to China but to the USA as well.

  • by mrxak ( 727974 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @03:39AM (#39029921)

    I'm not suggesting suicidal workers are a good thing, but way to completely distort what I said. I'm saying quite the opposite, that less suicidal workers is better than more suicidal workers. I am not so naive as to think that suicide rates will ever be zero, at Foxconn, in China, or anywhere else humans work or live.

    I'm simply saying that workers sometimes commit suicide, no matter where they are or who they work for. I'm also saying that Foxconn has a lower suicide rate than the rest of China, which means the opposite of what you and people like you try to imply, that Foxconn drives their workers to kill themselves with awful conditions. Foxconn does not cause suicide, Foxconn causes a reduction in suicide. This is a mathematical fact, and to argue otherwise shows a willful ignorance and irrational bias.

    You're simply an anti-Apple troll.

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @04:08AM (#39030055) Journal

    Look how happy he is!

    Start praying, my friend.

    Pray that the same thing will never happen to you, or to anyone you care about.

    If you think that you have to use the suicide of a Chinese man to make you point, you are more desperate than that deceased guy

  • by Forty Two Tenfold ( 1134125 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @05:11AM (#39030303)

    moving back home would mean 17 hours a day hard labor in the fields. Foxconn is a paid vacation compared to "home" they could go to at any time.

    Indeed. [] Do you know what you have in common with a used diaper or do I have to spell it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @06:17AM (#39030655)

    explain the anti-suicide nets then?

    New York installs those nets because the buildings are so tall and so many people can accidentally or purposely fall.

    Unless you are seriously suggesting that 200 people per million in suicides in New York is better than 20 people per million at Foxcon..

    Oh wait, you actually were. Well in that case, they install the nets at Foxcon because despite America having 10x the suicide rate, as better as Foxcon conditions are than America, they feel that even 20 per one million people is too many.

    You are pretty sick and fucked up to wish for 80 more people per million per year to die, by striving for more suicides like in America, and are even a worse person to suggest that even 20 people per million is acceptable.

    PS It's not a matter of twisting words, it's a matter of these are the facts you are arguing for, despite you not realizing it.

    Wishing for Foxcon to have more suicides by comparing to China, or even MORE suicides by comparing to America, is sick. Why do you wish for more deaths?

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <> on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @08:50AM (#39031297) Homepage Journal

    Of course, that same western factory worker's pay, benefits, and conditions is why it's so expensive to make anything here. Western standard of living and OSHA is why all the jobs are going overseas, because nobody here is willing to take a pay cut to keep their job.

    It isn't that simple. Labour isn't usually the largest cost, or even a hugely significant one in some factories. Even where it is an issue the extra cost involved in producing a high value item like a powerful smartphone or tablet isn't going to force prices up or make a massive dent in profits. You also have to consider the extra shipping costs, one of the major reasons that large and heavy things like cars tend to be made on the continent they are sold on. Corporations are basically just greedy.

    Germany actually manufacturers and exports more than China does. Germany is not a cheap low-wage country. Their products are sometimes a bit more expensive than Chinese ones, but also tend to be better quality. We lost out by engaging in a race to the bottom, lowest possible price combined with lowest possible quality. Well, that and pure greed.

    Having said that there is one area that China seems to excel at which is low volume manufacturing. I can get 50 of my products made by hand for a reasonable price there, but western companies don't even seem to be interested. That is changing slowly, mainly due to automation, but low volume seems to be about the one area where wages really do make a big difference. Hardly applies to consumer electronics though. I'd also like to say that not all Chinese stuff is crap either, they make some damn fine products too. They are not idiots, they see that quality at a reasonable price sells and are getting into that market.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.