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Apple-Approved Fair Labor Inspections Begin At Foxconn

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the five-minute-tea-break-required-between-beatings dept.

Businesses 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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corporate responsibility (4, Insightful)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029089)

this is another area in which apple is leading all electronics companies in corporate responsibilities. All electronics are made in asian factories, but apple is the only company with balls to open the doors to visitors. Let's see the same for whatever droid / tab factories.

Re:corporate responsibility (4, Insightful)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029131)

If apple is a leader in worker exploitation (and I'm not saying they are), they should also lead in cleaning it up. At any rate, which ever way the fanboys or haters spin this, I'm just stoked & hopeful that it will raise the quality of working conditions for the employees at Foxconn.

Re:corporate responsibility (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029139)

You've got to be kidding. Have you had your eyes and ears closed for the last five years?

Apple are the worst offenders when it comes to labor exploitstions. Their wages are the worst, their shops the most dangerous, they turn a blind eye to factories where hundreds of workers have committed suicide since 2006, and that's only the ones we know about.

Your iPad, iPhone, whatever, it's made with little more than slave labor, just slaves that are paid enough to make it seem like they're not.

Now we have inspections that are "apple approved". I'm sure they're going to approve of insections that make a difference. Yeah. If you believe that you're more naive than most.

Re:corporate responsibility (2)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029163)

citations? how are apple factories any worse than any other factories? or keep your falsehoods to yourself.

Re:corporate responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029543)

More suicides? Then again having 20 percent fewer corpses is nothing to brag about either.

Re:corporate responsibility (5, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029639)

I don't know why people keep talking about suicides at Foxconn factories, since the population of China has a higher suicide rate than the population of Foxconn workers in China.

Foxconn employment correlates to less suicides, not more. You know what that means? I know you refuse to believe it because for some reason you've decided to have an irrational hatred for everything Apple, but Foxconn saves lives.

Suicide is not something to be happy about, but let's be honest, it's just one more cause of death in the world. Some people kill themselves, and always will. There are far more preventable causes of death in the world, like say, starvation. How many Foxconn workers starve to death? How many of them would starve to death if they didn't have a job? Again, employment in a factory is better than unemployment.

People freak out over suicide numbers at Foxconn facilities because they don't realize just how large these places are. These are massive, massive factories, and there are going to be a lot of deaths from a lot of different causes in any population of that size anywhere no matter what. What is important to look at is not absolute quantities, but percentages, and compare those to statistics for China as a whole.

People target Apple because Apple is a big popular company doing a lot of business right now, but just about every major tech company you can name has their stuff made at Foxconn, or a similar company in China. This isn't some Apple problem, and yes, the reality is Apple is doing more than most of those other companies to identify and fix problems. Perhaps you should save your moral outrage for those big tech companies that are silent on these issues, or even better, the factories that have higher death rates than China's population as a whole (if there even are any).

Re:corporate responsibility (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029845)

I don't know why people keep talking about suicides at Foxconn factories, since the population of China has a higher suicide rate than the population of Foxconn workers in China.

True, but misleading, since the numbers for Foxconn only includes suicides in the workplace, while the national average includes all suicides.

In China, it only counts as a work-related death if it occurs in the workplace. I.e, for your family to get compensation, you need to take your life at work.

Even if people take their life at work for financial reasons, though, it still shows how desperate they are.

Re:corporate responsibility (5, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029883)

Again, this is a misunderstanding of Foxconn. These are company towns. Foxconn employees kill themselves at the workplace, because they're living in Foxconn dormitories. If you work, eat, sleep, and hang out on company property, and decide to kill yourself, you're going to do it on company property.

Re:corporate responsibility (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029855)

I don't know why people keep talking about suicides at Foxconn factories, since the population of China has a higher suicide rate than the population of Foxconn workers in China.

Foxconn employment correlates to less suicides, not more. You know what that means?

Does it mean you can misuse statistics in order to make a qualitative argument about people's lives in order to (quite ridiculously) suggest suicidal workers is a good thing?

As for the rest of your post, spoken like a true heartless industrialist, my friend.

Re:corporate responsibility (3, Informative)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

And what else have to to say Mr Dell? (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029483)

You've got to be kidding. Have you had your eyes and ears closed for the last five years?

Only someone who had both wide open would realize you whole post is pretty much entirely slander and lies.

In fact the opposite is true, only Apple has shown they care whatsoever. And whatever you are typing on was made under far worse circumstances.

If you had any ethics at all in regards to foreign factory workers you would buy Apple products when possible in support of the efforts they have made to improve labor conditions.

But you don't really care about the Chinese, do you? - No, you just Hate Apple and want to see them die at any costs, even if it means unemployment for a few hundred thousands chinese workers. Having them starve to death is to your mind an honorable way to support your crusade.

Re:And what else have to to say Mr Dell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029685)

Apple shill much? This is a publicity stunt, nothing more.

Re:And what else have to to say Mr Dell? (5, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029815)

I agree that these sorts of things are just PR stunts more than anything, and probably wouldn't be happening if it wasn't for the media coverage.

But let's consider the nature of that media coverage, to begin with. It seems that only Apple gets mentioned in Foxconn stories. In some cases, like this story, it makes sense, but most of the negative coverage of Foxconn only ever mentions iPads and iPhones.

These are Foxconn's major clients:
Acer Inc., Amazon.com, Apple, ASRock, Asus, Barnes & Noble, Cisco, Dell, EVGA Corporation, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, MSI, Motorola, Netgear, Nintendo, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, Vizio

And yet, only one of those companies appear in every single Foxconn story. Hmm. If people defending Apple here are just Apple shills, what level of bias can we attribute to the negative stories then, in light of the fact Foxconn makes everybody's tech but the stories only paint Apple in bad light?

Again, Apple's just doing what Apple needs to do, for PR. I don't think they're all a bunch of heartless bastards, though, any more than any other company. But the spotlight on Apple's relationship with Foxconn is a bit strange, since every competitor they have that I can think of is on Foxconn's client list.

Re:corporate responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029193)

While some kudos is certainly due, it did take a lot of criticism, several suicides, protests by staff and a lot of media attention to get there.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029283)

Potempkin village, anyone?

Re:corporate responsibility (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029229)

You're not *that* naive are you?

Maybe you have not been to a Chinese factory (I have), bu if you have you would know that this is just lip service. Apple is not opening the company doors either. All they did was hire a 3rd party to investigate. Foxconn agreed. That's it.

Do you really think with all the media attention that Foxconn would say no? Of course not. They can't.

However, they are Chinese. Trust me. The word is going around right now that they better look like some cheerful happy mother fuckers in front of the western investigators or there will be some real consequences. Not the standard ones, but some serious ones.

Way too much on the line. Way too much. How many officials must be involved in greasing up that company's operations who knows.

Corporate responsibilities? *snicker*

You are just *too* cute. I wish I could go back in time where all this experience I have did not result in the cynicism I have developed.

There are no responsible corporations. Just corporations doing the minimum to not get caught, and corporations that have not been caught yet.

Every single device out there, regardless of which fanboi club it caters to, is made by manufacturing that is related to an awful lot of human misery. Unless you can say with 100% certainty that it is made in a developed Western country like the US, or some place in the EU, you can rest assured there was poor pay and poor working conditions. That's just life.

It's not limited to devices either. Just about every product made in China is in factories with poor working conditions compared to the US and the EU. It would have to be. Otherwise it would be too expensive and it would just be made in some hell hole in another country.

Sorry to ruin the illusion for you, but it's all pain and misery, all the way down.

Re:corporate responsibility (2)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029261)

unhappy workers? iPhone factory girl proves you wrong. That's a 1000watt smile that can't lie. http://www.2dayblog.com/images/2008/august/iphone_factory_girl_1.jpg [2dayblog.com]

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029565)

Yeah, I have also thought that foxconn workers, if you look at their faces, look really happy in the pictures. That one definitely shows it, though.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029621)

First day on the job maybe? Give her a week... :)

Seriously though, the GP is a little too pessimistic I'd say. From a western viewpoint, working conditions in China must be horrendous. The locals there may not think much of it, or at least not as much as westerners do. People get used to surprisingly pretty much any condition, and can become more or less happy in their surroundings. At least they do clean work, they get their meals, they're not cold and they get paid, which is more than you can say about most of rural China. It's all extremely relative. I'm not saying they have the most awesomest job in the world, and I'm sure their working conditions can be improved, but it's all relative.

Re:corporate responsibility (5, Insightful)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029737)

These workers know their jobs suck, and they would gladly trade places with any western factory worker with their massive pay, massive pension, tons of benefits, and far higher standard of living.

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.

But the Chinese workers in these factories know something that some people here seem to forget, and that's a job is better than no job. These Chinese workers are working long hours in tough conditions because they are making pretty good money compared to their other options. They're working hard and making enough money to give their children a better life, so that their children, and their children's children, can rise up, get a good education, get better jobs, and live the Chinese Dream. When Foxconn expands their factories, they have more people lining up to get a job than people here line up to buy the latest iPad. It's not because they've been tricked, it's because poverty in China sucks a lot worse than factory conditions. They simply have no better options.

We in the west should be glad Chinese workers are making pennies a day to produce our products, because as unemployment falls in China, Chinese living standards and working conditions will improve, just as the industrial revolution in western countries created the middle class, and created a living standard that's the envy of everyone in China. Someday, China will be losing jobs to other countries, because their pay, benefits, and conditions have improved to our standards, and they need to make all of their goods cheaply someplace else. It will not be because of magic, it will be because western tech companies created millions of jobs for Foxconn workers to do.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029795)

Very much indeed. +5 Insightful if I could.

Continuing along this line of thought, a lot of our current infrastructure is really highly dependent on not-yet-quite-so-developed countries such as China and their political and social system. After "we" have "exploited" all those countries to make cheep stuff for us, where are we going to build anything? Computers may become an unaffordable luxury good. Our societies will have to change in response to those countries developing a middle class.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029865)

There will always be specialization occurring somewhere. Perhaps a country will heavily subsidize computer manufacturing, or have sufficient cheap energy to give them an advantage. Perhaps somebody will develop a robot that requires minimal maintenance, can work 24/7 without complaining, and produce computer parts cheaper than any human labor force.

My theory is and always will be, if a robot can do your job better and cheaper, you're in the wrong line of work. Much of these factory jobs we lament losing in the west, as they move to the east, we didn't want anyway. Far better to be the ones designing the next iPad than building it, if building it can be done with cheap unskilled labor. Eventually even robot factories will be too expensive and obsolete, as we have 3D printers that can make anything we want right in our homes without expensive shipping costs or labor.

Building things, in a pre-designed rote way, may give you some satisfaction but it's hardly a job. Inventing things is what humans are good for, and the more inventors we have in society, and the less builders we need, the better off we'll all be.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029903)

If that ever proves to be true, great. I'll be skeptical until I see it. Yes, Star Trek replicators are always the dream of mankind, but at this point in time there are more hands building stuff than ever before in human history. Let's see if we can ever obsolete the manual labor part entirely. So far we've only been successful in shifting it around, not in eliminating it. You'll always need somebody that builds the thing that builds the thing.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029739)

WARNING: Link is POLITICAL GOATSE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Re:corporate responsibility (0, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029553)

Sucks for sure. But many prefer this line of work to that of working out in the fields. It simply pays a hell of a lot more, that's all. Some even carry over their education and experience to higher paying positions. Slowly but surely, they're climbing the ladder of progress. The population is huge though. Assuming governmental reforms will allow for more employment mobility within the country, it will take quite some time before the cheap labor pool has become sequestered. Some say it's already happened and that the next pool of cheap labor will be tapped in India and Africa.

Capitalism lifts people out of poverty, but not before people are exploited first. That's the trade-off. If you're striving for fairness like we all are, dealing with rampant exploitation needs to take place on two fronts. First, Western nations need to hold the parent companies residing there to be held accountable for what's basically human slave labor. Second, nations that allow this to happen within their own border also need to be involved in ensuring OSHA like standards are in place.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029887)

Capitalism lifts people out of poverty, but not before people are exploited first. That's the trade-off.

Are you going to be the one to go over and explain to the suicidal workers about how this is all necessary?

When does the exploitation stop? When people just happen to feel like it someday?

Re:corporate responsibility (2)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029761)

Ambrose Bierce said it best: "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029783)

Maybe you have not been to a Chinese factory (I have), bu if you have you would know that this is just lip service.

You know, instead of trying to prove how much 'better' and 'righter' you are because of this, why don't you tell us what you saw there? A first hand witness account would be really interesting, and informative, whereas what you have now is trying to bash people with your 'superiority.' Wonderful. Do something better for a change.

Re:corporate responsibility (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029813)

You are such a holier than though butthead you know? Every post you are so abusive and abrasive and contribute nothing to the proceedings except nastiness.

Maybe I don't want to talk about what I saw? You think of that? Maybe I don't have anything to do with that business at this point precisely because of what I saw. Foxconn workers have it good compared to what I saw. I would be surprised if the people I saw were still healthy and alive today.

What would a first hand account tell you anymore than what you already know? Every one knows conditions are hell in most factories in China.

Do what better?

I try to purchase products that have as little to do with China as possible, which is all you can do. Anytime I propose some real changes in trade and foreign policy I get accused of being an isolationist, a protectionist, "just not getting it" because I don't understand Capitalism and economics.

I'm already doing what I can.

Take your acerbic bullshit elsewhere please.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029899)

You are such a holier than though butthead you know? Every post you are so abusive and abrasive and contribute nothing to the proceedings except nastiness.

But maybe I'm right.

What would a first hand account tell you anymore than what you already know? Every one knows conditions are hell in most factories in China.

I would be really interested in hearing your first-hand account, assuming you've actually been to China. Your extreme defensiveness leads me to believe you might be making stuff up. Do you speak Chinese? Here's a guy who actually did tell his account of factories in China [slashdot.org] . His story is a lot more convincing than yours, and it matches my own experience living in a developing country, where people wanted factories to be built near them because it would be an improvement in their lives.

Maybe you think my questions are abrasive because they pierce the dream-world you created where corporations are pure evil, Apple is evil, and anywhere that doesn't pay there workers American wages is abusive. That's not the real world, you know, and it is quite possible that some executives at Apple are actually concerned about their workers. I know I've worked at companies with executives who had concern for their employees. Not everyone is evil, even if they disagree with you.

Also, if you care about Chinese people, forcing companies to pay them American wages isn't going to actually help them.

Re:corporate responsibility (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029955)

You're not right. You're just a fucking asshole. In every post.

Assuming I have been to China? You're being an asshole again right there for calling me a liar instead of addressing the points I made. Easier to just discredit me than to make logical civil arguments.

I'm not being defensive. Merely offended by your constant attitude in your posts to me that are not deserving based on anything I have said.

You're just a truly offensive person with nothing positive to say about anything. You remind of some old bitter grumpy senior citizen that can't say anything without being angry and yelling at the top of his lungs.

Putting tariffs really high will force the manufacturing to come back the US and then the Chinese people can figure out what to do on their own terms. Perhaps implement OSHA type regulations to give workers better conditions.

As for China, you asshole, I saw people that were caked head to toe in grime, dirt, and residue from manufacturing processes. Their eyes completely red because they lacked protection. You ever hear of black lung disease [wikipedia.org] ?

So yeah, fuck you, I have seen some shit in a several dozen different places in China. Not just the factories, but the towns surrounding the factories. Places that most Western visitors never go, but I did.

You happy you got it out of me? Did it make a difference at all in what I said in my original post? That's why I left it out.

Geez. Fuck you.

Re:corporate responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029821)

Completely offtopic but it seems as if You are not familiar with certain mister Deming. You know, the guy who is behind the Japanese quality. And the most startling thing? The guy was from the USA.
Anyway, here are his key principles:
* Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive, stay in business and to provide jobs.
  * Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.
* Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for massive inspection by building quality into the product in the first place.
* End the practice of awarding business on the basis of a price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move towards a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.
* Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
* Institute training on the job.
* Institute leadership (see Point 12 and Ch. 8 of "Out of the Crisis"). The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.
* Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company. (See Ch. 3 of "Out of the Crisis")
* Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, in order to foresee problems of production and usage that may be encountered with the product or service.
* Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.
* a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute with leadership.
        b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers and numerical goals. Instead substitute with leadership.
* a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.
        b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia," abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective (See Ch. 3 of "Out of the Crisis").
* Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.
* Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody's job.

Seven deadly diseases as he put them:
* Lack of constancy of purpose
* Emphasis on short-term profits
* Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance
* Mobility of management
* Running a company on visible figures alone
* Excessive medical costs (This is an USA-only thing)
* Excessive costs of warranty, fueled by lawyers who work for contingency fees (As is this)

"A Lesser Category of Obstacles" includes:
* Neglecting long-range planning
* Relying on technology to solve problems
* Seeking examples to follow rather than developing solutions
* Excuses, such as "our problems are different"
* Obsolescence in school that management skill can be taught in classes[27]
* Reliance on quality control departments rather than management, supervisors, managers of purchasing, and production workers
* Placing blame on workforces who are only responsible for 15% of mistakes where the system designed by management is responsible for 85% of the unintended consequences
* Relying on quality inspection rather than improving product quality

Read up on the guy and make your own conclusions.

Re:corporate responsibility (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029965)

apple is the only company with balls to open the doors to visitors

Apple is not opening its doors to visitors

Foxconn is not Apple. Neither is Quanta nor Pegatron

If Apple is genuine, let Apple opens its own doors first

Someone should make a film of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029091)

Screw you Hanz Brikz!!

Hrm.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029093)

Wonder how the Apple haters will try to spin this?

Re:Hrm.. (1)

bell.colin (1720616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029383)

I consider myself an Apple hater and even i know this is not solely an Apple problem it is a mostly a Foxconn problem. (Apple is just one of very many of their clients)

Re:Hrm.. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029787)

I consider myself an Apple hater and even i know this is not solely an Apple problem it is a mostly a Foxconn problem. (Apple is just one of very many of their clients)

Considering Hon Hai Precision Electronics (parent company of Foxconn) is the world's largest electronics company in the world, practically *everything* you touch has probably been the hands of Foxconn somewhere down the line. If it wasn't built by a Foxconn factory, it probably had a subassembly done there.

Yeah, Apple's one of the big customers, so we can blame Apple for all of their woes and that Apple should fix it up for everyone. Or do we? I mean, if Apple makes it so working conditions are great, would that happen to also give Apple leverage to march into say, the part of Foxconn building Samsung phones, declare it as "unsafe for work - not up to Apple standards" and shut down production? Or HTC? LG? Motorola/Google?

Or if Apple fixes up just the "Apple factories" part of Foxconn, where does the onus fall on fixing everything else? And what about the poor workers who aren't building Apple products - should they suffer because Samsung/Dell/Sony/HTC/LG/Microsoft/Motorola/etc didn't care enough to do audits? Or should Apple have the sole power to audit all of Foxconn?

And a bigger question is - why aren't any of the big guys doing the same, at least publicly? I mean, why is Apple "going it alone"? Can't it be Apple/Dell/Microsoft/etc working together publicly to do this? You'd think they'd all want a piece of the glory. Or is it to slink away hiding and hoping that spotlight only stays focused on Apple and ignores everyone else?

China right now is at the brink of industrialization. I'd say they're at where the US was 100-150 years ago, prior to unionization, people still wanted slaves, etc. Right now, they're still in the labour intensive part of development. The best way to bring them up to Western standards is, ironically, to keep building stuff there so the people can work and get richer and eventually demand much better factory conditions. When millions line up outside a new Foxconn factory wanting a job, forcing them to be unemployed because Foxconn is evil and no one should build stuff there doesn't really encourage upward development.

Excellent news (1)

quax (19371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029165)

This is probably the next best option as long as these workers are not allowed to unionize and negotiate their labor terms.

Re:Excellent news (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029391)

call me a pessimist but I don't see how this changes the current situation at all. Apple has been performing inspections of them and finding breaches every single year, They then issue a warning to the company who then promise to do better in future and they both continue on their merry way raking in profit. As long as Companies like Apple (and yes I know it is not just apple) continue to give human rights nothing more than lip service and publicity stunts nothing will change.

Re:Excellent news (1)

quax (19371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029769)

Your pessimism is warranted. Here's what I am hoping for:

This may allow for some breathing space for some actual labor organization to happen. While they are under scrutiny violent suppression of such effort will be more difficult.

Re:Excellent news (2)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029545)

My wife just showed up with lunch and I asked her specifically about this. (she's native born Chinese) Basically, she said that people work there because they can make more money than they can anywhere else.

In theory they could unionize, but what would it get them? Most likely a chance to get fired and replaced with 200,000 other farm kids that are quite happy to take the wages Foxconn is willing to offer.

Unions only work when there is a limited supply of workers. That isn't a problem right now in China. Eventually (10-20 years I estimate) it might be, and then unionizing makes sense. Until then, there's no point.

Can you imagine all those workers going on strike? I would wager they would all be replaced within a week, everything would go back to normal and the western world would never even notice.

Re:Excellent news (1)

quax (19371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029731)

Independent unions are currently suppressed in China [nytimes.com]

Constructing an iPad will require some learning curve no matter how much the process is broken down. Walk-outs will be costly and disruptive, especially in the gadget industry where products have a short shelf live.

The situation in China is similar to where the Western world was 100 years ago. Labor struggles will be fierce. The unions won't always win but the record in the Western world shows that overall concessions can be achieved. That is if independent organization is not violently suppressed. Not that it wasn't violent in the US as well. If you want to read up on this fascinating bit of under reported US history I can recommend you a book. [amazon.com]

Amazing what one day of crowds can do (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 [wikipedia.org] about it. And Non Profit Watch is more than a little skeptical [slashdot.org] .

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.

Re:Amazing what one day of crowds can do (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029397)

So basically you are saying that absolutely nothing would make you happy?

Back to Work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029209)

inspector gone! Or no rice for you tonight

It's not as bad as Nazi Approved Gay Inspections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029213)

But it's close.

A facade really (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029219)

The metrics of these audits will probably be carefully tailored. Make no mistake, this is not a true audit, it's a carefully choreographed public relations stunt in response to protests to save face.

And it's worse than doing nothing? (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029435)

We know Apple has taken some real steps, like bonuses for the FoxConn workers, that lead to the conclusion this is not wholly a sham. So why assume the whole thing is fake, and even if so shouldn't you be attacking companies with equal gusto that can't even be bothered to pretend to inspect anything?

You can disbelieve all you like, but when you are covering for companies doing nothing you come off as more than a bit hypocritical.

Re:And it's worse than doing nothing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029477)

Apple holds the purse strings, they have all the power to dictate whatever terms they like with FoxConn. Apple has done nothing but put more lipstick on a pig. If they truly wanted this fixed they could have it solved tomorrow with the massive financial leverage they have over the company. But they are completely unwilling to risk their own profit in order to preserve the lives of others, some would say that is financially responsible for a company and I would not argue with that. But to suggest apple are trying to do anything but save face and expect anyone to believe it is an insult to even a halfwits intelligence.

Re:A facade really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029461)

of course, since people are putting all the blame on Apple and China instead of Sony, Samsung, Acer, Taiwanese CEO Terry Gou, the Taiwanese company of Foxconn(aka Hon Hai), Dell, and many others, .... it's logical Apple respond in kind with a public relations facade to appease the tabloid-journalism-addicted lemmings.

Re:A facade really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029653)

Agreed.

Then I take to the stage and propose that if Apple stands by its word, pay their employees California minimum wage....

These auditing services never work. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029231)

The workers feel it is a setup and if they respond negatively they will lose their job. Workers who do respond negatively usually do so to benefit their own agenda. The only part about it that 'works' is the consumer purchasing products with a 'clear conscience.'

I think I'm getting tired of all news Apple (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029275)

Just last month, it was news about its best ever quarter.

Then just today, news of its stock hitting north of $500.

Again today, some site reporting that Apple's iPad3 will hit us in March.

When Apple finally fades, these pundits will be the ones saying something to the effect: -

..."They could not sustain that 'explosive' growth", or

..."We knew Android was a force to be reckoned with" or

..."With the demise of Steve Jobs Apple then lacked a visionary"...and so much other nonsense...

I say this because Apple has had a number of failed [oobject.com] products [maindevice.com] in the past.

I am just tired of all news Apple. Am I alone?

Re:I think I'm getting tired of all news Apple (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029441)

I am just tired of all news Apple. Am I alone?

No you're not. You're not even in the minority. There have always been Apple doom-n-gloomers since, well, the beginning of the interwebs. Many respectable trolls^Wtech journalists (Henry Blodgett, John C. Dvorak, have been negative on Apple for decades. What's news now, is that Apple, long the doomed company, is now ascendant, and has not only beat Microsoft at the finances game, they've got more market capitalization than ExxonMobil.

Apple is here to stay for the long term... for good or ill.

I agree (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029457)

I personally think the level of speculation that goes around about new Apple products is absurd. As you say, just recently there has been a confluence of items that have conspired to send Apple news into overtime.

However, I personally just ignore the items I feel are excess. I don't care about possible future products so I don't read the guesswork. I already knew Apple stock was heading up regardless so I don't pay attention to that news.

Basically, it seems you have the power to filter the level of Apple news you get to some tolerable level. So do that and be happier.

Let's agree for once: this is not a bad thing. (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029277)

I hope that other companies take notice and start doing the same, and that the number of people abused in the name of capitalism decreases worldwide. The gadgets may become a tad more expensive, but hey, it may out to be worth it in the long run for everyone.

What's this social media nonsense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029337)

I don't like this new thing.

Worker demands (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029365)

Workers are demanding a second hour of sleep a night. Apple representatives feel that a compromise would be possible that won't severely affect profit margins. Apple's offer of a picture of the company logo instead of an actual apple for dinner was flatly refused by the workers.

shipping jobs overseas... (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029367)

It's not enough that we ship our jobs overseas....but now we need to make sure that they're good jobs for those who get the jobs. I'm all for protecting workers...but the irony is thick.

Excellent news (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029385)

It's about time the North American companies that outsource to cheap offshore providers started inspecting those facilities and ensuring that abusive slave-labour environments aren't being created to save money and increase profits.

If North America wants respect in the world, our companies need to export the GOOD things about our Canadian and American legal systems, not use offshoring to ESCAPE our regulations.

Kudos to Apple for grabbing the bull by the horns. (Or is it a dragon by the beard this year?)

Thoughts from someone who lives in China (5, Insightful)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029393)

I've resisted posting on these threads because I don't want to start a war. However, I think it's finally time that I spoke up.

Firstly, I live in China, speak Mandarin and Cantonese and build electronics among other things over here.

I think this isn't a bad thing in concept, but everyone needs to get a little perspective on the issue. The educated workers, engineers and the like, are pretty well taken care of. They make middle class (for the region) wages, get weekends off and generally put in a comparable number of productive hours to US engineers.

The factory workers, which are the ones that everyone seems to worry about also have it pretty good. They get company provided housing (no, the housing isn't up to western standards, but it's significantly better then where they grew up, I PROMISE). They also get company provided food (No, it isn't Ruth's Chris, but it isn't bad.. I frequently eat in the factory when I don't want to take the time to go out).

Everyone is trying to apply western working standards to the workers over here. While I think it's great in principle, consideration has to be taken for cultural and lifestyle differences. Most of the people that are working in those factories came from a life of subsistence farming. They are also migrant workers. Their families live back in Henan, Hunan, Dongbei, etc... Most of them grew up in a single concrete room. They're quite lucky if their parents house had a flushable toilet.

Making a thousand or two thousand RMB per month, having a decent bed to sleep in and 3 meals a day is a significant upgrade.

With all of that said, I'm also a firm believer in giving them the opportunity for more. Everybody should have the chance to enjoy western working standards. But, it needs to be done in a patient manner. Expecting Apple to leverage Foxconn to give $10/hr and carpeted apartments to 200,000 workers is way out of proportion. Not only would it be prohibitively expensive, but it would screw up Foxconn's competitiveness.

Remember, Iphones aren't the only thing made in Foxconn city. Hundreds of other electronics manufacturers make things there. If Foxconn doesn't stay competitive in Shenzhen, somebody will open a factory in Vietnam where they don't even have to feed their staff and pretty soon all of those people in SZ that everyone was so worried about will be out of work and back to subsistence farming.

Let me repeat... I'm not opposed to this. A little external influence to help them move up the economic ladder is certainly not a bad thing. Neither are all the good intentions. What is a bad thing is expecting too much to happen too fast. China has advanced at it's own pace QUITE effectively in a single generation. We all need to bear that in mind.

They have a long ways to go, but they've come a HELL OF A LONG WAYS from hole-in-the-ground toilets that don't flush.

I'd say, we should all give Apple and Foxconn some credit for the 200,000 migrant children of farmers that now can feed their families back home and raise their children in better conditions then what they grew up in. Isn't that the "American Dream"? Giving more to your children then you had?

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029481)

Excellent post. It's amazing what short memories people have. The Japanese and South Koreans both had periods very similar to what China is experiencing now, with workers living in crowded conditions and working for (comparative) peanuts. The US and UK also had terrible working conditions during their industrializing periods, probably worse than what the workers at Shenzhen experience.
This is a positive step, and welcomed by anybody with a bit of pragmatism.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (0, Troll)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029491)

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

You can argue social differences all you want, but as soon as people would rather kill themselves there is an issue that you shouldn't ignore.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (2)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029581)

I wouldn't ever want to demean someones death, but, the suicides at Foxconn were statistically insignificant. Compared to the suicide rate among the general population here, they aren't out of line and are actually an improvement.

Think of a city you know in the US with 200,000 people. I'll wager you every week you can find an obituary in the newspaper for a suicide.

That's a much higher rate then the few at Foxconn city. Perhaps all US cities should have nets as well?

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029601)

The Xinhua News Agency says otherwise. And for some reason they dont have to put up nets around said US city to stop people from jumping like they did at Foxconn.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029651)

Of course they did.. they were embarrassed by western news reporting it first and had to. Plus, Foxconn isn't a mainland company and they ALWAYS like a chance to bash on the Taiwanese.

They would NEVER tell you about the real suicide rate in mainland china. Or any other thing negative about Chinese society.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

jagapen (11417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029679)

"Golden Gate to get suicide net," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 11, 2008

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/11/local/me-goldengate11 [latimes.com]

Just sayin'.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029709)

Yes. Because it was a problem. No one said "ah well, this is normal and there's nothing to look into". Workers threatening mass suicide in protest over working conditions is a problem. Anyone who claims otherwise must have a really bad job. Like mop boy at the porn theater bad.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (3, Informative)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1, Flamebait)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029697)

You can skew the number all you want. Facts are facts, and the fact is that the conditions at Foxconn are bad. So bad that this year 150 workers threatened mass suicide in protest. They where all fired and forcibly removed. To me, that does not sound like a content work force.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029735)

You can skew the number all you want.

I simply stated straight up facts.

Facts are facts, and the fact is that the conditions at Foxconn are bad.

Yet the very suicide rate, which you brought up, disagrees.

That you can't accept facts and instead cling to your beliefs irrespective of the facts is not my fault.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029751)

You used large pool rates compared to a specific location. That's not "straight up facts", that's skewed data. And how do you respond to the mass suicide protest this year? I guess because they where fired and forced off the property they dont count. But it still doesn't sound like a happy work force to me.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (2)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029853)

You used large pool rates compared to a specific location.

The demographic corresponding to Foxconn workers has, at best, an average suicide rate so baring further data my comparison is generally valid. Foxconn hires more people than live in many cities, at that scale you're gonna get a lot of unhappy people in absolute not matter what the working conditions are.

Granted, I never said Foxconn is a paradise but merely that it's not a hell hole either. Probably a better work environment than the Mexican crop pickers get in the US (and not as health destroying long term).

Mostly I find the focus on suicide rates hilarious because that's one thing that Foxconn can't really be called out for. You'd probably get more suicides if you actually implemented all those Western reforms people want, freedom has a lovely was of causing gluttony, drama and despair. Maybe I just find the western-centric manifest destiny "we're perfect and better in every regard" view of the world so two centuries ago.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029881)

You can skew the number all you want. Facts are facts, and the fact is that the conditions at Foxconn are bad.

Numbers trumps your so-called facts. But that's because they weren't really facts. If you want to claim that there is an elevated suicide rate at Foxconn, then you need to show the suicides. You can't do that based on a miniscule number of reported suicides.

So bad that this year 150 workers threatened mass suicide in protest. They where all fired and forcibly removed. To me, that does not sound like a content work force.

And if all of those workers committed suicide this year while no other employees did, Foxconn would still have a lower suicide rate than mainland China. The numbers just aren't working in your favor.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

arose (644256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029911)

It means that people are likely to jump of the Empire State Building, yes.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029497)

Just because "they are better off than before" does not mean we should settle for less than "where it should be".

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

jmottram08 (1886654) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029573)

Read. more. The whole point is that rushing the process can cause a systemic failure that would leave them worse than before.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029595)

Absolutely. All I'm advocating is some patience in the process. I hope one day they can all enjoy the benefits that American factory workers receive.

Oh, wait... the only benefit is 6 months of unemployment checks and a foreclosure notice.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029619)

You could adjust that American "benefit" by treating China like they do us. Its what, 5% import tax on stuff from China while they charge closer to 30% for stuff from America? Of course US companies move their factories there, they want to sell in China and the US and the only way to do that is to build in China.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029623)

Resources are finite. If they pay workers more then costs go up and fewer products get made. So fewer workers get hired. The ones who get hired may be a bit happier but the ones who don't will be a lot more miserable than otherwise.

So the net misery in China would go up.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029563)

Firstly, I live in China, speak Mandarin and Cantonese and build electronics among other things over here.

Everyone say hi to the CCP foreign correspondence branch!

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (2)

manual_tranny (2566083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029603)

I sure appreciate your comments, they provide a much-needed counterpoint to the original article. My post on this subject was similar to yours in one place ---> "Remember, Iphones aren't the only thing made in Foxconn city. Hundreds of other electronics manufacturers make things there. If Foxconn doesn't stay competitive in Shenzhen, somebody will open a factory in Vietnam where they don't even have to feed their staff and pretty soon all of those people in SZ that everyone was so worried about will be out of work and back to subsistence farming."--- I don't understand why Apple products are the only thing on trial here. The people who buy Foxconn products (and similar) are every bit as responsible for the worker's conditions as the people who set up the factory. The only difference is that as consumers we are not responsible for the success or failure of Foxconn as a business. Everyone making the business decisions for Foxconn must compare their costs with regional competition. At a certain point, we have to admit that WE (the US especially) are responsible for creating an economic model that makes factories like Foxconn INEVITABLE. For me, the jury is still out about whether it is better to try and "fix" one factory at a time or if it would be better to take a more Holistic/Systemic approach. We are balancing the "needs" of the poverty stricken Chinese with the "needs" of the lower class US. The most realistic solution is to solve the wealth disparity here in the USA. Our poverty stricken RELY on the labor of the poverty stricken Chinese to scrape by on Walmart clothing and furniture in their basement apartments. At what point will we acknowledge that the disparity of wealth here in the USA is encouraging a wealth disparity throughout the entire 3rd world?

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029693)

"At what point will we acknowledge that the disparity of wealth here in the USA is encouraging a wealth disparity throughout the entire 3rd world?"

I'd never really looked at it that way. VERY interesting.. You've given me food for thought for a while.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029617)

There's another viewpoint to make though. While the workers aren't as bad off as they could be, and even the bad conditions are an improvement over working in rice fields, this does not mean that consumers should just whistle a happy tune and let things be. There needs to be a pushback to increase working conditions. As soon as the west decides things are good enough then they'll never improve. The reason jobs are moving out of the west and into places like China and India is because the costs are lower and the regulations are next to non-existent. If this is just accepted this will hurt working conditions in the west also and they certainly won't improve in the east.

We spend a hundred years in the west trying to improve labor conditions and make corporations accountable and then they toss this all out the window and bypass the western workers. Of course these executives are not living in China or India either which is the part that stinks; if they like the overseas workers better then they should live there as well. Otherwise it's just too much of them covering their eyes. There should not be an audit now and then, there should be the CEO of Apple and Dell walking into the factory floors every single week, unannounced.

Yes, give Foxconn some credit but that does not mean let them rest. They have a long ways to go. So keep pushing to make working conditions even better.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029673)

"They have a long ways to go. So keep pushing to make working conditions even better."

Absolutely.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029779)

Everyone is trying to apply western working standards to the workers over here. While I think it's great in principle, consideration has to be taken for cultural and lifestyle differences.

Corporate exploitation isn't a cultural or lifestyle difference. It's a global reality.

They have a long ways to go, but they've come a HELL OF A LONG WAYS from hole-in-the-ground toilets that don't flush.

Yes, they've gone from rural farms to crowded industrial spaces where many are prone to suicidal depression. Is this the progress you're talking about?

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029847)

They are also protected from nagging coworkers trying to talk to them, on shift or off. Not to mention fair legal representation of blacklisting from all factories from the labor authorities. What's not to love.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (1)

silviumc (989732) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029925)

Are you a Westerner? Are you Chinese paid by the Communist party or Foxconn to make China/Foxconn look good on the internet? (if you're actually genuine, sorry for saying this, but it's a real possibility) I believe all Foxconn workers that will talk to the Western investigators will be required to say that everything is great. Else, worse things than just being fired will happen to them. Do you think this will happen? I live in an ex-Communist country, so I have experienced party propaganda first hand.

Re:Thoughts from someone who lives in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029951)

Foxconn is a Taiwanese company. TW is not communist...

Nothing will change whatosever (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029411)

Nothing will change... any organisation can interview hundreds or thousands of workers about how cruel the labor is at Foxconn but at the end of the day corporate greed will take over and all kinds of electronics will continue being made and nothing will change one iota.

If they do it right, I might buy an Apple product (1)

manual_tranny (2566083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029415)

I won't ever really believe that we will see "unrestricted access to all of their operations" as the article states. However, if Apple really gets honest and shows us the deplorable conditions in that factory... and then shows us how it has fixed those conditions... I will give them another chance. What is strange is: I never see any mention about the manufacturing conditions for competing PC and/or phone components. Is it really honest to have so much news about Apple without a mention of the parts used by the other big PC and phone companies? It is probably my fault for neglecting to educate myself... but I think our tendency to focus on one thing at a time really hinders our ability to see the broad picture. If Apple can't make their product for a very low cost, then they simply can't compete. We need to solve the problem of Chinese labor camps regardless of whether they serve high-profile companies like Apple or whether they serve serially-renamed conglomerates that sell $10 jeans in a country where a cheap lunch is $5. Something isn't adding up here.

Tea and biscuit for the inspector too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029473)

There's a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwitch on one of these chairs of the workers inside of the Chinese Apple factory.

It's ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN!!!

Then, he appointed with his finger, this viral enemy apparatus must be self-destructed automatically!.

And one of the workers will reclaim the damages of his forgotten phone that he dropped there accidentally after of his labour.

JCPM

re: Collateral damage (5, Insightful)

chaz373 (671243) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029485)

While Apple bashing is always fun, let us remember that Apple is not the only FoxConn client. So while you may revel in this negative publicity of APPLE, would you be as thrilled to hear that your Xbox 360, your PS3, your Wii, and your Kindle are also built at those same FoxConn factories? Whatever dirt is uncovered will not only tarnish the fruit company but also plenty of other tech titans from HP to Microsoft. So does your umbrage only extend to Apple Inc? My guess is that you will not be metering your indignation equally.

Re: Collateral damage (-1, Flamebait)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029547)

Part of the problem is that Apple is the semi-official brand of hipster douchebags buying free trade coffe and wearing hemp pants. So its the hypocrisy of it that strikes a corde with Apple more then with Sony etc. If the idiot yelling at me for not owning a hybrid car was shaking a Zune in my face I'd feel different I think. If Apple wants to market themselves as a progressive "think different" company, then they should act like it.

Re: Collateral damage (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029851)

douchebags buying free trade coffe

Douchebags indeed. Did you know that the "extra" you pay for this free-trade coffee does not (directly) benefit the coffee farmers, but instead stays in the country of sale as a "licensing fee" for the local "fair trade association", which at best spends it on advertisements of the idea of fair-trade coffee, and at worst splits it amongst its board and senior staff via fake purchases of service?

Enough is Enough! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029793)

First of all, Hon Hai (Foxconn) is a Taiwanese company. It just have tons of factories in China. To consumers: Foxconn plays an important role that that computer you are using right now cost you $1000 and not $10000. Your PS3 is now $300 instead of $3000 (if manufactured in Japan).

From employee's perspective: It is a dream job for many. When Foxconn give raise from 900 RMB/mo to 2,000 RMB/mo, many factories in China are still with 300-400RMB monthly. You don't want to know how much is the bonus/end of year draw. It's like winning the lottery! Unless you work for Apple, Microsoft, Google (or several other large-cap corp), most likely the company you work in is smaller than Foxconn. As nhtshot mentioned, it brings substantial improvement to these worker's lifestyle. Question to ask here is how your own job is changing your life style? Did you change from lack of food/shelter to decent middle class?

To Foxconn's partner/customers: It is a dream partner for many. When talk about manufacturing, there's a reason Foxconn is the size of it today. If you want your outsourced product to manufacture well, you'll want to stick to tier-ones. Not only price is reasonable for customers. It is very efficient! The thing about efficiency is that it comes while whole lot of baggage process in place. This alone makes me think this inspection won't find anything the hippies are looking for.

I guess it is good to bring up outsourcing labor. But the fact is, these work won't be coming back to American not just because of cost, but efficiency as well.

In danger of invoking Godwin (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029857)

But was this a show akin to the Red Cross inspections at the Nazi POW camps? Just asking...

They're auditing their competitors... (1)

JabrTheHut (640719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39029917)

Think about it. This is pure evil. As the fanboys keep telling us, the Foxconn factories make everything from iPods to PS3s. So in doing this, Apple is being especially evil as they're auditing their competitors' manufacturing too!

I don't want Apple taking away my freedom to purchase electronic gadgets made in poor working conditions while tut-tutting (I'm British, we tut) about the poor working conditions in Apple factories and using it as another stick to beat Apple with. It's not up to Apple to control the poor working conditions of other manufacturers.

"trademark violations" lead to FLA inspections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39029937)

Local Chinese gov't guys are barging into Apple stores and confiscating iPads as being a trademark registration from a Chinese company in 2001. Apple retaliates. Waiting for trademark violation charges to be "resolved" ASAP.

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