backtop


Print 76 comment(s) - last by DougF.. on Feb 20 at 11:00 AM


  (Source: digitaltrends.com)
FLA president said other factories in China are much worse, and that Apple's Foxconn plants are "first-class"

After The New York Times released a report on the poor treatment of Apple's suppliers' workers, weeks of Apple bashing ensued. But a new study from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) takes the opposite stance, saying that workers at factories like Foxconn are not being pushed to their limits -- they're just bored.

Auret van Heerden, president of the Fair Labor Association, is currently investigating the conditions of Apple's suppliers' factories in China after Apple recently volunteered for FLA inspection. Van Heerden recently visited one of Apple's main suppliers, Foxconn Technology Group, and found that the working conditions there were better than many other factories in China such as garment factories.

"The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm," said van Heerden. "I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory. So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It's more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps."

Van Heerden explained that many of the workers come from distant rural areas away from their families, and are thrown into an industrial setting that they're not used to with people that they don't know. With this kind of boredom, alienation and homesickness, the young workers require emotional support, and the factories were not aware that this was the case. Van Heerden said that this emotional distress is what led to the suicides at Foxconn, not employees being overworked.

Van Heerden also sided with Apple in the respect that the company decided to join the FLA, which subjects the company to intense monitoring.

"Apple didn't need to join the FLA," said van Heerden. "The FLA system is very tough. It involves unannounced visits, complete access, public reporting. If Apple wanted to take the easy way out, there were a whole host of options available to them. The fact that they joined the FLA shows they were really serious about raising their game."

Last month, The New York Times published a report detailing the harsh conditions that Apple's suppliers' workers must endure. The article listed problems like long hours, exhaustion, lengthy overtime, unsafe working environments (a collection of aluminum dust from polishing iPad cases led to two explosions in two separate Foxconn plants due to poor ventilation), underage employment and crowded living conditions as some of the violations to Apple's supplier code of conduct. Despite violations to this code, which have been brought to Apple's attention repeatedly on an annual basis since 2007, The New York Times wondered why Apple wasn't doing anything to improve it.

Apple CEO Tim Cook fired back about the claims that Apple doesn't care about its supplier's employees overseas. He sent an email to Apple employees stating that the company cares about each and every worker, and that he was outraged by the accusations which stated otherwise.

"As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values," said Cook. "Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are."

About 30 FLA employees will be spending the next three weeks at Chinese Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu to interview 35,000 workers. Each Apple Foxconn worker will be given iPads to complete a survey, which asks them the following series of questions: how were they hired, were they paid a fee, what are the conditions of their dorms/food, were their complaints acted upon, what is their emotional well being, and were they offered/did they sign any contracts and did they understand them.

After collecting this information, the FLA will create a full report of their findings. The report will be available in early March 2012.

Foxconn will not be the only supplier investigated by the FLA. Asian suppliers like Quanta Computer Inc., Wintek Corp. and Pegatron Corp. will be placed under the microscope as well at a later date.

Sources: Reuters, CNET



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Right...
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/16/2012 3:53:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't ever recall claiming anything as fact, but everything he posts, claims as facts even when proven it's not. So.....try again?


RE: Right...
By Tony Swash on 2/16/2012 6:32:38 PM , Rating: 1
At the end of my comment I said:

quote:
If anybody knows of better, more compete or more comprehensive sources of data on suicide in China please do post the relevant links.


Feel free to post any more data or sources of data that will let us understand better the phenomena of suicide in China and how it relates to working for a company that supplies Apple. I like facts :)

When the Facts Change, I Change My Mind. What Do You Do, Sir?
John Maynard Keynes


RE: Right...
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/17/2012 8:03:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I like facts :)
Except when they don't suit your agenda, then you throw out some overly biased opinions of other people on some overly biased website or some random quotes which have nothing to do with the conversation at hand.


RE: Right...
By DougF on 2/20/2012 11:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
And yet, when you are asked to provide a countering set of facts, do some of your own research, or add to the conversation/debate with something other than personal opinion, you fail to do so.


"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki