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Foxconn plants have cut overtime, but dorms could use some attention now

Apple has had a bit of trouble with its suppliers in China as far as working conditions go, but the Fair Labor Association (FLA) recently reported that Foxconn factories are improving.
Foxconn, which is the trading name for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is an electronics maker in China that builds Apple's iPhones and iPads. It has been placed under the microscope for years regarding issues like worker suicides and poor working conditions.
But the FLA recently audited Foxconn factories once again, and found that conditions are indeed improving in the way of cutting overtime and improving safety. For the Shenzhen Foxconn factory in particular, overtime hours had been cut from 80 per month to between 48 and 60. 
Factory higher-ups have also stressed their effort toward creating better living situations in dorms. However, this won't be so easy. According to Louis Woo, assistant to the CEO of Foxconn, cutting overtime means having to hire more employees to fill in extra shifts.
While cutting overtime is important so that employees are not pushed to the point of exhaustion -- which then leads to accidents on the job and sometimes emotional problems -- some employees have complained that they need the overtime in order to live semi-comfortably financially.
"A lot of workers have clearly come to Shenzhen to make as much money as they can in as short a period as they can, and overtime hours are very important in that calculation," said Woo. "We are picking up concerns now on the microblogs about what's likely to happen as hours get changed, and whether their incomes will be shaved as well." 
In 2010, Foxconn factories in China received a lot of media attention after a string of worker suicides occurred. It was revealed that these employees were overworked and suffered poor working and living conditions. In fact, explosions resulted from the build-up of aluminum dust used to polish iPad cases in Foxconn plants. 
In January 2012, The New York Times took Apple's supplier problems to another level by publishing a lengthy article on all the issues occurring in the Chinese factories. It pointed out issues like too much overtime, little pay and crowded dorms. Apple was accused of standing by idly despite receiving several violations of the company code of conduct from these factories. 
Shortly after the Times article, Apple volunteered to join the FLA for rigorous and random inspections of the Foxconn factories. Since, the FLA has performed the inspections and found that overtime hours, pay and safety were the top violations at Foxconn. However, it was odd that one month beforehand, FLA President Auret van Heerden reported that Foxconn plants were not so bad

Source: Reuters

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By tng on 8/23/2012 8:54:09 AM , Rating: 1
Repealing obamacare so companies aren't forced to have this expense.
From what I have seen at several companies that I go to, what Obamacare has done is allow the employer to shift most of the cost to the employee. Yes the company has health care benefits, but in addition to your $50-$100 per month premium, the plan only will pick up cost after you pay almost $7K out of pocket. Again, I believe that this is the real reason that this was passed, employers pay less and pass the cost on to employees, helping the bottom line of the business at the expense of the employee.

...government shouldn't dictate to companies what they should or should not do
This is the real problem. Government should have some say in how companies operate, but in recent years that has gotten out of hand as federal, state and local regulations have grown out of control. Where I live in CA a company that uses IPA to clean parts has to account for every drop that they use and then pay a fee to the local air quality district. Ironically, I can go down to Wall Mart and buy a bottle of 99% IPA and dump it on the ground and there is no penalty for that. What it comes down to is a money and power grab by government.

Why the hell shouldn't those people be making boatloads of money for what they created?
I say that if they can get that kind of money, good for them. I don't ever want to see some kind of system imposed by government that tells me how much I can make. People who want laws like that never realize that it will come back to bite them in the butt someday, and they probably will not even realize it.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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