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Workers welfare comes into question

Several weeks ago, reports were rampant about Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, employees being severely underpaid but having to work just as hard as workers in any other parts of the world. In fact, reports said that some of Foxconn's employees that were part of manufacturing Apple products were being paid a $50 per month.

Shortly after the reports began circulating, Foxconn said that its factory in Longhua, China, does not put its workers at harm and does not sacrifice living standards for cheap labor. The company further said that most of its employees are given housing. There was no response from Apple for a few days but the company did issue a statement that it would investigate the matter further.

According to Apple, the company is extremely strict about its manufacturing partners and its code of conduct. Apple said that it will be interviewing workers that work at Foxconn's factories and said that it will not tolerate non-compliance to industry standards. Apple's own policy indicates:

Suppliers must pay wages, benefits, and overtime to workers in accordance with applicable laws, including those related to minimum wages, overtime, hours, and legally mandated benefits. Suppliers may not discriminate based on race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, or marital status. The basis on which workers are being paid must be clearly conveyed to them in a timely manner.


This is not uncommon for Chinese manufacturing facilities.  At most of these factories, workers are required to live "on-campus" and share a dorm with several other employees of the same gender.  Room and board are taken out of the employee's salary and as such, the workers are typically left with $50 to $100 per month.  Whether or not this is substandard to foreign eyes, it is the standard model in China -- every facility operates this way whether the plant manufactures iPods, motherboards, cars or clothes.

Neither Apple nor Foxconn have issued any further statements. The Longhua factory produces products for many manufacturers including Apple, and makes things such as the iPod.



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RE: You guys socialist or what?
By Bonrock on 6/22/2006 6:45:51 PM , Rating: 3
Lots of companies follow these same practices in China; that's not the real issue here. The real issue is that Apple, a company which claims to be very progressive, is doing it--in violation of their own code of conduct, I might add.

People love to think of Microsoft as evil and Apple as angelic, but the fact is, they're both big corporations--and like all big corporations, they both do a lot of crappy things. I really wish people would stop deluding themselves into thinking that Apple and Google are altruistic companies that care more about doing what's right than about making money.


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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