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Fair Labor Association says Foxconn's Apple iPad plant is 'first class'

post #1 of 117
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With full, independent audits of Apple assembly partner Foxconn's assembly facilities now under way, the initial assessment from the Fair Labor Association is that conditions at the Chinese manufacturing plants are much better than garment factories in China.

FLA President Auret van Heerden said after his first visits to Foxconn's facilities this week that the operation is "first class," adding that conditions are "way, way above the average of the norm," according to Reuters. Van Heerden spent the last two days visiting the facilities as part of an independent audit requested by Apple.

In fact, van Heerden even suggested that "boredom and alienation" could have been the main contributors to stress that led to a string of suicides at the company's plants years ago. Because the audits have just gotten underway, van Heerden and the FLA have not issued any conclusions on the working conditions at Foxconn.

"I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory," the FLA president said. "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."

Apple formally joined the FLA a month ago, making it the first technology company to do so. The association will independently assess facilities in Apple's supply chain and report detailed findings on its website.

Van Heerden said on Wednesday that Apple did not need to joint he FLA, and the company could have taken easier options if it wanted. He said the fact that Apple joined the association shows the company is "really serious about raising their game."

"The FLA system is very tough," he said. "It involves unannounced visits, complete access, public reporting."




The FLA audits come soon after a firestorm of media scrutiny surrounding Foxconn and Apple's continued partnership with the company. Recent reports from The New York Times and CNN highlighted potential labor issues in Apple's supply chain, with claims of forced overtime and low wages.

One woman interviewed by CNN said she had never even seen an iPad in person, even though she assembles them for a living. And the Times story included comments from anonymous current or former Apple executives, who suggested Apple has ignored labor issues because the current methods are favorable to the company.

The Times report incensed Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, who issued an e-mail to employees declaring the anonymous criticisms "patently false and offensive." He promised that Apple will never "stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain."

After Foxconn, the FLA plans to move on to two other Apple suppliers, Pegatron and Quanta, to audit their facilities. Pegatron said this week that the upcoming inspections have not been announced to them.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 117
The FLA must be wrong. I've been told that Apple is doing nothing to improve conditions and lets companies off the hook for treating workers like slaves.

</s>
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post #3 of 117
Yeah, but but but that fat actor guy with a Broadway show to hawk says he did a much more thorough investigation by standing outside the gates and talking via a translator to random employees.
post #4 of 117
The lefties will have none of this. It's still full steam ahead until Apple "brings those jobs home" to the unions for $41 an hour.
post #5 of 117
It seems the FLA is looking at conditions as compared to clothing manufacturing. So they're blown away by how much better tech manufacturing is. FLA needs to be careful to not be too glowing and impressed using comparisons to other industries or else it won't look as legit. Though I'm sure people are already planning on dismissing the report no matter what.

What I got out of his statements is just how bad things must be at textile shops, scary.
post #6 of 117
But..but.. SLAVERY!!! HELL-HOLE! WORKER ABUSE!! They must have been payed off and lying!

This isn't shocking. But let's keep focusing on Apple, creating media outrage, signing petitions, etc. because their facilities are 'way, way above the norm'.
post #7 of 117
"boredom and alienation" could have been the main contributors to stress............


they are bored...>???????? shut them DOWN....!!!!
post #8 of 117
What a shocker!

These truly disgusting human beings and evil liars led everybody to believe otherwise! How could it be that they were so completely wrong?

Apple should sue all of the ignoramuses for libel, slander and they should be investigated for their pathetic attempts at illegal stock manipulation. The should also be audited by the IRS and other federal agencies to uncover any illegal activities that the lowlifes might be involved in. I would like to see those people go down and I'd like to see them completely ruined!
post #9 of 117
Foxconn did have time to prepare. It wasn't exactly a surprise inspection.
post #10 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

[...] FLA President Auret van Heerden said after his first visits to Foxconn's facilities this week that the operation is "first class," adding that conditions are "way, way above the average of the norm," according to Reuters. [...]

Surprise. Like we weren't expecting that.

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post #11 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

The lefties will have none of this. It's still full steam ahead until Apple "brings those jobs home" to the unions for $41 an hour.

I'm a lefty of the pragmatic variety who grew up in the 3rd world and I would say to all those (ignorant but well-meaning) people who complained about "horrible, inhuman" working conditions at Foxconn: You should wish that all factories in the 3rd world were run like Foxconn's Apple operations.
post #12 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In fact, van Heerden even suggested that "boredom and alienation" could have been the main contributors to stress that led to a string of suicides at the company's plants years ago.

Or perhaps it was the large cash payments that "pushed a few workers over the edge".
post #13 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Foxconn did have time to prepare. It wasn't exactly a surprise inspection.

Yes, they completely revamped their production areas, taking out half the assembly seats and putting in twice the amenities overnight all without disrupting production. They're Foxconn after all, they're good at that kind of precise, lightning quick execution.
post #14 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Or perhaps it was the large cash payments that "pushed a few workers over the edge".

Love the pic with the article, so... classy. I heard that SJ would personally go to China to whip the workers.
post #15 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post

It seems the FLA is looking at conditions as compared to clothing manufacturing. So they're blown away by how much better tech manufacturing is. FLA needs to be careful to not be too glowing and impressed using comparisons to other industries or else it won't look as legit. Though I'm sure people are already planning on dismissing the report no matter what.

What I got out of his statements is just how bad things must be at textile shops, scary.

Possibly, the scrutiny of Apple will result in greater scrutiny elsewhere too. Hopefully, Apple will step up as the undisputed leader in the field of factory conditions.

This could be a big win for Apple if it pays its cards right. So far, so good.
post #16 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

The FLA must be wrong. I've been told that Apple is doing nothing to improve conditions and lets companies off the hook for treating workers like slaves.

</s>

Critics have already attacked the FLA as being an industry rubber stamp. Nothing will satisfy this crowd so get used to it. This is going to be harped on indefinitely because it fits right in with their political agenda. And with AAPL closing in on half a trillion in market cap it's only going to get worse.
post #17 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

The FLA must be wrong. I've been told that Apple is doing nothing to improve conditions and lets companies off the hook for treating workers like slaves.

</s>

I don't believe what independent factory audits say. I only believe what shadowy nameless accusers say to the NYT. Because nobody believes what they hear; they hear what they believe.

</s>

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #18 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Yeah, but but but that fat actor guy with a Broadway show to hawk says he did a much more thorough investigation by standing outside the gates and talking via a translator to random employees.

That guy is awful.. What's even worse is that all these news outlets are giving him airtime !! And validating all his nonsense .... What I find frustrating is they do not mention other companies involved with Foxconn .. Guess thats what happens when you the biggest company in the world .
The world belongs to who wants it , now who deserves it.
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post #19 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Foxconn did have time to prepare. It wasn't exactly a surprise inspection.

Was waiting for this comment. How much significant change do you possibly think they could have implemented, since they employ hundreds of thousands of workers? I mean, seriously. How would they have 'prepared'? By renovating the entire facility? Revamping all operations? These are massive facilities with very tight and technical production lines. ANY change would have to be carefully studied before implementation. FLA also interviewed workers, etc. This isn't a tiny office which can be cleaned up the night before.
post #20 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I'm a lefty of the pragmatic variety who grew up in the 3rd world and I would say to all those (ignorant but well-meaning) people who complained about "horrible, inhuman" working conditions at Foxconn: You should wish that all factories in the 3rd world were run like Foxconn's Apple operations.

Well meaning my ass.

The ignorant people who signed and supported that petition are no better than the KKK. They are pure scum and they are evil people. Ignorance is no excuse for evil. On the previous threads about this issue they were attacking anybody who defended Apple. They had zero facts or proof to back up any of their slanderous assertions and anybody who provided facts and data which proved them wrong were attacked and labeled as racists. One genius even called me a European colonialist.

These are not well meaning people. They are scum and all they do is lie about others. They lied about Apple and they lied about anybody who pointed out that they were completely wrong.
post #21 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Foxconn did have time to prepare. It wasn't exactly a surprise inspection.

Exactly the quote I would expect from someone who's already convicted Apple of being evil. No amount of evidence to the contrary will suffice.
post #22 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

The lefties will have none of this. It's still full steam ahead until Apple "brings those jobs home" to the unions for $41 an hour.

Right... Because having American jobs is a commie plot. Gotcha.
post #23 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

The FLA must be wrong. I've been told that Apple is doing nothing to improve conditions and lets companies off the hook for treating workers like slaves.

</s>

I heard Apple kills a a pug puppy for every iDevice made.

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post #24 of 117
The next round of arguments will go:

Apple must hold Foxconn accountable as a whole! Just because the iPad factory is first class, doesn't excuse them from using slave labour conditions in other factories that produce laptops and consoles for Apple's competitors! Apple should be held responsible for those workers because they work for Foxconn as well. That's right, I want Apple to be responsible for the workers of their competitors!


Enough already. There is some truth in the findings here and the facilities that produce items for Apple are probably above par. It's time to turn on the heat on the other companies to do the same as Apple so the industry as a whole demands reasonable standards from their supplies.
post #25 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Possibly, the scrutiny of Apple will result in greater scrutiny elsewhere too. Hopefully, Apple will step up as the undisputed leader in the field of factory conditions.

This could be a big win for Apple if it pays its cards right. So far, so good.

We need to bring back the Made in USA campaign for clothing or at least one recognizable brand that is known for making clothing locally. Premium brands already charge $50+ dollars for a shirt so I think it can be done. Instead of a 1000% markup, they would have to settle with a 200% markup, still doable.

I wonder if there's a study out there of the manufacturers with worst overseas factory conditions. I wouldn't be surprised if the big guys like Nike, Old Navy, Gap, etc have front companies or other obscurities to hide their overseas operations.
post #26 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

I'm a lefty of the pragmatic variety who grew up in the 3rd world and I would say to all those (ignorant but well-meaning) people who complained about "horrible, inhuman" working conditions at Foxconn: You should wish that all factories in the 3rd world were run like Foxconn's Apple operations.

This. A thousand times. Those complaining about the working conditions at Foxconn ought to visit a third world country (including rural China) and see how vastly better life is at these assembly plants than where many of these workers came from.

- Jasen.
post #27 of 117
Unfortunately, like with Greenpeace a few years ago, Apple was already doing the Right Thing™ and well ahead of the curve, but being the easy and fashionable target that they are, a beat-up by someone looking to make a name for themselves results in Apple having to stick it on their front page.

It's not that the conditions at contractors' sites where their products are made are now (or even needed to be) any better, or that their products were not already environmentally conscious, but now they - and for some reason, few others - have to hold a press conference to put the scandal-monkeys back in their faeces-stained little barrel. That Apple weren't already trumpeting it from the castle walls being the only mistake they actually made.

Sadly, it's too late - the scandal-rags have already made a little extra pocket-money from a temporary influx of site clicks, and will spin it as them having changed the way the big evil giant does business, having taught Apple a lesson.
post #28 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Exactly the quote I would expect from someone who's already convicted Apple of being evil. No amount of evidence to the contrary will suffice.

Yes I consider them evil, especially since I have an iPhone, iPod, airport base station, new MacBook pro and will always recommend and use apple products.
post #29 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

The lefties will have none of this. It's still full steam ahead until Apple "brings those jobs home" to the unions for $41 an hour.

I don't know how much you make but why would you want to deny another person the ability to make $41 an hour. Basically what you are saying is deny an American a $41 an hour job and make sure that a Chinese worker gets or keeps the job, regardless of the conditions. Maybe I should call up you boss and tell him that he is paying you too much and just to prove it I will take your job for 50% of what he pays you. As righties will tell you all day long the market will manage itself. So if labor at $41 an hour make the cost of the product so high that no one buys it, then the problem will solve itself. Right? Or are you just using this article as an excuse to bitch about people who don't think like you.
post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasenj1 View Post

This. A thousand times. Those complaining about the working conditions at Foxconn ought to visit a third world country (including rural China) and see how vastly better life is at these assembly plants than where many of these workers came from.

- Jasen.

So if I beat you with a wooden stick instead of a crowbar, you have no right to complain because of how much better you have it? Come on.
post #31 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post

We need to bring back the Made in USA campaign for clothing or at least one recognizable brand that is known for making clothing locally.

American Apparel is a decent sized company which makes it clothing (and cloth, I think) in the US.

Of course, they have their own share of other controversies.
post #32 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Foxconn did have time to prepare. It wasn't exactly a surprise inspection.

Yes because we all know that in small factories that employ only 400K+ people, they are able to completely change everything in a few days to spiff the place up. Put a few vases of flowers our. Play some nice soothing music through the excellent audio system that they have. Have all 400K+ bring in pictures of there families and a few mementos to put in there work areas to show how great working at Foxconn is. Really, does anyone actually apply critical thinking to what they imagine the world is.
post #33 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post

We need to bring back the Made in USA campaign for clothing or at least one recognizable brand that is known for making clothing locally. Premium brands already charge $50+ dollars for a shirt so I think it can be done. Instead of a 1000% markup, they would have to settle with a 200% markup, still doable.

I wonder if there's a study out there of the manufacturers with worst overseas factory conditions. I wouldn't be surprised if the big guys like Nike, Old Navy, Gap, etc have front companies or other obscurities to hide their overseas operations.

Yeah it would be nice to see all Levis made in USA again but you can switch brands if you choose, that is if you can afford to buy American:

http://motorcitydenimco.com/

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post #34 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

I don't know how much you make but why would you want to deny another person the ability to make $41 an hour.

Sitting on an assembly line is not a highly skilled job. Any bozo can do that job, and no, I do not wish for any Americans to be making $41 an hour to assemble my next iPad, because the iPad would be ridiculously expensive.

Apple should not bring any jobs back to the US. With the criminal and corrupt Unions around, it would not make any economic sense. It would be bad for Apple, it would be bad for Apple's customers and I don't really give a crap about any Americans who are out of work. That is their own fault, as Americans have the leadership which they voted for. Change indeed.
post #35 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The ignorant people who signed and supported that petition are no better than the KKK. They are pure scum and they are evil people.

Really? The KKK?

I have said Apple is doing better than other companies. This is confirming that and it's great to hear. Continued improvement will keep Foxconn on the right track. There is still a lot to do.
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post #36 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by techguy911 View Post

We need to bring back the Made in USA campaign ...

The whole concept of a "Made in USA" campaign is flawed though. The base idea, (that it actually matters to the world economy or even to the local economies what country a thing is manufactured in), is deeply flawed.

It never ceases to amaze me how gung-ho super-capitalist the USA is *except* where it concerns the USA, when they immediately switch to the same protectionism they decry in other countries the other 90% of the time.

The movement of manufacturing jobs from older, Western developed economies to emergent economies in the rest of the world is both proper, efficient, and completely unavoidable. The failure is in the American Education system which produces bushels of dimwits only suitable for the kind of third world jobs that aren't available in North America anymore but who conversely require the wages of a much higher paying sector to live on.

The US job market and job seekers need to be smarter and better educated, not artificially propped up by government support so they can do slave labour work for CEO wages.
post #37 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

But..but.. SLAVERY!!! HELL-HOLE! WORKER ABUSE!! They must have been payed off and lying!

This isn't shocking. But let's keep focusing on Apple, creating media outrage, signing petitions, etc. because their facilities are 'way, way above the norm'.

So you typed your message on a device that was probably built in one of these hell holes. Thanks for doing your part.
post #38 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

Yes because we all know that in small factories that employ only 400K+ people, they are able to completely change everything in a few days to spiff the place up. Put a few vases of flowers our. Play some nice soothing music through the excellent audio system that they have. Have all 400K+ bring in pictures of there families and a few mementos to put in there work areas to show how great working at Foxconn is. Really, does anyone actually apply critical thinking to what they imagine the world is.

I guess no one picks up on sarcasm.
post #39 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

I don't know how much you make but why would you want to deny another person the ability to make $41 an hour. Basically what you are saying is deny an American a $41 an hour job and make sure that a Chinese worker gets or keeps the job, regardless of the conditions. Maybe I should call up you boss and tell him that he is paying you too much and just to prove it I will take your job for 50% of what he pays you. As righties will tell you all day long the market will manage itself. So if labor at $41 an hour make the cost of the product so high that no one buys it, then the problem will solve itself. Right? Or are you just using this article as an excuse to bitch about people who don't think like you.

Right. The jobs went to China. Problem solved.
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post #40 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Well meaning my ass.

The ignorant people who signed and supported that petition are no better than the KKK. They are pure scum and they are evil people. Ignorance is no excuse for evil. On the previous threads about this issue they were attacking anybody who defended Apple. They had zero facts or proof to back up any of their slanderous assertions and anybody who provided facts and data which proved them wrong were attacked and labeled as racists. One genius even called me a European colonialist.

These are not well meaning people. They are scum and all they do is lie about others. They lied about Apple and they lied about anybody who pointed out that they were completely wrong.

Are you able to write a single post without all the hyperbole?

Apple has, through its own investigations, found abusive labor practices in its supply chain. That does not mean 1) that the abuses are systemic, or 2) that Apple does not care / is not doing anything about it. Apple appears to be leading in this area to continually improve working conditions even in its outsourced operations, but that doesn't mean the situation is perfect.

There are extremists on one side claiming the working conditions are sweatshop level and there are apologists on the other side claiming everything is wonderful and perfect. Neither one represents reality.
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