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Foxconn: iPod sweatshop claims a "vicious attack"

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Foxconn Electronics has "sternly denied" a report insinuating that the company is making iPods for Apple Computer in sweatshops, according to DigiTimes.

Last week the Mail on Sunday published a two page spread claiming first-hand accounts from within some of Foxconn's facilities in which workers labor 15-hour days for as little as $50 a month. The report garnered considerable attention and was even picked up by national television news networks for their nightly news broadcasts.

Edmund Ding, a spokesman for Foxconn, has now gone on record in saying there were "huge discrepancies" between the truth and the allegations in the report. He called the report a "vicious attack" on Foxconn -- the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry -- and added that the company reserves the right to take legal action.

In the Mail's report last week, the publication alleged that one factory at Longhua employed 200,000 workers, each of whom had to work 15 hours a day for a monthly pay of $50.

However, Ding says Foxconn has a workforce of only about 160,000 employees worldwide, excluding those within its handset-making arm, Foxconn International Holdings. He maintained that the company abides by the employment law in China, which stipulates that the minimum wage for a worker in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone is 810 yuan (or $101) a month.

Ding also said Foxconn has been actively making improvements to workers' living conditions, providing safe and well-equipped dormitories complete with free laundry service, sports facilities, libraries, and other facilities, the spokesman said.

According to the Mail's report, some employees lived in rooms occupied by 100, where they were allowed no outside visitors, few possessions and a wash bucket to clean their clothes.

Last week, Apple issued its own response to the report, saying it planned to investigate the matter.

Dormitory at Foxconn's E3 factory | Image copyright Mail on Sunday.

Military-style drills on the roof top at Foxconn | Image copyright Mail on Sunday.
post #2 of 16
Pipe and smoke it!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #3 of 16
Anyone else think that Microsoft and its partners were behind the false reports?
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by scotty321
Anyone else think that Microsoft and its partners were behind the false reports?

No, it's the Daily Mail that reported it. They like publishing xenophobic shite that gets middle englanders upset over their tea and toast every day. They can make up this kind of rubbish all by themselves.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by scotty321
Anyone else think that Microsoft and its partners were behind the false reports?

I wouldn't put it beyond them, but I'm not sure. Maybe Creative??? There are some rather harsh words going back and forth between Apple and them these days...
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
No, it's the Daily Mail that reported it. They like publishing xenophobic shite that gets middle englanders upset over their tea and toast every day. They can make up this kind of rubbish all by themselves.

Another random "human rights" group, eh? That's even more logical than MS or Creative. Good point.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by jamezog
I wouldn't put it beyond them, but I'm not sure. Maybe Creative??? There are some rather harsh words going back and forth between Apple and them these days...

And where do you imagine Creative get their products made?
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
And where do you imagine Creative get their products made?

Exactly. If it was MS or Creative (or any other competitor), the chances of it turning out to be "the pot calling the kettle black" are very high. But who would think of that when they read such an accusation?

Just about everything made in China probably runs along lines like what we're seeing here, just because of the different standard of living. I agree with posts on past threads about the different quality of life - I've been places where most folks do their laundry at a stream, and having a bucket to do your laundry would be considered a luxury.

Apple's products happen to be extremely popular, and so they (or their suppliers) become the example / target of supposed human rights violations.
post #9 of 16
oops!
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by jamezog
Another random "human rights" group, eh? That's even more logical than MS or Creative. Good point.

No, 'Middle Englanders' is usually used to indicate the "middle class morally outraged at anything yet not likely to do anything brigade".

Wikipedia explains it quite well and even mentions the Daily Mail...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_England

In Marxist terms, the petite bourgeoisie.
post #11 of 16
Shock! Horror! Daily Mail may have published "slightly less than true" story!

This is the same tabloid that only a week or two earlier posted a story on vitamin pills being the cure for cancer. Americans, this paper is comparable to supermarket tabloids. It's cheap sensationalist trash.

The reason this story made it to international news is that it just happens to be something we all believe: "conditions in China less than good". It's hard to believe otherwise. The tacit untruth in the story is that its focus is so specific, ruling out all conditions other than those experienced by employees in a factory that makes Apple iPods, as though to imply conditions elsewhere in China are any better. And as with all Daily Mail stories, the details are imaginary.

Apple is right to investigate this story, but I'll be surprised if we see its correction hit international news.
post #12 of 16
Know what's funny? Now that I look at the first pricture again I think that could possibly be a locker room or a laundry room.
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post #13 of 16
Those military style drills are standard across China, an acquaintance who went to China to teach English said that all schools there start the day with something similar. It's far less creepy than a daily pledge of allegiance and probably helps focus the participants' minds for the day ahead (in school, or work).

I wish my workplace arranged a place to sleep next to work, i'd save a tonne on taxis.

Different country, different culture, different situation.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by jdbartlett
Shock! Horror! Daily Mail may have published "slightly less than true" story!

More like:

Shock Horror! Random company denies any wrong doing following reports by a newspaper of wrong doing!!!

Seriously. Are you all going to take the company's word for it just because they are a business partner of Apple? I like Apple stuff but fanboism has to stop somewhere.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally posted by dr_gonzo
Are you all going to take the company's word for it just because they are a business partner of Apple? I like Apple stuff but fanboism has to stop somewhere.

No, I'm just not going to take The Daily Mail's "word for it" that they aren't printing more lies. Why not? Because it's The Daily Mail! I don't know if you live in England, but I spent almost 20 years in the country and in my experience the paper is as reliably inaccurate as any other supermarket tabloid. Until this story is investigated by actual journalists, it's not worth debating.
post #16 of 16
Who cares?
I don't give a shit what they do over there... it's their problem.
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