Earlier this week, it was reported
that Apple was conducting inspections of the manufacturing facilities of its foundry partners via independent agencies, to assess working conditions and well-being of workers. It requested the Fair Labour Association (FLA) to carry out the inspections. In addition to Foxconn, the FLA will inspect facilities of Quanta Computer Inc, Pegatron Corp, Wintek Corp and others. While the final report of its inspections will be released only by late next month, FLA revealed its first impressions of what it saw.
The FLA finds the working conditions in foundry partner Foxconn's facilities "above average". Auret van Heerden, president of the FLA commented on the Foxconn inspection: "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm." He continued, "I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory," he 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."
Mr. van Heerden went on to hypothesize the cause of worker suicides in China, which his organization has been studying since the 1990s. "You have lot of young people, coming from rural areas, away from families for the first time. They're taken from a rural into an industrial lifestyle, often quite an intense one, and that's quite a shock to these young workers. And we find that they often need some kind of emotional support, and they can't get it," he added. "Factories initially didn't realize those workers needed emotional support."
Source: Reuters, Image Courtesy: NewsBiscuit