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Fair Labour Association Calls Apple's Factories "First Class"

btarunr

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#1
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.

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FordGT90Concept

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#2
When average is dismal, "above average" really doesn't account for much improvement. Apple should be building highly automated assembly factories in the USA. It costs more up front but I bet it would be cheaper in the long run. :p
 
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#3
Well that was fast. I guess an "inspection" in China is conducted by phone or fax. 5 minutes is all it takes.

So much BS.
 
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#4
Yes, I remember "inspections" in Hong Kong. The factory owners would take the visitors on the tour of the factory. The workers were informed on how to behave "or else". And when the owners took the visitor the long-way-round the factory, the workers quickly sneaked from one building to the next, to make the factory look busy and successful.

So easy to manage an inspection esp. by American FLA where they cannot speak to workers due to language barriers and can only naiively "look" at the factory and working conditions.
 

btarunr

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#5
Maybe FLA knows more, but I have to call BS on the theory of rural guy going to factories and getting shocked by the work there. I'm from India, and I'm sure a Chinese guy can correct me, but the mechanism of urbanization is similar between our two countries. Life in rural parts of our country is extremely difficult. Farm mechanization is low, and so there's lot of manual labour, and rural life in our two countries is nightmarish. Apart from working your ass out in the field, you have the slog it out in the village market to get the best prices for your produce, so you could make ends meet. In contrast, being pulled out of the farms and being put into a factory, especially an assembly line where you can sit, and where the factory gives you your lunch, is a dream. Hell, even a stereotypical textile sweatshop is much better than farm life.

So there must be factors other than intensity of labour behind worker suicides.
 
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#6
It is good compared to a garment factory... lol...

Corporate work environment green washing haha!
 
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#7
Oh heres a good idea...inspectors give time and dates for their arrival so management can sweep problems under the rug. Yeah, really win there.

Just an Apple publicity stunt to wave the "everything is ok" sign.

Really if this was a serious inspection, they wouldn't have disclosed it. Just surprise, show up, catch them with their pants down. Then accept bribes to keep it quiet ;D.
 
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#8
Hans Blix must have been the inspector.
 
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#9
I bet Apple paid all the works to just "Smile and wave"!
 
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#10
Pics or it didn't happen.
 

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#11
Oh heres a good idea...inspectors give time and dates for their arrival so management can sweep problems under the rug. Yeah, really win there.
Chinese government doesn't allow surprise inspections. All these corporations know what they're dealing with (won't admit it publically--see Nike and child labor) and frankly, they don't care so long as the products are completed and meet quality requirements. It is going to keep on happening until labor costs around the globe increase to the point where automation is undeniably cheaper.
 
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#12
hey remember some time ago when banks were hiring independent companies to rate securities...and that worked out so well...
 
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#13
Maybe FLA knows more, but I have to call BS on the theory of rural guy going to factories and getting shocked by the work there. I'm from India, and I'm sure a Chinese guy can correct me, but the mechanism of urbanization is similar between our two countries. Life in rural parts of our country is extremely difficult. Farm mechanization is low, and so there's lot of manual labour, and rural life in our two countries is nightmarish. Apart from working your ass out in the field, you have the slog it out in the village market to get the best prices for your produce, so you could make ends meet. In contrast, being pulled out of the farms and being put into a factory, especially an assembly line where you can sit, and where the factory gives you your lunch, is a dream. Hell, even a stereotypical textile sweatshop is much better than farm life.

So there must be factors other than intensity of labour behind worker suicides.
You go to a Foxconn or similar factory and you work your asses off. You live, eat, work and poop all in their facilities. You have practically no social life. You have no one close to you to talk to. Then you realize that it's a dead-end job and think you're stuck in this forever or you got hooked up with some female co-worker then got dumped or something. With how superficial and hollow the modern Chinese culture is, it's not hard to see why someone would just kill himself.

But my speculation is pointless. The suicide rate at Foxconn is actually lower than national average. And, no one really cares. Everyone comes out and says "This is deplorable and inexcusable!" then go right back to living their unsustainable lifestyle. It's China right now and it will be Africa when most Chinese can enjoy the same unsustainable lifestyle.
 
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#14
Here eat thos shiny apple mr and mrs inspector sir, it may be solid gold so watch your teeth, as we have no accidents here OK?
 

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#16
You go to a Foxconn or similar factory and you work your asses off. You live, eat, work and poop all in their facilities. You have practically no social life. You have no one close to you to talk to. Then you realize that it's a dead-end job and think you're stuck in this forever or you got hooked up with some female co-worker then got dumped or something. With how superficial and hollow the modern Chinese culture is, it's not hard to see why someone would just kill himself.

But my speculation is pointless. The suicide rate at Foxconn is actually lower than national average. And, no one really cares. Everyone comes out and says "This is deplorable and inexcusable!" then go right back to living their unsustainable lifestyle. It's China right now and it will be Africa when most Chinese can enjoy the same unsustainable lifestyle.
I don't deny that Foxconn's facilities are bad, but I'm saying the backgrounds these workers come from (according to FSA, from rural China) are a LOT worse.
 
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#17
I don't deny that Foxconn's facilities are bad, but I'm saying the backgrounds these workers come from (according to FSA, from rural China) are a LOT worse.
So that must mean farmer suicide rates have to a LOT more!
 

btarunr

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#18
So that must mean farmer suicide rates have to a LOT more!
Well, the worker suicide rates do seem to be below national average. Apple's PR gets the spotlight when a Foxconn worker "commits suicide", and not when a Chinese peasant does.
 
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#19
First class ? LOL working conditions at your local Burger King must be off the charts then
 
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#20
When I was in the military, announced inspections were a total joke. Everything was cleaned up spic-'n-span and it turned into a dog-and-pony-show. It's the unannounced inspections that really matter, so you can see what's really going on.
 

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#21
Hans Blix must have been the inspector.
Probably...but the jokes on you as he is no longer exists. Unless the joke was that there was no inspection because hes dead and 8ft under.
 
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#22
If it is so great. Why does she look so depressed?
 
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#23
Completely off topic, I know, but has anyone else noticed the image used for this article is a photoshop? And not a good one either, look at the awkward way that worker is holding the iPad, and also notice how her thumb is touching one of the icons without starting that app, not to mention the fact that her thumb has an awfully different skin tone than the rest of her hand... Altough she could be using one of those funny finger latex covers, still the angle of her hands just looks wrong to be holding that iPad...

Just saying...
 
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#24
I don't deny that Foxconn's facilities are bad, but I'm saying the backgrounds these workers come from (according to FSA, from rural China) are a LOT worse.
You are right that it's likely that farm work is much harder on the body. What I meant was that these people couldn't handle the lonely and repetive life in the foxconn city. What they should've realize is that the job they are doing shouldn't be permanent. Work your asses off, send money home, save enough money, learn a trade or something and move on.
 
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#25
Well, we'll have to wait and see what The Fair Labor Association has to say about the factories, then. Perhaps more scrutiny will come when leaving out the U.