Initial findings suggest Foxconn plant conditions are above average

By on February 15, 2012, 3:30 PM

Initial reports on the working conditions at Chinese manufacturing plants that produce Apple iPads and iPhones suggest they are much better than those at other facilities across the country. Auret van Heerden, president of the Fair Labor Association, noted that Foxconn facilities were first-class with physical conditions way above average, according to a new report from Reuters.

During recent trips to Foxconn plants over the past several days, van Heerden said that based on how tranquil the facilities are, boredom and alienation are perhaps a bigger problem than intensity and burnout from a pressure-cooker environment like those typically found in garment factories.

On the topic of suicides in Chinese factories since the 1990s, he pointed to the fact that many of the young factory workers come from rural areas and are away from their families for the first time. It can be difficult for a young person to assimilate to an industrial lifestyle so quickly without any emotional support.

An interim report from the FLA is due in early March with feedback from roughly 35,000 factory workers spread across two Foxconn factories. The respondents will answer multiple questions anonymously and the data will be uploaded and consolidated into the initial report. A full report will highlight areas that need improvement and offer suggestions, says van Heerden.

The FLA was created by President Bill Clinton in 1999 to put an end to child labor and other sweatshop practices around the globe. Companies that voluntarily join the FLA are subject to independent and unannounced audits of factories to verify compliance of standards.

Van Heerden noted that his organization wouldn’t falsely paint a positive picture for Apple suppliers, as some might suggest, and that Apple voluntarily joined the FLA.

"Apple didn't need to join the FLA. The FLA system is very tough. It involves unannounced visits, complete access, public reporting. If Apple wanted to take the easy way out there were a whole host of options available to them," he said. "The fact that they joined the FLA shows they were really serious about raising their game."




User Comments: 12

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mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

"Initial findings suggest Foxconn's Apple plants conditions are above average"

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

mario said:

"Initial findings suggest Foxconn's Apple plants conditions are above average"

Well of course they are. The workers are just jumping for joy.

Guest said:

60 hours for week /2000$ to year so very happy !!!

Guest said:

FLA representative: How much money we pay, settle this matter, get good report yes yes?

Foxconn: "Evil shady deal takes place in back office."

Foxconn: We love you long time FLA! :)

Raswan Raswan said:

Yeah, no one really believes a word of this.

Scshadow said:

boredom and alienation are perhaps a bigger problem than intensity and burnout.

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure.... just ramp up the production and the suicides should just go away.

Best problem EVAR!!! XOXO -Apple

p51d007 said:

In world war 2, when the german prison camps were inspected by the "red cross" (geneva convention), they usually had a few days before they would arrive to inspect the camps. By that time, proper bedding, clothing, food would be provided, making the inspection look better than it was. Kind of get the feeling the same thing would be going on at the Foxconn plant.

Guest said:

from hearing DIRECT stories from business men that do business from all over china and wholesale suppliers, ALL of them also say the same thing about Foxxcon... Sure its not USA or Canada wages and workers rights, but its is WAYYY above par (top of the bar infact) for working in china....

MilwaukeeMike said:

p51d007 said:

In world war 2, when the german prison camps were inspected by the "red cross" (geneva convention), they usually had a few days before they would arrive to inspect the camps. By that time, proper bedding, clothing, food would be provided, making the inspection look better than it was. Kind of get the feeling the same thing would be going on at the Foxconn plant.

You're absolutely right... and when the US invaded Iraq they found equipement, warehouses, and other facilities used for building weapons of mass destruction. But, it took a few days for troops to get there, which gave looters and the govt had a few days to prepare. When troops got there... there were no weapons. The media reported there were no weapons, because it was true.

So, i'm gonna side with Apple here, and say I'm sure the conditions at Foxconn have been wonderful the whole time. Those stories were probably made up...

AfricanTech said:

Read "Factory Girls - Voices from the Heart of Modern China" by Leslie T. Chang (2008 revised 2010) - a fascinating insider view of the Chinese light industrial economic system - you won't find the conclusions by the FLA to be outlandish.

Guest said:

Average for China standards... that is pretty low....

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@darkshadoe I was pointing out that they reported that plants for Apple products have good condition. That may not be entire true for all of Foxconn's plants since they also manufacture products for MS, Amazon, Asus, Samsung, Nintendo, Sony, Dell, Gateway, HP, etc.

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