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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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Fair Labor Association Begins Auditing Foxconn's Manufacturing Facilities at Apple's Request




Last month, Apple and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) announced an agreement that would see the FLA monitoring workplace conditions in Apple's supply chain, providing independent oversight to ensure compliance with worker rights standards set by Apple and the FLA. Apple is the first technology company to join the FLA, a move which comes as Apple has been the subject of increasing criticism over Foxconn's treatment of its employees.




Apple today issued a press release announcing that the FLA has begun inspecting Foxconn's facilities at Apple's request, supplementing Apple's own auditing practices.
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Apple today announced that the Fair Labor Association will conduct special voluntary audits of Apple's final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple's request. A team of labor rights experts led by FLA president Auret van Heerden began the first inspections Monday morning at the facility in Shenzhen known as Foxconn City.

"We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we've asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports."
The release notes that the FLA will be conducting interviews of thousands of Foxconn employees as it assesses their working and living conditions. The FLA will have access to Foxconn's manufacturing areas, as well as the dormitories and other facilities where employees are housed in the massive complex.

Results of the Foxconn inspections will be posted on the FLA's site early next month, and similar inspections at Apple's other major manufacturing partners Quanta and Pegatron will follow this spring. Once inspections at the three companies' facilities are complete, the FLA will have assessed facilities where over 90% of Apple's products are assembled.

Article Link: Fair Labor Association Begins Auditing Foxconn's Manufacturing Facilities at Apple's Request
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:21 AM   #2
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Why do I suspect these interviews *may* be influenced, say by, fears of employment, discrimination, and/or government?
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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I am sure a memo went out to everyone in the factory to look their best and be cheerful and always smile. Then when they leave, back to boredom.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:24 AM   #4
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Let's see how some people will make this out to be a bad thing.

Any rational and objective person would view this as a giant step forward.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by hobo.hopkins View Post
Any rational and objective person would view this as a giant step forward.
You mean like posts #2 & #4?

Looks like iIrrational and iUnobjective are off to a fast start.

Last edited by 840quadra; Feb 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM. Reason: removed response to deleted post
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:35 AM   #6
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I cannot take FLA seriously with that logo.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:35 AM   #7
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Hasn't Apple already audited and insisted on changes recently? Or are we ignoring that?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...461917766.html
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:40 AM   #8
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Hasn't Apple already audited and insisted on changes recently? Or are we ignoring that?
Yes, yes they have. Just people like to bitch. Maybe this will finally shut them the hell up.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:40 AM   #9
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The audit itself is semi-useless. Apple conducts audits as well.

The "problem" is that after auditing, Apple doesn't enforce their own criteria for doing business with them.

So auditing is nice PR as long as there are zero "violations." The second something doesn't meet "code" Apple would need to actually enforce their guidelines for it to mean something.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:43 AM   #10
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Honestly, when I see "Voluntary", "Supplier" and "Audit" together - I'm hard pressed to think of any example of progress or positive change.

I actually cannot think of a single instance.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:46 AM   #11
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So auditing is nice PR as long as there are zero "violations." The second something doesn't meet "code" Apple would need to actually enforce their guidelines for it to mean something.
That would cost both Apple and Foxconn money. It'd probably be cheaper to take a fine and pay it off instead of you know bothering to fix any actual problems.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:46 AM   #12
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Why FLA (never heard about) and not ILO (http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm) which is a labour branch of UN?
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:47 AM   #13
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"The release notes that the FLA will be conducting interviews of thousands of Foxconn employees as it assesses their working and living conditions. The FLA will have access to Foxconn's manufacturing areas, as well as the dormitories and other facilities where employees are housed in the massive complex."


Great, those employees are really going to spill the beans on Foxconn aren't they? With their living at stake and who knows what else might happen to them if they did.

Great idea, no teeth and is just to placate the masses...Nothing will change. As soon as the commission has left, the same tactics will return.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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Why FLA (never heard about) and not ILO (http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm) which is a labour branch of UN?
Because the UN is too busy saving the people of Syria.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 09:00 AM   #15
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 09:01 AM   #16
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Was about time...

Was about time that Apple puts someone between themselves and Foxconn as the watch dog. If they would have continued, every scandal would count against Apple as well because Apple has a financial interest to get the labor as cheap as possible and tries to balance this with morals. Let someone else do the watchdog and Apple can just refer to them if there are alligations again.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 09:11 AM   #17
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Having been on the assembly lines of factories here in Japan, I know for a fact that the demands placed on workers here are not unlike what we have been reading about factory conditions in China.

Yes, the wages are considerably higher in Japan, but so too is the cost of living. Nonetheless, factory jobs in Japan are incredibly difficult (and often dangerous), with marathon shifts (up to 16 hours a day), very few work breaks, military-like supervision, harsh disciplinary action for even the tiniest of employee errors, and a punishing physical and mental toll.

It makes me wonder whether the stories in the English-language media have been blown at least a bit out of proportion by Western reporters who simply don't understand the difference between what is tolerated by workers in the East versus those in the West.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 09:18 AM   #18
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Will this be reported?

The media has been reporting about the deplorable conditions at Foxcon and pointing the finger at Apple.

Let's see if this gets the same coverage.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 09:25 AM   #19
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The only thing that will actually change conditions is if the US requires all imported items to be built by factories that follow the same criteria as their US counterparts.

So the factories must pay the same wages, provide the same retirement packages, shift schedule, work environment, safety standards, benefits and so forth that a factory worker in the US would expect in a similar industry. Also that the factories meet the same environmental and code standards.

This would be easy for European markets as they meet or exceed many US standards already.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 09:29 AM   #20
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Bravo for apple for trying to go the extra mile.

What would be best though is showing up unannounced to do random checks. Doing a press release saying a 3rd party is going to be doing checks here in the next month is like my parole officer telling me that someone is going to be coming by this week to do a urine test on me because I'm not supposed to be doing drugs. I wonder what I'm going to do this week...

again, i praise them for doing something but I'd much rather this all happen behind the scenes. Press releases like this are defeating the purpose of it all.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 09:45 AM   #21
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Audits are pointless, issues will be hidden and brushed under the carpet, people behave differently and work harder when an audit is ongoing. It's happened everywhere Ive worked.

Just last week we had an audit, and my Sergeant told me "Let's just roll up our sleeves and get through this week, so we can return to normal after they've (the auditors) left."
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 10:00 AM   #22
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So the factories must pay the same wages, provide the same retirement packages, shift schedule, work environment, safety standards, benefits and so forth that a factory worker in the US would expect in a similar industry. Also that the factories meet the same environmental and code standards.
This will cause prices balloon, to which haters will respond by accusing Apple of overpricing their products. Ethics aren't cheap. Pay up, or shut up.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 10:26 AM   #23
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Personally I'd like to see Apple use some of their money to start rebuilding America's former manufacturing base. That would endear them to me even more than helping to build up China's economy in a slightly healthier way.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 10:35 AM   #24
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I cannot take FLA seriously with that logo.
Exactly -- I boosted your -3 back to a -2 (best I could do) -- terrible logo.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 11:33 AM   #25
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Let's see how some people will make this out to be a bad thing.

Any rational and objective person would view this as a giant step forward.
Yes, but this is MR.
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