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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:29 AM   #1
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Nightline's Look into Apple's Foxconn Factories




ABC aired their Nightline special tonight where they took an inside look at Apple's Foxconn factories. Apple allowed Nightline access to the Foxconn factories that produce iPhones and iPads. Foxconn is the world's largest electronics manufacturing company that has contracts with most major U.S. electronics companies. The full video is not available online at this time.



Overall, the report held no real surprises. They summarized many of the events leading up to the bad press surrounding Foxconn's working conditions. The cluster of suicides was mentioned over the past few years that led to the installation of suicide netting to discourage impulsive suicide attempts. Nightline did note that the suicide rate at Foxconn was still below the Chinese national average. Tim Cook, then Apple's COO, flew to China during that time to help coordinate the response. Beyond the suicide netting, pay was increased and counseling offices were set up.

Work on the factory line is described as monotonous with 12 hour shifts with two hour long meal breaks. When questioned, workers complained about cramped dorms and low pay, but the jobs were in high demand with thousands coming to Foxconn for work. Nightline traveled to a nearby village to compare those living conditions which didn't seem any better. The families who remained in the village told Nightline that their living conditions were better with the "young people" working in the factories.

The Verge compiled some interesting statistics from the report:
Quote:
- It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone, and the devices are essentially all handmade
- It takes five days and 325 hands to make a single iPad
- Foxconn workers pay for their own food -- about $.70 per meal, and work 12 hour shifts
- Workers who live in the dorms sleep six to eight a room, and pay $17.50 a month to do so
- Workers make $1.78 an hour
Nightline's visit coordinated with Fair Labor Association who is compiling their own report on the factories.

Overall, the report was fair-to-positive making it seem like Apple was being very responsive to the concerns.

Update: Video of the segment is now available to U.S. viewers through ABC's website.

Article Link: Nightline's Look into Apple's Foxconn Factories
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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No major surprises to me.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:33 AM   #3
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I wish they had gone into more depth in the report; it really didn't show anything new. The one thing that did impress me was that they had added counseling services. Hopefully that will help employees who are depressed or contemplating suicide.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Apple's Foxconn factories. Apple allowed Nightline access to their Foxconn factories that produce iPhones and iPads.
[/url]
Apple's Foxconn factories? Apple allows access the their Foxconn factories?
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:40 AM   #5
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"We are unhappy about the pay!!!"

*watches a mob of people almost break down the door to get a job*

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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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That was an awfully superficial feeling report for having been so hyped up. They didn't even put in context who the executive was within Foxconn that they spoke to. Could they have interviewed him more? There were small interesting bits such as when he said they would be happy to take more money from Apple and apply it to wages. I would have followed up on that with regard to how much Foxconn makes at the top vs. its employees currently and how that relates to US corporations. I would have also liked to hear more about China's economy in general and how it's growing amazingly fast (9.5% a year) and hasn't had a bubble burst, more about the Chinese government and how it plans the economic production to some extent, and more about how the United States had a similar—though seemingly worse—period in its history when it was becoming an economic superpower and there was a great disparity in income between the wealthy and factory workers and when those workers suffered great hardships which led to unions and federal regulations (the Gilded Era times).

I think we should care greatly, but I also think that we care is very evolved and kind of amazing in and of itself when you think about how other countries such as the United States evolved with regard to working rights (the movement came from within).
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:41 AM   #7
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So nothing at all revelatory. Foxconn has conditions that individuals in industrialised nations would not enjoy, but thousands clamour for in China. If things continue to improve, as they have already begun, hopefully people will quiet with their unwarranted and unsubstantiated criticism.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:42 AM   #8
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Do they really hand carve the logo, or did I hear that wrong??
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:43 AM   #9
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This is not going to make those fandroids very happy when articles start popping up about ABC's relatively good report about Apple...
Hi, I own an Android phone. Having said that;

This whole report is absolutely ridiculous. Since when was it Apple's responsibility for Foxconn's employees? Since when were client's of a company the representatives of said company? Why is Apple being treated as if Foxconn *was* Apple?

The two are completely independent companys, so why the hell should Apple even 'allow' the media to look into Foxconn's factories? THATS FOXCONN'S CALL.

Am I the only one that thinks "WTF?!?" about all this????
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:43 AM   #10
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Do they really hand carve the logo, or did I hear that wrong??
The worker was just shaving the burrs off it, after it's presumably been machined.

arn
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:44 AM   #11
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The real story was never told. How about the factories that were here?
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:44 AM   #12
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So they make $427.80/mo. Rent is cheap and so is food. They can save a lot of money and hopefully send some home to their families. In China I'm sure that is well above the national average and there are millions of people who are far worse off. They work in a clean, high-tech and safe environment. It's a hard but honest living.

If you brought those jobs to the US where workers would want $12/hr you would start seeing the price of your (Apple) electronics go through the roof.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:45 AM   #13
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LOL @ "It's not exhaustion, it's a Chinese meal tradition" regarding them trying to get sleep in between meal breaks if they shove their food down their face fast enough.

Tradition my a**.



Very interesting documentary, though. Never imagined it to be that way.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:46 AM   #14
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Do they really hand carve the logo, or did I hear that wrong??
looked like the worker just was polishing/cleaning the logo hole.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:46 AM   #15
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The worker was just shaving the burrs off it, after it's presumably been machined.

arn
Ok, that makes more sense. Thanks!
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:48 AM   #16
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Apple's relation to Foxconn is somewhat like the US's relation to the UN.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:50 AM   #17
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Apple's relation to Foxconn is somewhat like the US's relation to the UN.
You mean Apple invaded Iraq against the wishes of Foxconn?
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyBrainz View Post
LOL @ "It's not exhaustion, it's a Chinese meal tradition" regarding them trying to get sleep in between meal breaks if they shove their food down their face fast enough.

Tradition my a**.

fwiw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siesta

Quote:
Afternoon sleep is also a common habit in China and Taiwan after the midday meal. This is called wujiao (午覺) in Mainland China Chinese or wuxiu (午休)in Taiwan Mandarin. Almost all schools in Mainland China and Taiwan have a half-hour nap period right after lunch. This is a time when all lights are out and one is not allowed to do anything other than rest or sleep.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2171773.stm

Quote:

A Chinese newspaper has warned its readership that intensive mental work straight after lunch can cause dizziness, insomnia and even increase the danger of a stroke.

The warning in the Health Times reflects the fact that the traditional after-lunch nap, or Xiuxi, is coming under increasing pressure.

In previous decades the topic might never have arisen, but as China's market reforms take effect, the after-lunch nap is an institution under threat.
seems true.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:51 AM   #19
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Do they really hand carve the logo, or did I hear that wrong??
No, she was carving out little scraggly pieces that were leftover. I work in sheet metal, and have to do this all the time. She was basically smoothing it out, so that there weren't jaggy bits and the Apple logo is nice and smooth.

I do factory sheet metal work, and it is monotonous at times. Foxconn work looked very similar to what we do, albeit not at the same scale and quick pace they do there.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:51 AM   #20
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*does the math*

So, just working 1 day covers their rent. And around 6 day's work covers both their rent and all their food for a month.

I'm assuming they're working 6 days a week. If that's the case they're making about $512/mo. While that is del below the poverty line... wait... I just realized something, everything is in USD. *does more math*

$512USD is about 3200yuan. That's not bad, given that in many cases in rural China, some people make only slightly more than that in a year.
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:52 AM   #21
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Just curious...

What's the average salary for other jobs in China?

Janitor, McDonalds, police officer, doctor, etc?
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:52 AM   #22
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I missed it..

Did they say what minimum wage was? What is that salary compared to other workers in factories in the area? And WOW, 5 days and 325 hands on an assembly line to build an iPad? I don't know if I want one now...All them people touch it, and we kiss it when its fresh out the box... (Just kidding about not wanting one, but I may never kiss my new Apple products again).
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:52 AM   #23
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And this is why companies like Apple outsource to China. There is no way you would be able to get Americans to work 12 hours on an assembly line making $1.78 per hour. Imagine what that iPhone would cost if it were made in Detroit by union workers!
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:53 AM   #24
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it takes 5 days and 325 hands to make a single ipad? why??
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 12:53 AM   #25
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American culture and ideals aren't the same as China.
They're about as similar as rubber ducks and hand grenades.
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