Fair Labor Association Offers Initial Impressions on Foxconn Audit as iPads Used to Collect Survey Data

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    With the Fair Labor Association's independent audit of Foxconn's manufacturing facilities for Apple products having been underway for several days now, Reuters reports on the association's initial impressions as it works to collect and analyze data on working conditions.


    According to Fair Labor Association president Auret van Heerden, Foxconn's facilities appear to be "first-class" in comparison to the garment factories the association has typically monitored, with van Heerden suggesting that monotony and boredom associated with repetitive assembly tasks may be among the most significant threats to workers' all-around health at the facilities.
    The report notes that the Fair Labor Association has 30 employees on hand to conduct the audit, with Foxconn employees being surveyed for the audit using iPads to record their responses. Three separate Foxconn factories representing 300,000 workers are being audited over the course of three weeks, with 35,000 employees participating in the group's anonymous assessment surveys.
    Apple CEO Tim Cook had much to say on the topic of worker safety during an interview at a Goldman Sachs investor conference yesterday, noting that Apple is working closely with the Fair Labor Association and attempting to be as proactive and transparent as possible in addressing the issues.

    Article Link: Fair Labor Association Offers Initial Impressions on Foxconn Audit as iPads Used to Collect Survey Data
  2. Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    While it is encouraging to see americans worried about worker rights, and to see an american company go to such great lengths to improve working conditions at its plants in china, I find it baffling that the working conditions of Foxconn employees working on Apple products in China has resulted in public outrage across the country while our food is being picked by people in far greater oppression (often literal slavery) right here in our own country.

    Where is the national news coverage and public outrage about farm worker working conditions in the United States?
  3. macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    I have a feeling that in comparison they will find some of the best conditions at these shops. Doesn't mean they are still acceptable, but it's good to see this process is being brought public facing vs. behind closed doors.
  4. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    That's surprising, since some media sites with no first hand experience called it a hell hole.
  5. macrumors 68020

    Jan 22, 2009
    Sounds like detractors, OK, enemies, are grasping at anything to complain about Apple.

    Still, any improvement is great!
    I would not want a bored, alienated, suffering from repetitive motion employee not making sure assembly was correct (simply switching stations every day goes a long way).
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2011
    What I don't get is why people are not protesting against the clothing industry. Most brand name clothing is made in China with even poorer working conditions than electronics. These are the so called sweatshops.

    I hope other industry leaders also start caring about the employees.
  7. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    Well you can bet if they don't come out with a scathing report some in thr media will just call this organization a shill for Apple. They've got a narrative to push and they won't let facts get in the way.
  8. Guest

    Oct 20, 2010
    I'm curious why everyone is singling out Apple when countless other technology companies use the same plant.

    I'm also curious why when Apple actually does something while the other companies are still doing nothing, they STILL get criticized.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2011
    Avoiding the politics, Tim Cook's word is rock-solid. No wonder Steve liked him so much.
  10. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    As far as the media goes Apple is good click-bait. If they wrote about some other tech company or clothing manufacturer no one would give a toss.
  11. macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    There are but they are under the radar. Mostly it's just not sexy enough for headlines but NIKE and Levis have made headlines for using sweatshop labor.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    It's very easy to impress someone when you know they are coming! BTW, why doesn't some of these audit fools actually spend at least 1 full week eating/living/sleeping in the same facilities that these people live in? Don't expect anything negative to come out in the open about these audits. It's pure Politics and meant to make Apple look good. The truth is these factories are the equivalent of modern day slavery and people spend most of the year inside them and that is why they kill themselves because they can't even see their families and they are probably not allowed to communicate with them either or their families are too damn poor to be able to afford a computer, internet access or even a telephone.

  13. macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2007
    Bristol, UK
    Why compare it to garment factories? Wouldn't it be more interesting to compare against other electronics factories?

    The difference is that Apple doesn't sell food, so there is no "Apple is evil" bandwagon that the media can jump on.
  14. macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    Got to remember that most of these employees are uneducated talentless people. They don't have the skills to do much else. Is this really any different then working on any assembly line, anywhere in the world? Sorry but XYZ turning a screw on the production line for Ford or Chevy, is going to experience the same thing, boredom, and repetitive motion; alienation, I don't know.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    I've been into many factories inside China for many years (not the Foxcoon's). From the photos I see of Foxconn, they are by far the cleanest and nicest.

    I think there are always workers who liked to complaint, but I'll willing to bet most of the Foxconn worker are happier to work there and may other factories. Look at the long lines applying for openings...
  16. macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2010
    It always annoys me that when there is a report of suicides by Foxconn employees they automatically assume it's because of 'worker conditions'.

    This completely ignores the myriad of other reasons why people kill themselves: Marital Problems, Relationship Breakups, Sexual Orientation Issues (in a country where it's illegal), Gambling Debts... the list is endless, and none of which have any bearing on where they work!

    And besides, if anyone bothered to investigate the story rather than knee jerk react to sensationalist headlines, they would discover that the suicide rate in China is far higher than that for Foxconn employees - which means that you are LESS likely to kill yourself if you work for Foxconn than if you don't!
  17. macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Easier target b/c Apple is good popcorn. It's the difference between TMZ reacting to a Lindsey Lohan DUI and <pick a B-list actor who is not a cult or retro icon> getting arrested for same.
  18. macrumors 68040

    Bubba Satori

    Feb 15, 2008
    It's a conspiracy of Apple haterz.

  19. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    Mike, you have never been to China and see their factories. You are using your U.S. views to judge thing you only read about. I've been to China for almost 10 years and saw many much tougher working condition ACROSS all factories than what it is inside Foxconn. Get off your high horse.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2012
    These were not surprise inspections, so they're pretty much useless.
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2011
    Southern Plains
    See in contrast the alternatives for the workers - are their any? Sure, make sure their needs are met, but also keep in mind, even if it is not much money according to our pay scale, Foxconn is paying way above average (too lazy to find the NYT article on that) and offers ways to work up the ladder.

    We cannot compare China to USA and EU, yet. Worker Safety in the Western nations is founded on accidents and it took time to implement them as well. China will do this and it will take time. Meanwhile, we give the soon-to-be second largest population on earth to possibility to thrive and industrialize. This is also important for stability in the world because as of now, China is still behind as a whole looking at rural areas. It is growing fast though.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2011
    Well we really want the illegal aliens to work our farms, mow our lawn because we will not do the work ourselves but we just don't want anybody to talk about it because then we just want these illegal people out of our country. It's called American Greed. Actually there is a TV show with that name. I think the problem with allot of Americans is that they are just too dumb and ignorant to really understand what's going on. And lets not forget allot of the great companies and inventions in the USA were actually the product of Immigrants, likely illegal too but back then immigration wasn't an issue. Chances are the house you live in was built by immigrants likely illegal also. Next time you open your mouth you should really think about what you are saying fellow Americans.

  23. macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    Hard to do since the FLA doesn't focus on electronics firms and they are never typically audited in the first place. The only comparisons the can make are with other organizations that they audit or with what's publicly available.
  24. macrumors 603


    Nov 5, 2009
    I feel this audit is bias since evaluators are using iPads to make their jobs easier...
  25. macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2003
    Gig City
    thats true. Plus Apple has enough $$$ and influence to change the "normal' that has been described by the auditors.

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