Foxconn workers react to reduced hours, same pay

By on March 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM.

Foxconn workers react to reduced hours, same pay

In response to one of the largest investigations ever conducted of a U.S. company’s foreign partners, Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has agreed to hire tens of thousands of new workers, eliminate illegal overtime, improve safety condition and upgrade workers’ housing and other amenities, Reuters reported on Friday. After probing three Foxconn plants and interviewing over 35,000 workers, the Fair Labor Association reported that it found serious violations of Chinese labor laws, such as illegal and unpaid overtime, and extreme hours. Foxconn plans to reduce workers’ hours to 49 per week, which includes overtime, and it does not plan to raise salaries. The company will also hire additional workers and build more housing and canteens to combat overcrowding. While some of the company’s efforts have been praised, the changes have received mixed reactions from Foxconn’s employees. Read on for more. More →

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Foxconn accused of hiding underage factory workers before FLA inspection

By on February 22, 2012 at 8:50 AM.

Foxconn accused of hiding underage factory workers before FLA inspection

Foxconn workers claim the manufacturer transferred underage employees to other departments or did not schedule them to work overtime in an effort to avoid discovery during the Fair Labor Association’s investigation of its facilities, reports AppleInsider. Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) project officer Debby Sze Wan Chan was told by two Foxconn employees that the manufacturer “prepared for the inspection” by hiding the child laborers. “All underage workers, between 16-17 years old, were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments,” Chan reportedly said. Another Foxconn worker said she had recently been allowed three breaks a day during the audit, an increase from one. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that the company “cares about every worker in our supply chain,” however many workers don’t feel the care that the CEO talks about. “Most of the time, the workers are aware of the presence of Apple’s representatives inside the factories,” said Chan. “It is not the problem that Apple doesn’t know the real problems at their suppliers. They know, but it is only because they do not care.” More →

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Fair Labor Association: Foxconn factory has ‘tons of issues’

By on February 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM.

Fair Labor Association: Foxconn factory has ‘tons of issues’

The Fair Labor Association has uncovered a number of issues that need to be addressed at a Foxconn’s Shenzhen factory, reports Bloomberg. “We’re finding tons of issues,” FLA chief executive officer Auret van Heerden said after a multi-day inspection of the plant. “I believe we’re going to see some very significant announcements in the near future.” On Wednesday, however, the FLA’s preliminary assessment stated that the company’s plants had conditions that were better than most. “The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm,” van Heerden previously said. “I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory. So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It’s more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps.” The FLA plans to release more information regarding its inspection in the coming weeks. More →

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Fair Labor Association: Foxconn’s plant conditions are better than most

By on February 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM.

Fair Labor Association: Foxconn’s plant conditions are better than most

On Monday, Apple announced that the Fair Labor Association would be conducting audits of facilities managed by its Chinese suppliers. Foxconn Technology Group, whose factories manufacture the iPad, has come under fire after a rash of worker suicides, fatal explosions and allegations of poor working conditions. Working conditions at Foxconn, however, were found to be far better than other facilities throughout the country, reported Reuters. “The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm,” said FLA president Auret van Heerden. “I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory. So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It’s more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps.” Roughly 30 FLA staff members will be visiting two Foxconn factories in southern China and one in the central city of Chengdu. Over the course of three weeks, the FLA will conduct anonymous interviews with 35,000 workers who will be questioned about pay, living conditions, emotional condition and management. In addition to Foxconn, the FLA will investigate facilities belonging to Quanta Computer, Pegatron and Wintek. More →

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Fair Labor Association to investigate Apple’s suppliers

By on February 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM.

Fair Labor Association to investigate Apple’s suppliers

Apple on Monday announced that the Fair Labor Association will be conducting audits of its suppliers, and the investigation will include Foxconn’s factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. The inspections, which are being conducted at Apple’s request, are being led by FLA president Auret van Heerdenbegan. “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 Apple CEO Tim Cook. “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 FLA team will interview thousands of employees on matters such as living conditions, health, safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management. The team will also inspect manufacturing areas, dormitories and other areas of the companies’ various facilities. Apple’s suppliers have apparently offered full cooperation with the FLA, and have granted the group unrestricted access to their operations and facilities. The FLA’s findings and recommendations will be posted on the group’s website in early March. Read on for Apple’s press release. More →

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