Factory workers at one of Foxconn’s Brazilian plants are complaining of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water. Unless the issues are resolved by May 3, they are planning to strike, Tech Guru reported on Thursday. Workers reportedly met last Monday to voice their concerns and have given the company 10 days to address them or else over 2,500 employees will strike. Foxconn recently hired more than a thousand workers, however the company did not increase its transport infrastructure, and was also forced to hire water trucks due to the lack of water in the factory. A representative for the employees expressed optimism that a solution would be reached without resorting to a strike. More →
A pair of workers who claim to have been poisoned by toxins in a Suzhou, China factory while assembling touchscreens for Apple’s iPhone have written an open letter begging consumers to demand reform. SumOfUs, the organization behind the Ethical iPhone Campaign, released the letter in an email to the media on Wednesday afternoon. The letter was written by Guo Rui-qiang and Jia Jing-chuan, two former factory workers who urge consumers to sign SumOfUs’s petition and demand that Apple force its suppliers and manufacturing partners to improve working conditions at their Chinese factories. Both workers claim to have been poisoned by a chemical cleaner called N-hexane, and they have suffered neurological damage as a result. The Fair Labor Association is currently conduction inspections of two Foxconn factories, prompted by Apple, and while only preliminary inspections have been made at this point, the organization says it has already found “tons of issues.” The workers’ letter follows below in its entirety. More →
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 →
The New York Times recently published an article discussing the unsafe working conditions in the factories Apple employs to build its products. It’s no secret that several factories belonging to Apple’s ODM partners have harsh working conditions; there are rumors of anti-suicide pledges that Foxconn workers have to sign, and safety is obviously a concern following multiple preventable explosions at Foxconn plants. While much has reportedly been done to improve working conditions at these plants, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently assured his employees that the Cupertino-based company does care about the workers in each of those factories. Read on for more. More →
We’ve reported on the harsh working conditions at Foxconn — which have allegedly driven some workers to commit suicide — and now the firm is asking its workers to sign pledges stating that they will not hold Foxconn responsible if they commit suicide, Daily Mail says. While translations may vary, the letter to employees reportedly says:
In the event of non-accidental injuries (including suicide, self mutilation, etc.), I agree that the company has acted properly in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, and will not sue the company, bring excessive demands, take drastic actions that would damage the company’s reputation or cause trouble that would hurt normal operations.
Foxconn, which manufacturers electronics for Apple, HP, Nokia, Palm, Sony, and others, was covered in a study performed by the Centre for Research on Multinational Companies and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM). To Foxconn’s credit, SACOM offered some praise to Foxconn for meeting China’s overtime limits: “Foxconn was the only supplier out of those studied that set a target to meet the government-mandated maximum overtime of 36 hours per month within 2011,” the report said. However, it also noted that one employee worked 98 hours of overtime in one month, and others were required to work all but one day during a 13-day long iPad manufacturing binge. Worse yet, those who didn’t meet expectations were apparently met with public humiliation or forced to stand while working 12-hour shifts. More →
French Journalist Jordan Pouille recently visited the Foxconn campus in Shenzhen and returned home with a series of photos and video that highlight the conditions and morale at the notorious plant. Foxconn, which manufactures gadgets for a variety of major electronics companies including Apple, HP, Nokia, Sony and Palm, has been scrutinized over the past year following a string of worker suicides and allegations of exploitative and abusive practices among management. Pouille details the scene at the Foxconn factory, and speaks to workers who describe the conditions as being similar to a labor camp.
At the production line, none of them could speak or even look at each other while trying to achieve the christmas production targets. They had to leave their mobile at the entry. However, their managers tried not to insult them, after all the bad publicity they got last spring when the 13 Foxconn suicides hit the headlines. A big improvement has been made after 30 glorious years of economic reforms: more workers are now allowed to sit down (depending on the good will of their managers) while working.
Hit the break for a video and visit the read link for a first-hand account of the conditions at Foxconn.
Foxconn finds itself in more hot water Wednesday as new reports emerge concerning working conditions at a factory operated by sister company Foxteq. Workers at the packing plant, located in Rydalmere, Australia, have come forward with allegations of exploitation and poor working conditions. Some went as far as to describe conditions at the plant as “depression-era,” with employees required to work long hours and no guarantee that they would be asked to return the next day. Foxteq performs packing services for HP, IBM and other large companies, and is currently being investigated by several of its clients as a result of the accusations. Sister company Foxconn, which manufactures electronics for giants like Apple and HP, fell under the microscope earlier this year when a string of employee suicides took place on the company’s campus. The suicides were blamed on poor working conditions and low wages. More →