Foxconn Apple plants to get special inspections

Apple has been in the news recently, but not for a new product or software launch. Instead, Apple has been criticized for not being strict enough with monitoring the companies that make its various hardware devices like the iPad and iPhone. The main focus has been on the treatment of workers at Foxconn plants in China. Last week, groups organized a protest at Apple's Grand Central Station store in New York City and presented a petition asking Apple to do more to protect the workers at these factories.

Today, Apple announced that it would be working with the Fair Labor Association to conduct "special" inspections of a number of plants that assemble Apple's products. Those plants include Foxconn factories located in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. Apple claimed that the first inspections started earlier today at Foxconn's Shenzhen facilities, which are known as Foxconn City.

The Fair Trade Organization is supposed to interview "thousands" of these factory workers to find out more about their working and living conditions. The group plans to release its preliminary findings sometime in early March. Ultimately, the special inspections will cover over 90 percent of the factories where Apple products are made.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is quoted in the press release as saying:

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. 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.

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19 Comments

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i'm sure it's the right thing to do. higher wages for oversea workers. more expensive iphones and ipad for the u.s. market. lmfao. delusion of grandeur is so pathetically funny. especially when you cannot ever cover your own base.

The media's been talking about this relentlessly over the past few days/weeks, of course Foxconn should now have come to expect some inspection to take place.

At this point in time, it's too late to pretend to drop in unannounced, to see how things really are.

How long before it all goes back to "normal" though?

They do this occasionally. This isnt new. They force the employees to say nothing bad and if so, they are out of a job.. Worthless media attempt is all i see. apple and foxconn's image is tainted. Nothing will save their image..

Glad Cook is actually doing something instead of Jobs. Jobs was so hell bent on destroying Android he didnt care about anything else.

MS and Samsung both were able to resolve their issues (for now. look it up) so hopefully Apple will get things resolved soon.

techbeck said,
Glad Cook is actually doing something instead of Jobs. Jobs was so hell bent on destroying Android he didnt care about anything else.

MS and Samsung both were able to resolve their issues (for now. look it up) so hopefully Apple will get things resolved soon.

Not sure what you mean with MS resolving its issues? They worked out a resolution giving the workers a choice to leave with compensation. The workers choose to leave, and were never paid compensation. Shady business as usual from Foxconn.

ILikeTobacco said,

Not sure what you mean with MS resolving its issues? They worked out a resolution giving the workers a choice to leave with compensation. The workers choose to leave, and were never paid compensation. Shady business as usual from Foxconn.

Which is resolving the issue. MS issue wasnt about working conditions, it was about pay. MS got involved and the issue was resolved. If people didnt like the pay, they had the option to quit or to stay.

techbeck said,

Which is resolving the issue. MS issue wasnt about working conditions, it was about pay. MS got involved and the issue was resolved. If people didnt like the pay, they had the option to quit or to stay.

Fair enough as far as the leaving/staying choice goes but it still means Foxconn is being extremely shady and treating its workers like crap and Microsoft still doesn't care about insuring the well being of the workers there. Apple is suppose to be the evil one here and it's doing more than Microsoft did. It is sad for a company that everyone claims has better ethics/morals.

ILikeTobacco said,

Fair enough as far as the leaving/staying choice goes but it still means Foxconn is being extremely shady and treating its workers like crap and Microsoft still doesn't care about insuring the well being of the workers there. Apple is suppose to be the evil one here and it's doing more than Microsoft did. It is sad for a company that everyone claims has better ethics/morals.

Maybe MS isnt having the same issues at Foxconn. You would figure that if they were, you would have heard as much if not more than Apple's issues. Especially from a company like MS and since Bill Gates is so into humanitarian efforts around the globe.

Not saying there isnt any issues with MS, but I have not seen anything either way and each company conducts their own audits and as separate agreements with Foxconn.

techbeck said,

Maybe MS isnt having the same issues at Foxconn. You would figure that if they were, you would have heard as much if not more than Apple's issues. Especially from a company like MS and since Bill Gates is so into humanitarian efforts around the globe.

Not saying there isnt any issues with MS, but I have not seen anything either way and each company conducts their own audits and as separate agreements with Foxconn.

Bill Gates is probably why we didn't hear about it for so long. The problem is that Bill Gates isn't really part of Microsoft anymore. Just like Steve Jobs not being in Apple anymore is a good thing, Bill Gates not being in MS is a bad thing.

techbeck said,

Maybe MS isnt having the same issues at Foxconn. You would figure that if they were, you would have heard as much if not more than Apple's issues. Especially from a company like MS and since Bill Gates is so into humanitarian efforts around the globe.

Not saying there isnt any issues with MS, but I have not seen anything either way and each company conducts their own audits and as separate agreements with Foxconn.

Or maybe just get off at any opportunity to complain about Apple any way they can, while happily letting the same things slide for other companies.

ILikeTobacco said,

Bill Gates is probably why we didn't hear about it for so long. The problem is that Bill Gates isn't really part of Microsoft anymore. Just like Steve Jobs not being in Apple anymore is a good thing, Bill Gates not being in MS is a bad thing.

Do you really think Gates doesnt have a say in MS or cant influence MS anymore? He is not CEO anymore, but he is the Chairman.

techbeck said,

Maybe MS isnt having the same issues at Foxconn. You would figure that if they were, you would have heard as much if not more than Apple's issues. Especially from a company like MS and since Bill Gates is so into humanitarian efforts around the globe.

Not saying there isnt any issues with MS, but I have not seen anything either way and each company conducts their own audits and as separate agreements with Foxconn.

Very possible. Apple could be demanding higher profit margins and thus forcing worse working conditions on Foxconn staff. It certainly wouldn't be the first time I saw something like this trickle down.

M_Lyons10 said,

Very possible. Apple could be demanding higher profit margins and thus forcing worse working conditions on Foxconn staff. It certainly wouldn't be the first time I saw something like this trickle down.

Possibly, Steve Jobs obviously didnt care about things and was to concerned about Android to want to do anything about Foxconn. Glad there is some change over at Apple now and hopefully, things will continue to change for the better.

Weird that Apple is doing this and not the morally superior companies that everyone harps about around here. Apple isn't even the only company that works with Foxconn and yet they are the only ones working to fix the issues. This news instantly puts so many companies like Sony, Microsoft, etc into the more evil that Apple category. Would love to see what people are going to say is evil about this now. Should be creative.

ILikeTobacco said,
Weird that Apple is doing this and not the morally superior companies that everyone harps about around here. Apple isn't even the only company that works with Foxconn and yet they are the only ones working to fix the issues. This news instantly puts so many companies like Sony, Microsoft, etc into the more evil that Apple category. Would love to see what people are going to say is evil about this now. Should be creative.

I applaud Apple for attempting to resolve this problem. I hope that it works. Honestly though, I think that Apple's action is moreso because of all of the flack they personally have been getting (Perhaps unfairly). Up until the outcry and protests, Apple wasn't really doing anything about this (And they did know about it)... So largely I think this was viewed as triage... I hope other companies follow suite and address these working conditions at their own plants.

M_Lyons10 said,

I applaud Apple for attempting to resolve this problem. I hope that it works. Honestly though, I think that Apple's action is moreso because of all of the flack they personally have been getting (Perhaps unfairly). Up until the outcry and protests, Apple wasn't really doing anything about this (And they did know about it)... So largely I think this was viewed as triage... I hope other companies follow suite and address these working conditions at their own plants.

Apple has been doing audits and releasing public reports on their suppliers and violations for several years now. Their end of 2011 report actually came out before the most recent round of negative Foxconn news.

Wil Foxconn's plants that make products for other companies, including Xboxes for Microsoft, be getting special inspections as well?

Stetson said,
Wil Foxconn's plants that make products for other companies, including Xboxes for Microsoft, be getting special inspections as well?
No