Originally Posted by guyladouche
Don't get me wrong--I agree, nothing Apple can (or even should) do will change the working situation in China--it's a product of the socioeconomic status and cultural differences in the country, and it's a sad fact of the matter for the times.
But having been both audited and performing audits, announced audits--especially ones after a major incident, only show you how well a company can clean things up--not how it actually functions.
Oh I know, however there will be more audits. Apple inspected their facilities around 250 times in 2011, a more than double increase from 2010, and they do it randomly I believe. This is the first audit by the FLA, and there should be many more, and likely unannounced audits.
Regarding saying things are just fine--true, I used that phrase. The wording was:
van Heerden said, "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm."
Sounds better than "just fine" to me--which is why the reports are so troubling. "First-class" facilities generally shouldn't have reports of worker deaths, accidents, and suicides--even in a country that has the working history of China.
He's saying it's first-class for a sweatshop, ultimately as I said, they house up to half a million people in a single factory. It'd be really difficult to manage all those people and not have any accidents, or any suicides. I've read although I've not verified this, that they suicide because the financial benefits to their family is greater than their pay, it's sad.
That aside, it doesn't sound to me as if he's saying the facility is okay:
"I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory," he said. "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."
He's just noting the differences between the two industries, and figuring out what to look for.
Originally Posted by Jagged_Steel
I disagree with your conclusion that " nothing Apple can (or even should) do will change the working situation in China", because manufacturers can build their own facilities and hire who the want and run them as they see fit in quasi-free market China these days. The thing is, how many companies are going to spend more by paying better wages, working employees shorter hours, safer working conditions- etc etc. and therefore hurt their bottom line when they can spend less? The answer is clear- NONE. At least none that I am aware of. All of the companies doing business in China seem to be taking advantage of the situation without regards to what that means to Chinese workeres- and also what that means to the workers in the rest of the world who are out of work because things can be done in China for so much less money. I guarantee you that if Apple or any other megacorp wanted to build their own plants and pay workers decent wages and have better working conditions in China they could, they simply choose not to. There is a big difference between can't and won't.
I definitley agree that this report is "troubling". Apple is under scrutiny for having neo-slave laborers in China, and then suddenly an "independant" study finds that things are actually "First -Class"? Ya right, and in other news, the "fair labor association " has also discovered that the moon is made out of cheese.
They can't afford to invest tens of billions of dollars and hire millions of workers to produce their products. These Chinese Workers aren't being forced to work either, they flock to Foxconn when jobs are available, so Apple's actually giving jobs to a heavily overpopulated country -- that's helping them. There's no other company large enough that can handle Apple's work load, and you can't expect them to bring it to the US. That'll cause hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers to lose their jobs, that's Apple's fault too? Right? That aside, the costs are far too exorbitant to import the necessary materials, and pay americans to produce products.
Everyone needs to keep using China, it's just that the Chinese Government need to pass laws for increased pay. That way, everyone wins.
And the auditor didn't say that everything is okay, look at the quote in its entire context.Edited by steelbom - 2/15/12 at 4:46pm