So It Is A Sweatshop After All
One would think workers commit suicide out of enjoyment at their labor conditions. One would be wrong. From Bloomberg:
- FOXCONN AUDITOR FINDS ‘SERIOUS’ VIOLATIONS OF CHINA LABOR LAWS
- FOXCONN AUDITOR FINDS CASES OF EMPLOYEES WORKING TOO MANY HOURS
- FOXCONN PLEDGES TO CUT WORKING HOURS, GIVE EMPLOYEES OVERSIGHT
So China does have labor laws... In other news, more margin contraction for companies reliant on Foxconn slave labor... pardon... delightful work conditions.
A heavily anticipated report on working conditions at Apple supplier Foxconn documents dozens of major labor-rights violations, including excessive overtime, unpaid wages and salaries that aren't enough to cover basic living expenses.
More than 60% of the workers at three of Apple supplier Foxconn's factories in China say their wages fall short of their basic needs, according to a report released Thursday by auditors from the Fair Labor Association. The FLA is a watchdog group hired by Apple to audit its overseas suppliers.
The average monthly salaries at the plants range from 2,257 RMB in Chengdu -- around $358 in U.S. dollars -- to 2,872 RMB (USD $455) in Guanlan.
A team from the FLA, an independent labor-rights organization, arrived last month at the vast Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, China, known as Foxconn City, to conduct a voluntary audit commissioned by Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500). Thursday's report, which the FLA said is the first of many, covered three factories in Guanlan, Longhua and Chengdu.
The team surveyed 35,500 employees at those factories about their working and living conditions, including their compensation and working hours. The audit also included inspection of manufacturing areas, dormitories and other facilities.
The FLA's report says Foxconn has agreed to work with the group to remedy many of the violations it recorded. In one key move, Foxconn says it will achieve "full legal compliance" with Chinese work-hour laws by July 1, 2013. To do that, Foxconn will need to hire "tens of thousands" of extra workers to offset its current employees' workload, the FLA said.
In a written response to the FLA's audit, Apple said: "We appreciate the work the FLA has done to assess conditions at Foxconn and we fully support their recommendations. We think empowering workers and helping them understand their rights is essential."
The company added: "Our team has been working for years to educate workers, improve conditions and make Apple's supply chain a model for the industry, which is why we asked the FLA to conduct these audits. We share the FLA's goal of improving lives and raising the bar for manufacturing companies everywhere."
Apple CEO Tim Cook is traveling in China this week and visited an iPhone production line in Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant. Apple on Wednesday released photos of his visit, but did not provide any further details.
And now we expect a NYT Op-Ed from a former Foxconn worker explaining just what Jim Hanson term the firm uses to refer to its clients.