Things are great at Foxconn say inspectors

John Moe Feb 17, 2012

Those manufacturing plants in China where everything is supposed to be pretty horrible and workers are treated horribly while making the electronics us decadent Americans depend on? Turns out they’re FINE, says the Fair Labor Alliance the non-profit group Apple has enlisted to inspect facilities in the wake of a bunch of complaints and worker suicides.

From Reuters:

In addition to Foxconn, FLA investigators will later visit facilities of Quanta Computer Inc, Pegatron Corp, Wintek Corp and other suppliers, who are notoriously tight-lipped about their operations.
After his first visits to Foxconn, van Heerden said, “The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm.”

The “norm” being cited here is garment factories in China. The inspector also speculated that the suicides were perhaps more a product of the alienation workers felt being so far from home rather than the harsh working conditions. There’s nothing in the Reuters report about how much warning Foxconn got before the inspectors showed up, which I would like to know given what a different picture the FLA paints compared to most other accounts of life inside these facilities.

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