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Apple recently sent a nonprofit group to inspect its suppliers’ factories in China. Just days after the inspection, the group’s president sang praises about Foxconn, Apple’s largest supplier.

Auret van Heerden (pictured), president of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), reported that Foxconn’s “facilities are first-class” and that it “is not a sweatshop.”

The FLA’s positive statement about Foxconn came despite previous reports of employees committing suicides, dying in factory explosions, and complaining about working more than 70 hours a week.

Although the full report is yet to be published, critics claimed that FLA merely scratched the surface during its inspection. The group’s second-highest official, Jorse Perez-Lopez, says otherwise.

“The work we’re doing at Foxconn is not about first impression or whether something has a paint job or not,” Perez-Lopez said. “The proof will be in the pie, will be in the eating. It will be when the report comes out.”

In a report from Reuters, Mr. van Heerden said problems from Foxconn’s employees is “more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps” and not about the “pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory.”

FLA has yet to interview tens of thousands of employees at Foxconn, which assembles the iPhone and the iPad.

Labor groups were dismayed over Mr. van Heerden’s statement. “I’m amazed that the FLA would give one of the most notoriously abusive factories in the world a clean bill of health–based, it appears, on nothing more than a guided tour provided by the owner,” Scott Nova, executive director of the Workers Rights Consortium, said.

Heather White, founder of monitoring group Verite, agreed. “The he would make any comments prior to workers being interviewed off-site in a confidential environment is somewhat premature, to say the least. He doesn’t speak Chinese and he is not a trained auditor qualified to make quick assessments.”

It should be disclosed that FLA’s inspection is funded by Apple, although the group is supposedly an independent third-party group.

Human rights groups have long claimed Foxconn’s workers are subjected to long hours, coerced overtime, and harsh working conditions. Foxconn denies all allegations.

Source: New York Times

Photo credits: David Gray/ Reuters

 
 

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[...] are first-class” and that it “is not a sweatshop.” The FLA&#8217… Read More » [...]
[...] are first-class” and that it “is not a sweatshop.” The FLA&#8217… Read More » [...]
[...] are first-class” and that it “is not a sweatshop.” The FLA&#8217… Read More » [...]

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