posts about or somewhat related to ‘workers rights’

Apple Releases Suppliers List, Global Working Conditions →

Earlier this week we noted that workers at Foxconn were threatening suicide.

Foxconn supplies companies like Apple, Microsoft and countless other everyday brands with components for computers, tablets and consoles, and we find it important to know what these companies are doing about the working conditions of those that make our gadgets.

While it’s PR control, Apple seems to be getting that message too.

Via The Next Web:

For the first time ever, Apple has released a list of its official suppliers on its supplier responsibility page. This is significant because Apple has previously been notoriously secretive about who supplies its components. For example, we usually have to wait for the teardowns of new products to see what kind of camera unit they’re using…

…In case you’re not familiar with the supplier responsibility page, it follows multiple subjects, including labor and human rights, worker health and safety, environmental impact and general ethics.

Over at the Wall Street Journal we learn that Apple’s audit of its suppliers found “108 facilities didn’t pay proper overtime wages and 93 facilities had records that indicated more than 50% of their workers exceeded the 60-hour work week. The audits also found 5 facilities had incidents of underage labor.”

The Journal also points out that 24 facilities conducted pregnancy tests and over one hundred were improperly handling hazardous chemicals.

Apple’s published its audit report here. Its supplier responsibility guidelines are here.

Foxconn Employees Threaten Mass Suicide
Foxconn, the world’s largest electronic component maker (think: Apple, Amazon, Nintendo, Dell, Panasonic… well, you get the point) is not a nice place to work. So rampant have the suicides been that last year the company made workers sign pledges not to kill themselves.
Via The Atlantic Wire:

As American consumers ogle over shiny new gadgets at this week’s Consumer Electronic’s Show, the workers that make those products are threatening mass suicide for the horrid working conditions at Foxconn. 300 employees who worked making the Xbox 360 stood at the edge of the factory building, about to jump, after their boss reneged on promised compensation, reports English news site Want China Times.  It’s not like this is the first time working conditions at Foxconn have made news outside China. But iPhone and Xbox sales surely haven’t lagged in the wake of those revelations and neither Apple nor Microsoft has done much of anything to fix things. 

As The Atlantic Wire points out, this week’s This American Life features a trip to a Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China where approximately 350,000 to 450,000 people are employed.
You can listen to the episode here.
Image: Workers at Foxconn via China Southern Weekly
Update: March 2012, Public Radio International and This American Life are running a retraction on their Foxcomm reporting. Information about that is here.

Foxconn Employees Threaten Mass Suicide

Foxconn, the world’s largest electronic component maker (think: Apple, Amazon, Nintendo, Dell, Panasonic… well, you get the point) is not a nice place to work. So rampant have the suicides been that last year the company made workers sign pledges not to kill themselves.

Via The Atlantic Wire:

As American consumers ogle over shiny new gadgets at this week’s Consumer Electronic’s Show, the workers that make those products are threatening mass suicide for the horrid working conditions at Foxconn. 300 employees who worked making the Xbox 360 stood at the edge of the factory building, about to jump, after their boss reneged on promised compensation, reports English news site Want China Times.  It’s not like this is the first time working conditions at Foxconn have made news outside China. But iPhone and Xbox sales surely haven’t lagged in the wake of those revelations and neither Apple nor Microsoft has done much of anything to fix things. 

As The Atlantic Wire points out, this week’s This American Life features a trip to a Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China where approximately 350,000 to 450,000 people are employed.

You can listen to the episode here.

Image: Workers at Foxconn via China Southern Weekly

Update: March 2012, Public Radio International and This American Life are running a retraction on their Foxcomm reporting. Information about that is here.