FLA’s Head: Apple’s iPad China’s Plants Are ‘Way Above Average’ At Initial Stage

Posted on Feb 16 2012 - 6:20am by Editorial Staff

Just a few days ago, the iPad maker, Apple announced that the Fair Labor Association (FLA) will conduct special voluntary audits of Apple’s final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple’s request – the organization has just begun its initial set of study, but the president of the organization, Auret van Heerden, has already made an initial visit to the factories and stated, “The working conditions to be far better than most other facilities in the countries,” reports Reuters.

“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 noted that the organization has been dealing with suicides in Chinese factories since the 1990s.

“You have lot of young people, coming from rural areas, away from families for the first time,” he said. “They’re taken from a rural into an industrial lifestyle, often quite an intense one, and that’s quite a shock to these young workers.”And we find that they often need some kind of emotional support, and they can’t get it,” he added. Factories initially didn’t realize those workers needed emotional support.”

There are some 30 FLA staff members visiting the two Foxconn factories in Shenzhen in southern China and one in the central city of Chengdu – where each plant has about 100,000 workers – although not all work on Apple products – further the plans include over the period of three weeks, some 35,000 workers will be interviewed about 30 at a time to answer questions anonymously.

At a Goldman Sachs conference yesterday, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said [1][2] that “No one is doing more to improve working conditions in China than Apple,” but that the company could, and would, do more. “Apple takes working conditions very seriously,” said Cook, launching right into a question about how Apple handles working conditions. “We take the conditions of workers very seriously. I worked in factories; I worked at a paper mill. We understand working conditions at a very granular level.”

There are strong possibilities that what the FLA initial wordings suggest but still we too do not conclude at this very moment about the working conditions in Apple China plant – but this is quietly highly sure that the wages and working conditions are definitely lower than as compared to many other countries.

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