A new “undercover” story on Foxconn and the allegedly inhumane working / living conditions at its facilities has attracted the media’s attention yet again, and Apple has been quick to respond to these claims with an official statement of its own.Responding to questions from The NY Times, Apple says it “takes working conditions very seriously,” adding, “We believe workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment where they can earn competitive wages and express their concerns freely.”
Reinforcing its stance regarding partnerships with overseas suppliers, the Mac maker said, “Our suppliers have to live up to that if they want to do business with Apple.”
While that’s certainly nice to hear, some people working at Foxconn in China will beg to differ.
Many employees say their managers are turning a blind eye to sweatshop working conditions and inhumane living conditions in the dorms provided by Foxconn itself to keep workers close to the iPhone 5 assembly lines.
Some student workers even claim their corrupt school administrators sent them to work at Foxconn under the threat that they’d lose their diplomas if they didn’t obey.
“We have been upfront about the challenges we face and are attacking issues aggressively with the help of the world’s foremost authorities,” Apple tells the Times.
“We believe deeply in transparency and have demonstrated this through reporting our shortcomings and exposing violations. As the only electronics company ever to be admitted to the Fair Labor Association, our production lines are open to independent inspection by the F.L.A. at any time,” says the company.
Apple does seem to be doing its bit, but its suppliers need to pull their act together should they want to stay in business with the Cupertino giant. At least that’s what we gather from Apple’s statement.
But it begs the question: who could Apple turn to if Foxconn is found guilty of one too many violations?
There are only a few companies out there capable of assembling the hot-selling iPhone and iPad, and Foxconn’s yield rates are unmatched throughout the industry. And even they are having trouble making enough devices to satisfy demand.