Apple factories in China open doors amid concerns about worker conditions

ABC's Nightline is scheduled to air a report Tuesday after a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the factories.

Apple product factories in China are opening their doors to the media and labor rights experts amid reports alleging poor working conditions at the plants.

ABC's Nightline is scheduled to air a report Tuesday after a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the factories. And earlier this week, Apple released a statement that said the Fair Labor Association would be conducting special voluntary audits of Apple's final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple's request.

So, what are they finding?

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that FLA president Auret van Heerden said Foxconn's facilities were "first class" and that the physical conditions were above average of the norm, especially compared to a garment factory.

He also said at the time that the worker issues at Foxconn were more about boredom and alienation as opposed to a "pressure-cooker" environment, the latter being a common problem in other factories and around the world. "You have lot of young people, coming from rural areas, away from families for the first time. 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," he said.

But now that a few days have passed, van Heerden is singing a different tune.

According to Bloomberg, van Heerden said the FLA has uncovered "tons of issues" that need to be addressed at Foxconn.

"I believe we're going to see some very significant announcements in the near future," he said, although he wouldn’t elaborate on the findings and said the FLA would release more information in the coming weeks.

Foxconn, for its part, says it is cooperating fully with the audit and will act on all the FLA's recommendations.

According to ABC, Nightline anchor Bill Weir is the first journalist to go inside Apple's factories in Shenzhen, China, to glimpse firsthand what life is like for factory workers, "most of whom have never used an iPod, iPhone or Apple computer."

"After this trip I'll never see an Apple product the same way again," said Weir.

Follow Christina on Twitter and Google+ for even more tech news and commentary and follow Today@PCWorld on Twitter, too.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christina DesMarais

PC World (US online)

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest News Articles

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?