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.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christina DesMarais

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?