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September 24, 2012

China: Foxconn brawl leads to plant closure

  • 2,000 people involved in a brawl at a dormitory at a Foxconn plant in Taiyuan, China. The plant, with 79,000 employees, is closed for now, with some workers suggesting on social media that Foxconn guards had beaten employees, leading to the brawl. source
8:22 // 1 year ago
March 29, 2012
That’s Apple’s Tim Cook. Visiting a Foxconn production line in Zhengzhou, China. Not many details known about his visit yet, but basically the Apple CEO is in the midst of some PR cleanup after a string of controversial reports about Apple’s manufacturing processes — some of which have been proven somewhat suspect. (photo by Bowen Liu/Apple Inc., via Bloomberg News)

That’s Apple’s Tim Cook. Visiting a Foxconn production line in Zhengzhou, China. Not many details known about his visit yet, but basically the Apple CEO is in the midst of some PR cleanup after a string of controversial reports about Apple’s manufacturing processes — some of which have been proven somewhat suspect(photo by Bowen Liu/Apple Inc., via Bloomberg News)

10:09 // 2 years ago
February 18, 2012
Foxconn is cooperating fully with this audit and we will review and act on all findings and recommendations. This is a very professional and thorough review and any deficiencies the FLA might find in the implementation of customer or Foxconn policies will be addressed.
Electronic parts manufacturer Foxconn • In an emailed statement to Bloomberg, after reports surfaced that the Fair Labor Association auditors have found “tons of issues” during their investigation of Foxconn’s Shenzhen facility.  FLA Chief Executive Officer Auret van Heerden revealed the discovery during a phone interview, following a multi-day review of the facility, and reportedly while he headed to meet with Foxconn management and present the organization’s findings. A number of corporations, most notably Apple, outsource their manufacturing to Foxconn and a number of similar companies. source (viafollow)
12:07 // 2 years ago
January 31, 2012

Petition demands humane work practices in production of Apple products

  • 35,000 sign petition for an “ethical” iPhone source

» And that’s just the first 24 hours: Apple’s production chain in China has gotten a ton of ink lately, exposing the dire workplace conditions and inhumane treatment that are present in the production of the iPhone (author’s note: in the interests of full disclosure, I’m an iPhone user, and am thus as guilty of neglecting these implications as anyone). In response, a petition has been circulating urging Apple to install hard and fast regulations for how their manufacturing workers are treated in advance of the release of the iPhone 5. Says the petition: “Can Apple do this? Absolutely. According to an anonymous Apple executive quoted in The New York Times, all Apple has to do is demand it, and it’ll happen.”

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15:39 // 2 years ago
January 21, 2012

More on Apple & FoxConn’s suicide issues

wherethecrowflies says: No mention of the 14 suicides at that factory in China last year? Must not be important enough for the New York Times..

» SFB says: They’ve covered those issues numerous times before. (By the way, the suicides happened in 2010 and Apple made changes as a result of them.) While it’s clearly a big issue and probably deserved a mention, this article honestly isn’t about that quite as much. Personally, it didn’t bother me it wasn’t mentioned, simply because it’s been covered at depth numerous times before. This is about a particular angle of that whole mess that doesn’t get quite as much play. The stuff about the supply chain being much easier to handle in Asia than the U.S.? That’s a big deal and told me something fairly new. Honestly, I felt this article was angled towards people who already knew about Apple and FoxConn, but perhaps didn’t know the systemic reasons the company moved away from “Made in the U.S.A.” — Ernie @ SFB

17:16 // 2 years ago
On Apple, the U.S. economy, and China’s manufacturing prowess
The U.S. factories couldn’t get close enough to perfection for Steve Jobs. So Apple went to China. In perhaps the broadest profile you’ll read about the manufacturing process that creates most of the electronics you use today, The New York Times’ analysis of the structural reasons why the iPhone isn’t made in the U.S. manages to pull off a surprising trick: It turns a story which on the surface is about one of the world’s largest corporations into a story which shows weaknesses in the recession-laden U.S. economy. A quick roundup of what we learned from this article:
one Apple was a late-comer to the international manufacturing racket, and as recently as 2003 built their products in California. Before they went to Asia, they struggled to keep up with the rest of the tech industry, which used the kinds of contractors Apple uses now.
two In Asia, it’s much easier to get all their ducks in a row in terms of supply chain management. The lower labor cost helps, but it’s the ability to turn on a dime — such as when Apple changed its iPhone screen from plastic to glass — that really makes a difference in terms of cost.
three Despite the outsourcing, an important point to keep in mind is that Apple’s success does create jobs in the U.S., both directly — 8,000 in the past year alone — and indirectly, with companies like FedEx and UPS adding many jobs based solely on Apple’s needs. source
» What it means for the U.S. economy: With speed, flexibility and manufacturing prowess better in China, Apple’s move abroad has taken two types of jobs out of play: One, the low-paid but stable manufacturing job (which FoxConn offers both to Apple and numerous other manufacturers); and two, the mid-level engineer, which the article suggests is hard to find in the U.S., but easy to find in China. In fact, the story features a fascinating anecdote about a mid-level engineer who once worked a well-paying job at a U.S. Apple factory, only to get laid off and, years later, work another Apple job he was overqualified for — at a much lower salary. That’s the real story. Look past Apple. They’re the hook of the article, but the real story is how the U.S. economy is no longer the best spot for these kinds of jobs. How can the U.S. change that?
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The U.S. factories couldn’t get close enough to perfection for Steve Jobs. So Apple went to China. In perhaps the broadest profile you’ll read about the manufacturing process that creates most of the electronics you use today, The New York Times’ analysis of the structural reasons why the iPhone isn’t made in the U.S. manages to pull off a surprising trick: It turns a story which on the surface is about one of the world’s largest corporations into a story which shows weaknesses in the recession-laden U.S. economy. A quick roundup of what we learned from this article:

  • one Apple was a late-comer to the international manufacturing racket, and as recently as 2003 built their products in California. Before they went to Asia, they struggled to keep up with the rest of the tech industry, which used the kinds of contractors Apple uses now.
  • two In Asia, it’s much easier to get all their ducks in a row in terms of supply chain management. The lower labor cost helps, but it’s the ability to turn on a dime — such as when Apple changed its iPhone screen from plastic to glass — that really makes a difference in terms of cost.
  • three Despite the outsourcing, an important point to keep in mind is that Apple’s success does create jobs in the U.S., both directly — 8,000 in the past year alone — and indirectly, with companies like FedEx and UPS adding many jobs based solely on Apple’s needs. source

» What it means for the U.S. economy: With speed, flexibility and manufacturing prowess better in China, Apple’s move abroad has taken two types of jobs out of play: One, the low-paid but stable manufacturing job (which FoxConn offers both to Apple and numerous other manufacturers); and two, the mid-level engineer, which the article suggests is hard to find in the U.S., but easy to find in China. In fact, the story features a fascinating anecdote about a mid-level engineer who once worked a well-paying job at a U.S. Apple factory, only to get laid off and, years later, work another Apple job he was overqualified for — at a much lower salary. That’s the real story. Look past Apple. They’re the hook of the article, but the real story is how the U.S. economy is no longer the best spot for these kinds of jobs. How can the U.S. change that?

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17:01 // 2 years ago
January 12, 2012

Foxconn workers threaten mass suicide over severance pay

Taking “strike” to a whole new level: It’s been reported that workers at Foxconn’s factory in Wuhan, China (where they make those XBOX 360s we’re all so fond of) were so incensed over an alleged reneging by the company on severance pay, as well as a factory closure, that they issued a dire ultimatum: meet our demands, or face a mass suicide. The workers (estimates vary from 80 to 200) didn’t go through with the threat, mercifully, as Foxconn apparently placated their demands. Foxconn’s factories and dormitories have seen suicides before, infamously forcing the installation of safety nets around windows. source

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14:54 // 2 years ago
September 15, 2011
pol102:

Employment: Defending jobs | The Economist
Looking for a job? These are the world’s top ten employers. Welcome to the new global economy.

So, to put this another way: Pick your poison — communism, socialism, military, Big Macs or iPhones. (Hon Hai is better known as Foxconn, the company that builds many of Apple’s products.) It’s fascinating to see this in perspective.

pol102:

Employment: Defending jobs | The Economist

Looking for a job? These are the world’s top ten employers. Welcome to the new global economy.

So, to put this another way: Pick your poison — communism, socialism, military, Big Macs or iPhones. (Hon Hai is better known as Foxconn, the company that builds many of Apple’s products.) It’s fascinating to see this in perspective.

19:51 // 2 years ago
July 31, 2011
11:22 // 3 years ago
May 21, 2011
We are deeply saddened by the tragedy at Foxconn’s plant in Chengdu, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are working closely with Foxconn to understand what caused this terrible event.
A statement from Apple • Expressing remorse for yesterday’s explosion at a Foxconn factory in China. The explosion, which took place in Chengdu, China, killed at least two and injured 16. The factory, which produces iPads, suspended production after the accident, according to Foxconn. “The safety of our employees is our highest priority and we will do whatever is required to determine and address the cause of this tragic accident,” they wrote in a statement to The Wall Street Journal’s All Things D. source (viafollow)
18:29 // 3 years ago