Behind the Doors of Foxconn, Apple's Sweatshop Factories
In our own eyes...
Decided to look for ourselves, we joined a crew from ABC's Nightline after getting an invitation from Foxconn. They decided to give us a tour to one of Foxconn facilities in Shenzen, China, and we found a clean environment. Of course...Sure, they knew about our visit 3 weeks in advance. Complains of high rate suicides between employees, who could've reach to 800,000 only in China has put Foxconn on the hot spot big time.
Foxconn's CEO Guo Tai-ming, always denied that their factories were human sweatshops. Just imagine yourself, that for ABC news being there, all their employees got a dollar raise per day. So if they were making those well earned 6 dollars a day, their dollar raise will make them richer! Employees with a salary close to 220 a month will make close to 260 dollars a month(the price of an Ipad).
Foxconn's CEO Guo Tai-ming asserted that this was a big raise for his employees, but Sources told us that overtime would be cut, making up for that raise. Very Smart of 'you,' your Lawyers and accountants Mr. Guo Tai-ming.
Foxconn by the numbers
HEADQUARTERS: Taiwan, founded in 1974
CUSTOMERS: HP, Dell, Nokia, Motorola, Apple and more...
IPhones assembled per day: 145,000
Employees: 1,200,000 in China solely
% Of World consumption depending on them: 40%
CEO Terry Gou's estimated net worth as of 2011: 5.7 Billions
Rice consumed by a plant with 230,000 employees: 14 tons.
Number of employees packed at a 3 bedroom apartment: 20
Percentage of overtime worked: 84 hrs/month
No Wonder My Apple iPad Is Affordable..
Conditions of these Workers were not too plausible, just six months ago. Luring cheap migrants to work long hours in mammoth factories building smart-phones, computers and other electronics, was a commercial opportunity that nobody in his right mind would let go.
Since 2007, the U.S. fell into the biggest recession of his 240 years history, and the opportunity to keep productivity against the worker's conditions...well, guess what? Foxconn has been always hiring.
Workers being exploited on assembly mines for six or seven days a week, mostly for 14 or 15 hours a day, made our dream of having the latest IPhone reachable, but at what cost? We don't want to blame Steve Jobs, but there was a deal with Foxconn and we guess, we can imagine this Chinese from Formosa, and now Taiwan, made his promise to deliver within granted time. We just imagine this Chinese delivery guy, risking his life riding his bike, just to deliver a fresh meal to people that have Porsches and BMW's outside their offices.
Issues of Global Scale
Not only Apple has hired foxconn. We learned also that Hewlett Packard and Dell had been dealing with these companies for years. The problem is that China is becoming a 'superpower,' by buying our debt and entering the financial world with a 'strong wallet,' but where is the gap between the rich and poor over there?
A migrant from far away Provinces is barely making those 220-300 dollars a month. International Labor Unions have demanded better conditions for these people. Now we find that younger generations don't even find attractive these kind of jobs. They rather stay in their cities and work on and about nearby companies. You might've seen them modeling on some magazines. Just to buy their own IPads and trendy IPhone.
As far as we know, Foxconn has been losing over 45,000 employees per month, and the shortage is being felt. Foxconn won't ask anymore for a degree to join their factories. Their desperation for hiring has taken its toll already. Foxconn has hired counselors and Managers that could possible appeal to the new hires state of mind, for the sake of... business as usual. We are being said now that Apple will release its IPad 3 by March 7th. Which curiously coincide with that famous Chinese New Year.