Monday, 13 February 2012 12:10

Apple to bring in the Fair Labor Association to Inspect their Partners

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14621rotten_appleApple has announced that they are going to have the Fair Labor Association begin inspecting their factories beginning this month. The move comes after public outcry and much bad press over working conditions at the Foxconn factories where Apple’s products are manufactured. The question that begs to be asked now is; why does Apple need to bring in the FLA if they have been monitoring and are aware of the situation at these factories?

If you remember when the first articles and comments began to appear on the internet Tim Cook, Apple CEO made the statement that Apple was monitoring the conditions at Foxconn. Cook was the person that arranged the agreement with Foxconn and closed down all of the Apple manufacturing plants and warehouses. He often defended his decision based on pieces of Apple mythology such as claiming that by using Foxconn and others in China he Apple was able to make dramatic design changes to the first generation iPhone just weeks before launch.

Now if this story is true it also shows that Cook and Apple were aware of rather harsh conditions at the factories as far back as the first generation iPhone. It also could possibly mean that Apple has not done anything to make changes to the working conditions as long as they receive a benefit from the way that Foxconn does business. This is not a big shocker as most large corporations are not going to change unsafe conditions unless they get caught so we are not surprised that Apple hasn’t

Next we have comments from some Apple fans asking why no one is going after Dell, HP, and others that use Foxconn for manufacturing. Well the sad truth there is that the majority of the deaths and suicides have happens on the Apple line, going back to a quality assurance employee that committed suicide over the loss of a prototype iPhone 3G. This event hit the news big time as other employees described the treatment of this QA engineer as extreme including hours of interrogation by Foxconn security allegedly at Apple’s request.

Back to our original question though; why would Apple use the FLA if they are already monitoring conditions on their own lines? That one should be obvious; if Apple gets a third party to inspect and say things are all good they are pretty much off the hook. They always point back to these inspections and say “it’s not our fault!”. This is a very smart move on Tim Cook’s part, but it is not the answer. As anyone knows that has done any type of inspection the dates and times are always known ahead of time and as such conditions can be adjusted for those times. When the inspectors are gone, things go back to normal. It is a simple fact of life.

As we said none of this has any mystery and is all about public perception. What really bothers me is that our corporations can push for a trade agreement like ACTA over IP and Copyright, but they cannot push for one that imposes human rights concessions to make these items in the same countries they are claiming are the sources of piracy. Exactly what are their priorities; after all aren’t ACTA, SOPA and PIPA supposed to help save/create American jobs and help our economy? Just something for you to think about on a Monday morning an.


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Read 1941 times Last modified on Monday, 13 February 2012 12:18

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