French investigative program Envoyé Spécial has posted several videos secretly shot at Foxconn showing that conditions there haven’t improved, as much as Apple would like us to believe.
From the Envoyé Spécial page (translated by Google Translate):
For the first time, teams Upside television infiltrated plants, to reveal the interior, the working conditions of workers. Following their everyday we discover the lives of these employees dedicated to the production with an organization’s draconian labor. Dive into the Foxconn also allows us to understand the wave of suicides that have marked the company up to 13 dead a few months 2 years ago. Since the manufacturer has installed anti-suicide nets to all windows of buildings, libraries, or a call line, “the line of love.” Foxconn has also redeployed plants in remote areas of China, where wages are lower. But suicides continues at Foxconn employees, including those working on production lines last smartphone. The iPhone 5 is particularly difficult to make with it seems more pressure for employees. Investigating Foxconn in China is extremely complex. To make this documentary, he first had to avoid police controls. To reveal this “system Foxconn”, our participants chose to take considerable risks, penetrate hidden cameras in these plants as large as cities. Others, such as NGOs, members of civil society do not hesitate to make publicly speak against this giant of Chinese industry.
The videos are in French and I’ll have to see if we can find translations of them to get all the details, however conditions at Foxconn look and sound grim. This, folks, is the true cost of our iDevices:
From dorms that lack elevators, running water, electricity (or if they have power, it’s not safe) to workers toiling for 90 days without breaks, Foxconn and Apple will have a lot of questions to answer:
In addition, reporters met lower-paid student employees who were of legal age to work there but had no desire to do so, saying corrupt school administrators illegally told them they’d lose their diplomas if they didn’t take a job. Meanwhile, regular workers also claimed that much of their upgraded $290 monthly salary was still being absorbed by the company through housing, insurance and food – with one claiming he only had $340 left after a year of toil. While that might be due to corrupt businesses in the area, the journalists found that Foxconn also levied numerous charges against employees, including around $7 for a psychological test that’s supposed to weed out suicidal candidates. Labor groups claimed that many workers in the region were still putting in up to 150 hours of overtime per month while working up to 90 days straight without a break to make up the shortfall, far in excess of the company’s promises. (Via Engadget)
Apple gave a standard comment to Engadget:
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“Apple is committed to the highest standards of social responsibility across our worldwide supply chain. We insist that all of our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever our products are made.”