I’m sure I don’t have to remind any of you about the controversy surrounding the conditions at Foxconn’s facilities. Apple and Foxconn have publicly acknowledged the issues and have been working towards resolving them for a while now, and according to the New York Times’ latest installment of iEconomy, the companies are definitely taking steps in the right direction, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Apple executives met with Foxconn bigwigs and independent reps for the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to discuss the progress. Although Foxconn has made many improvements, including wage increases and shorter working hour limits, FLA president Auret van Heerden still had a few problems with Foxconn’s factory conditions. According to him,
“The world is watching!” [Foxconn chairman Terry] Gou yelled, according to multiple people. “We are going to fix this, right here!”
But the inspector was not done.
He turned to the only Apple executive in the room, the senior vice president for operations, Jeff Williams. Apple needed to change as well, the inspector said. Apple, to its credit, had been working for years to improve conditions in overseas factories, but the company was treating such problems too much like engineering puzzles, the inspector said.
“Long-term solutions require a messier, more human approach,” that inspector, Auret van Heerden of the Fair Labor Association, told Mr. Williams. Instead of concentrating on writing more policies, Apple needed to listen better to workers’ complaints and advocacy groups’ recommendations.”
Heerden’s issues are echoed by a number of advocacy groups who recognize Apple’s efforts but insist that the company could be doing more for the employees of its manufacturing partner. One thing in particular that is reportedly causing issues is Apple’s insistence on secrecy. Reportedly, this causes a hinderance where industry-wide sharing of knowledge is concerned, which makes it harder to root out noncompliant suppliers and prevent accidents like dust explosions that have harmed workers in the past.
What do you guys think about Apple’s and Foxconn’s efforts? Is it enough, or is it just the tip of the iceberg? Weigh in down below in the comments section!
Via: Mac Rumors