ABC Nightline got an exclusive look into Apple’s Foxconn factory in China where iPhone, iPad, and MacBook are all made. All part of efforts by the Apple Corp trying to clear up the reputation of the the factory where Apple products are made.
On February 13, 2012, Apple and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) announced they would join in an unprecedented investigation into the company’s supply and manufacturing line in response to reports of unfair working conditions at Foxconn. Apple’s compliance with the FLA comes after weeks of news reports on the subject of consumer concerns that workers were being treated unfairly. Apple said Monday that the FLA began the process of interviewing thousands of employees, inspecting manufacturing areas, and doing an extensive review of documents relating to employment at Foxconn.
The Nightline special at Apple’s Foxconn factory will air at 11:35 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Bill Weir, Nightline host starts the promotional video off, “Tens of millions of people around the world have opened one of those sublime, white boxes to marvel at the brilliance of the iPad, but no one from the outside has ever seen how these machines are built. Until now.”
“This company has earned the worse kind of headlines in recent years. So many of their employees have jumped from the roofs of their factories, that they put up suicide nets. After word got out, hundreds of thousands Apple fans called on the company to reform working conditions inside.”
Why was there such a commotion about the suicides? In the Nightline special about Apple, Bill Weir speaks to a counsellor about the suicides. “So why did the horror happen?” he asked. The counsellor responded, “There are many reasons. We had many scholars here doing research. Of course some suicide has to do with the management. But they had more to do with the new generation of migrant workers from the rural areas, their state of mind and how they cope with society. Also it’s hard to make friends here.”
The average starting salary at Foxconn is around $285 a month or $1.78 an hour. Even with 80 hours of overtime it considered so low that the Chinese government does not deduct any payroll taxes. If the workers want to share a dorm room with seven other workers there will be $17.50 deducted from their salary.