New Foxconn regulations will ripple through Apple's supply chain

New Foxconn regulations will ripple through Apple's supply chain

Summary: Foxconn gets slammed by the Fair Labor Association after an investigation, which could have a ripple effect throughout Apple's supply chain.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Just after Apple CEO Tim Cook visited a Foxconn plant in China this week, the Fair Labor Association has issued its official report regarding labor rights allegations against Apple's supply chain partner that has been under fire for months.

See also: CNET: Foxconn audit finds violations, fixes promised

Simply put, the FLA slammed Foxconn with a long list of serious issues that need to be addressed immediately.

That includes, but is not limited to, "excessive overtime and problems with overtime compensation; several health and safety risks; and crucial communication gaps that have led to a widespread sense of unsafe working conditions among workers."

After logging 3,000 staff hours while investigating three factories and surveying more than 35,000 workers since February, the international organization has handed Apple's largest supplier a long list of strict labor rights requirements to which Foxconn must commit.

These rules include reducing the number of monthly overtime hours from 80 to 36, compensation packages that protects workers from losing income due to reduced overtime, and requiring supervisors and workers to report all accidents that result in an injury.

The FLA's move not only (to put it lightly) reprimands Foxconn, but it also has the potential to ripple throughout Apple's supply chain worldwide.

Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the Fair Labor Association, explained in the report that FLA assessors have the right to "unfettered access to conduct thorough investigations of Apple suppliers."

Joining the Fair Labor Association is voluntary. But once a company joins, FLA sets the rules of investigations and has full access to any supplier, owns the information collected and publishes its findings and recommendations for remedial action.

Even though Foxconn has been the most reported-about member of Apple's supply chain lately when it comes to labor rights violations, the FLA is already widening the net to investigate other partners as well.

The best step for Apple would be to take a proactive approach and double-check -- ahead of investigators from the FLA and elsewhere -- to ensure these requirements stipulated in the FLA's report are already being upheld (or not) throughout the supply chain.

A full copy of the FLA's report is available online now.

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Topic: Apple

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15 comments
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  • 80 hours of overtime?

    [i]These rules include reducing the number of monthly overtime hours from 80 to 36...[/i]

    Is it any wonder the US can't compete with China?
    ye
    • Err....

      Ya wonder what they got compensated for the overtime. Most places in the US and Canada give 1.5 times the regular salary rate for factory jobs. I can almost guarantee Foxconn did not.
      Gisabun
    • 80 extra hours of being a slave?

      And you think overworking people is a good thing? What about enjoying life?

      Or should we all be slaves, working all hours of the day?
      snapsean
  • Good For Them

    Let's hope Apple uses it considerable influence to push for these changes. It's the least they can do. A boycott of Apple, to help convince them to do the right thing, obviously will not work with the mobs of people clamoring for the latest iPad (who gives a damn about the slaves who make my iPad, just get me one !). So we can only hope someone at Apple, in authority, still has a conscience.
    jpr75_z
    • This problem is not limited to Apple.

      It's shared by many companies. Apple is just the most visible.
      ye
      • But Apple is the most profitable

        Wonder why others are not as profitable?

        Could you name other companies in the news that are being investigated?

        In the meantime, we shall wait for other official reports by the Fair Labor Association?

        Please don't talk to me about higher-quality or other such nonsense. They are all made in the same places with the same components (but different assembly lines & different schedules). Including Apple's A5X CPU made by Samsung, and the 'retina' display also made by Samsung in the new iPad, or by LG for the iPhone 4S.

        [quote]www . pcmag . com/article2/0,2817,2401647,00.asp
        [quote]iFixit Teardown of New iPad Reveals Samsung Display, A5X Chipset
        Analyst firm iSuppli then released a statement that said Apple likely has three sources for its displays - Samsung, LG, and Sharp - but said it believes "the volume shipments of the new iPad display are currently coming from Samsung."

        In the model purchased by iFixit, at least, it appears the winner is Samsung. When the A5X processor was finally revealed, it too was also manufactured by Samsung, iFixit found.

        [b]"There isn't much difference between the old and new version of the A5: an 'x' in the name and an extra 0.2 GHz clock speed,"[/b] iFixit said.[/quote][/quote]

        PS: both my Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Nexus says "Made in China" once you pop the battery cover giving some credence to your assertions.

        [i]~~~~~~~~~~
        Follow the dirt and it leads to money.
        ~ Rene Descartes, French philosopher 1596-1650

        Profits, like sausages... are esteemed most by those who know least about what goes into them.
        ~ Alvin Toffler

        The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
        ~ Confucius[/i]
        WinTard
      • That's why I said "Apple is just the most visible".

        @WinTard:

        [i]But Apple is the most profitable[/i]

        Profit has nothing to do with it except perhaps wrt visibility.

        [i]They are all made in the same places with the same components (but different assembly lines & different schedules).[/i]

        Exactly! Which is why the problem is not limited to Apple. I'm not try to defend Apple or single out any specific company. I'm merely saying the problem is with Foxconn and it's well known Foxconn makes products for companies other than Apple.
        ye
      • Wintarded

        @Wintard
        "Could you name other companies in the news that are being investigated?"
        No, because no one else requested such an investigation. Apple is being investigated because it ASKED to be.

        "They are all made in the same places with the same components (but different assembly lines & different schedules)."
        No, they aren't. All SMC are not made equal. There are distinct quality differences between components. Also the actual devices themselves are different. All LCD panels are not the same quality, nor track pads. Slot loading optical drives do NOT cost the same as tray loading drives. Illuminated keyboards add cost, as do things other PCs don't have like thunderbolt ports.

        Funny that you show your complete ignorance by bringing up the A5X. You are right that it is fabbed by Samsung. So what? What is your point? Who designed it? Samsung? No, Apple.
        Fail.
        .DeusExMachina.
      • @deusexmachinaAed

        You said: [quote]Funny that you show your complete ignorance by bringing up the A5X. You are right that it is fabbed by Samsung. So what? What is your point? Who designed it? Samsung? No, Apple.
        Fail. [/quote]

        Ohh, did I offend your cultist sensibilities?

        Nice of you showing your own ignorance and failure in that sentence. Lol!

        Like everything else 'designed' by Apple, proudly in California. With deception in mind, specifying the menu, doesn't make you a chef, nor gourmet.

        They merely took pre-designed functional black-boxes by others, and asked a real manufacturer to fabricate it for them...

        But the term design is infinitely elastic?

        ARM Holdings designed the (obsolete) 32 bit CPU architecture. Yes ARM doesn't have any 64-bit designs yet.

        PowerVR designed the GPU.

        Then Apple simply licensed the IP from both these companies.

        [quote]Apple A5X (Dual-core)
        en . wikipedia . org / wiki / Apple_A5#Apple_A5X_.28Dual-core.29

        Apple A5X chip
        Apple announced the A5X chip for the iPad (3rd generation) on March 7, 2012. The A5X features a dual-core CPU at 1 GHz[24] it also has quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU.[25] The A5X is not packaged together with the RAM. Manufacturing process remains at 45 nm.[26] Die size has increased drastically compared to the A5 at 165 mm2, 310% larger than the 53.3 mm2 die area of the original A4.[27][/quote]

        Yet Apple has the gall to disingenously state quad-core (GPU) implying quad-core for the uneducated.

        At this rate, then the Nvidia Tegra 3 contains (5) five CPU cores, and (12) twelve GPU cores.

        Source: www . anandtech . com / show / 5072 / nvidias-tegra-3-launched-architecture-revealed / 2

        Then, Apple simply compiled those VHDL black boxes into something called a System On Chip (SoC) with standardized tools, and contracted the only company to date capable of manufacturing these in large enough quantity, and quality, and price, to satisfy Apple's bottom line...

        While raking all these outreagous profits only upon Apple's patrons backs, and exploiting their slave-labor to death.

        Before you insinuate knowledge by claiming others are ignorant, learn something new today, as to how things are really done today. No, it ain't magic, nor revolutionary.

        By simply googgling vhdl arm: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=vhdl+arm

        Even your $12 at retail imported cheap DVD player at Wal-Mart has been using SoC's since day one. Cost? less than $1 for the SoC. For much longer than the iPod / iPhone / iPad exist.

        Since we now know Apple doesn't manufacture anything, so what did Apple originally design already?

        [i]~~~~~~~~~~
        I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.
        ~ Oscar Wilde

        The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.
        ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

        It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it hath it not.
        ~ Jeremy Taylor (1613 - 1667)

        Nothing is worse than active ignorance.
        ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

        Ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind.
        ~ John Tillotson (1630 - 1694)

        Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.
        ~ Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988)[/i]
        WinTard
      • Yeah, wrong

        @ Wintard
        Thanks for making it clear that you have zero understanding of chip design. First, the chip was designed in house by the team Apple acquired from P.A. Semi. Designing around an ARM reference is a lot more involved than cutting and pasting black boxes together on a die sublimation mask. But you'd know that, right, given all your extensive course work in I.C. design and fabrication?
        I must be mistaken, having only taken a few courses in I.C. design, I must have missed all those parts, so I humbly submit to your superior authority.
        But FTR, ARM reference designs do NOT give you the necessary data to create your own S.o.C. without a significant amount of additional work.

        Again, your name is apt.
        .DeusExMachina.
    • The fact is...

      ...you'd boycott Apple anyway regardless of conditions over at Foxconn.

      How do I know this? Because you haven't bashed all the other computer makers who use the same Foxconn assembly lines, that's why.
      ScorpioBlack
    • Hehehe....

      You know that what Foxcconn has to do will drive up Foxconn's costs. Eventually it will come back to Apple. Apple will either have to take a smsaller cut [from their huge cut] which would hurt profits or raise prices.
      The fanbois and fangurls would never boycott their beloved gadgets. they don't care who suffers in a country thousands of miles away.
      Gisabun
  • FLA investigation

    One interesting item that seemed to have been left out of this oped piece is that, from several other reports, Apple asked the Fair Labor Association to investigate working conditions at Foxconn. Others state that Apple had agreed to the investigation. Nor do we see any mention that Apple is a member of the FLA -- the only technology company I could find on their list of members.

    And where, oh where, are the names of the other companies who use Foxconn to assemble their goods. From reading ZDNet, one would be left with the belief that the only customer Foxconn has is Apple. No mention of Acer, Amazon, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba or Vizio -- did all those companies once listed as major customers drop Foxconn as their assembler of choice?

    The sad part is that, by Chinese standards, Hon Hai/Foxconn are considered to offer better working conditions than many other manufacturers. As was pointed out during the media feeding frenzy over the suicides at Foxconn, the suicide rate at Foxconn was lower than the national average.

    In my more cynical moments, I find myself believing that items mentioning Apple get more readership and more money making it obvious why there is no mention of other companies using Foxconn -- they don't drive revenue the way Apple does.
    DNSB
    • Errr...

      Makes no difference that Foxconn's suicide rate is lower. People died because of working conditions.
      Apple is most visible because just about all their gadgets are made by Foxconn.
      Dell has some of their computers made their but last I checked most of the desktops [yes, I know, less and less of them] are from Mexico. Dell also dropped their smartphone lines. [About time.] THat could of been made at Foxconn.
      Gisabun
  • Rachel, you wear your misinformed bias on your sleeve.

    Laundry lists:
    "Foxconn gets slammed by the Fair Labor Association after an investigation,"

    Slammed? Apparently you did not actually read the report. NOTHING in the report can even remotely be characterized as the FLA "slamming" Apple. Nor was this list particularly long. Care to differ? Please post quotes.

    Why did FoxConn commit to implementing these changes? Simple. Because the entity that commissioned the FLA report was APPLE. And Apple made it clear to FoxConn that they had to implement the guidelines or they would void their Apple contract.

    "The FLA's move not only (to put it lightly) reprimands Foxconn, but it also has the potential to ripple throughout Apple's supply chain worldwide."

    No, it doesn't.

    "Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the Fair Labor Association, explained in the report that FLA assessors have the right to 'unfettered access to conduct thorough investigations of Apple suppliers.'"

    THAT will have ramification in the supply chain, which is just what Apple was asking for. So what is your point here?

    "The best step for Apple would be to take a proactive approach and double-check ahead of investigators from the FLA and elsewhere to ensure these requirements stipulated in the FLA's report are already being upheld (or not) throughout the supply chain."

    Wow, talk about not getting it! Proactive? That is exactly what the FLA investigation IS. They were approached by APPLE to do the exact investigation that you are claiming Apple should do prior to them doing the investigation!
    .DeusExMachina.