The Facts Are In… From The FLA

The Fair Labor Association (FLA)  has completed, and made public, their report about labor conditions at Foxconn.  Below is a summary of what I found at their site. As always you can click on the link to read the full disclosure at  the FLA website.

FLA’s investigation found that within the last 12 months, all three factories exceeded both the FLA Code standard of 60 hours per week (regular plus overtime) and the Chinese legal limits of 40 hours per week and 36 hours maximum overtime per month.

During peak production periods, the average number of hours worked per week exceeded 60 hours per worker.

There were periods in which some employees worked more than seven days in a row without the required 24 hours off.

Full worker survey data is available at http://www.fairlabor.org/affiliate/apple.via Fair Labor Association Secures Commitment to Limit Workers’ Hours, Protect Pay at Apple’s Largest Supplier | Fair Labor Association.

I was wondering how many people still  felt that Mike Daisey’s way of  getting this information out still should be judged so harshly.  Before he presented this information in his show,  I don’t believe many of Apple’s customers (myself included) knew much about  how the Apple products are made in China.  Here is an excerpt of an article by Mark Radcliffe that I found  in my readings about Mike Daisey I would like to share with you. As always click the link to read the entire article.

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Mark Radcliffe notes that discoveries of more violations at Apple’s Foxconn manufacturing plant in China prove that Mike Daisey wasn’t as wrong as once thought…

I wrote about this controversy last week, so I’ll try not to repeat too much of my argument. But my point is that the level of condemnation employed by most journalists against Daisey strikes me as misplaced. I find it troubling that there was such a frenzy to tear him down, when at the end of the day, it was still his show (and the general truth behind it) that is largely responsible for shining the light of scrutiny on the labor practices of the world’s richest company. There was an OCD-esque desire to throw out the baby with the bathwater as soon as a few smaller details were in contention.

But almost no one simply acknowledged that he did go to China. He did visit factories. He did talk to workers, all in an effort to know the truth. The headlines imply he made it all up while sitting on his couch at home. We should have two different levels of scorn for someone who lies about everything sheerly for fame, and someone who merely stretches the truth to help raise awareness about a labor rights issues. via Mike Daisey’s Lies Appear To Be Mostly True @MarkRadcliffe — The Good Men Project.

It’s certainly worth thinking about what Mark Radcliffe has to say on this topic.  I would also like to share a quote with you that I found before I close this Post>

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Martin Luther King, Jr. quote

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I cannot write my post today before I acknowledge the recent reports about the manufacturing of Apple products in China.  Even more to the point,  I do not think that any one of the many Apple customers in the United States was not troubled by the report of how these products, we’ve come to love and use, are being made for our use and entertainment.

Human cost does matter.  In this country where we live to enjoy all sorts of labor laws to protect the human cost value from capitalism, we cannot close our minds and eyes to this recent, startling revelation.  We should further evaluate and listen, but we cannot ignore what is alleged.

In 1904 the National Child Labor Committee began its mission of advocating for child labor laws in the United States.  That was one hundred eight years ago. That’s only one issue.

Surely, as citizens, parents and ultimately as consumers of the products, which Apple and other companies either manufacture, or contract with others to manufacture, we will be vigilantly watching for what plans and solutions to this multi-headed hydra are proposed and implemented.  The news is disturbing; the answer is probably not simple.

There is clearly more to come on this subject.