You have to wonder how far people will go to make a buck. Mike Daisey made a nice living blowing up Apple’s supply chain labor practices in China, and the Times no doubt sold a couple of papers off the name of the most valuable company on the planet. There’s now a whole cottage industry built up around complaining about Apple, some people protesting, some delivering “demands” to Apple Stores. It’d really be quite entertaining if it didn’t nauseate me to my core. But the truth – that’s not so clear.
When Apple brought in the FLA, the organization used by companies like Nike to audit their plants’ working conditions, their head called the facilities at Foxconn “first class” with “conditions (that) are way, way above average of the norm”. When Apple opened up Foxconn to ABC News for their killshot expose, the best they could muster was someone complaining about the pay.
Now comes another report from The Street that paints a picture of Foxconn that frankly I find too rosy to believe. After interviewing a random sample of 22 employees – which I assume means they didn’t stand in front of Foxconn’s gates in loud Hawaiian shirts soliciting complaints like some people – they found that overtime was sparse (in fact its unavailability was one of the chief complaints), people liked their managers and works area were clean and safe.
Is it possible that the public is being duped by people looking to make a name force-feeding Apple schadenfreude? If you have any doubt that it can be a profitable venture, you don’t read very many tech blogs.