Foxconn Is Putting on a Good Show

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With the press all focused on Foxconn's unfortunate labor conditions, the despotic electronics maker has taken this moment to prove its factories aren't all that bad. And with the Fair Labor Association making its way through the iPad maker's facilities for inspections right now, Foxconn has done just that, impressing F.L.A. president Auret van Heerden during a tour. "[Foxconn’s] facilities are first-class" he said, according to The New York Times. "Foxconn is really not a sweatshop." "First-class" doesn't exactly match up to what we've heard from those on the inside. 

This praise comes before the F.L.A. has even done a report, making the claims somewhat suspect. "Generally, in a labor rights investigation, the findings come after the evidence is gathered, not the other way around," Scott Nova executive director of the Workers Rights Consortium told The Times' Steven Greenhouse. "I’m amazed that the F.L.A. would give one of the most notoriously abusive factories in the world a clean bill of health — based, it appears, on nothing more than a guided tour provided by the owner," he continued.

But Foxconn has managed to impress. With Van Heerden reporting the exact opposite of previous Foxconn reports have shown. "Workers are very outspoken, and they're not intimidated at all," he said in an NPR interview. That doesn't sound anything like what this anonymous Foxconn employee, fearful to reveal her identity, told CNN. Those who speak out don't stay long, a source told CNN. "The attitude of management is, if you don't like it, you can leave," he explained. An organization that just the other week The New York Times described as rife with worker abuses and safety violations, van Heerden now sees as "way, way above average." Well played, Foxconn.

To add even more positivity to these too-good inspections, Foxconn has also announced 16-25 percent raises for its employees. The last time Foxconn increased wages was back in June 2010, with 30 percent boosts for all. Also happening in June 2010: Media scrutiny for the plant's suicide problem. By the way, that raise now means a base line 1,800 Yuan per month salary, which translates to around $285 dollars, or less than $10 per day. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.