After a mass suicide threat, media exposes from both This American Life and The New York Times and factory audits from Apple and the Fair Labor Association, Foxconn has had about six weeks to shape up. Really, though, the Chinese manufacturer that American gadget corporations rely on has had about a year and a half to evolve, after mass suicides back in June 2010 brought similar American media attention to the firm. In that time, some things have changed, as evidenced by Bill Weir's tour through Foxconn with ABC News.
Things That Have Changed
- Wages. Last week Foxconn raised worker salary's 16 to 25 percent, up to $285 a month, the third time the factory has upped salary's since 2010.
- Suicide. The campuses have implemented precautions, including suicide nets and a counseling center. "Everywhere you look, on every factory and dormitory, in every stairwell and atrium, are suicide nets," notes Weir. And the suicide rate
- Worker Satisfaction. "Compared with other factories, it's quite good here, because the benefits are good. And because a lot of things happened in the past, it's been improved a lot," Zhang Ruohua, who makes printer cartridges, told Weir.
- Unions. "We do have labor unions at Foxconn," a Foxconn executive told Weir.
- Audits. Both Apple and the Fair Labor Association have gone inside Foxconn since the latest reports.
- American Attitudes. We've seen outrage, guilt, and mixed feelings from our iProduct obsessed culture over the last few weeks.