Recent news out of China villainized the tech giant for the working conditions found in a factory known as Foxconn. Foxconn, which works as a supplier for many large technology companies, is responsible for the production of several components of the popular Apple devices found in the hands of consumers across the globe. NPR was the amongst the first in the media to begin exploring the problem, citing an expert who claimed that in his investigations he had found multiple issues at the plant. Although much of his testimony was later recanted, Apple supply chain has stick caught a significant amount of flack for its activities at Foxconn.
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According to the New York Times, the Fair Labor Association found in a recent investigation that several Chinese laws and regulations were being ignored at Foxconn, including allowing workers to clock in more than 60 hours each week. The monitoring group took a look at multiple facilities run by the manufacturer, all of which are responsible for producing different products for Apple. After the reports were made available by the Fair Labor Association this week, Apple supply chain vowed to begin implementing changes at the facilities.
While the manufacturing conditions are not necessarily directly Apple’s fault, the tech giant no doubt holds the responsibility for ensuring that the production facilities meet their particular standards. Foxconn has stated that it will be happy to work in tandem with Apple supply chain to set goals and standards in place that will be applied across the board, allowing its workers to become more satisfied and better protected in the workplace. Amongst the many changes expected to take place, Foxconn will be limiting its workers to 49 hours each week, in accordance with the laws of China.
Ultimately, the move to improve working conditions at the Foxconn production facilities could have an impact on the endusers who purchase iPads, iPhones, and Macbooks, as these changes will no doubt require spending additional funds. This means the production cost of these popular devices will rise, a hike that could be passed on to consumers. If the costs are managed effectively and Apple supply chain feels comfortable accepting a lower profit margin, the tech giant could potentially choose to absorb the costs itself and keep its customers protected from the blow.
In addition to the repercussions for Apple, Foxconn’s contracts with other tech giants mean that the overall results of the overhaul in the plants could have far-reaching implications for the technology industry as a whole. Of course, the question that remains is whether or not any real changes will take place in the production facility. In fact, this isn’t the firs time that Foxconn has been criticized for similar infractions. Similar allegations were made as far back as 2006, with Apple supply chain promising to pay attention to the facilities since that time.
With the Fair Labor Association getting on board the regulatory process, most experts believe that changes will become apparent at Foxconn relatively quickly. In a move going against the precedents it had previously set, Apple supply chain released the names of many of its suppliers earlier this year. The Fair Labor Association has announced plans to begin investigating procedures in the respective factories of these suppliers as well, promising that all infractions or dangerous situations will be reported to Apple supply chain and the public. The end effect such a move will have on Apple supply chain, other companies in the industry, and end users themselves is yet to be seen.
This article is written by Kevin Moor, who also writes for speedmycomputer.net, a site emphasizing on how to speed up computer.