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Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Companies |

The milestones that have marked a history of negligence in Foxconn

The milestones that have marked a history of negligence in Foxconn

It began on 19 February 2010. That Friday, first came to light early problems affecting at Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that holds many factories around the world and on that occasion, was burned by its employees when they were forced to work overtime without pay.

Literally, this would be the spark that started a huge fire that even today does not turn off. We talked about controversies and scandals that have involved the management and employees of the company, current icon poor labor practices that are living in and various corners of the globe, serving large technology companies that dominate Western culture.

And is that has factories in the end, he made all the big brands. Because no, neither nor have great facilities crowded assembling the iPad tablet or Xperia phones, but delegate that task, or “dirty work”, a foreign contractor, hopefully in a country that allows low wages and maximize profits. China is the ideal and Foxconn that best serves the mission.

Among the list of major clients to find:

  • Acer
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP)
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Motorola
  • Nintendo
  • Nokia
  • Samsung
  • Sony
  • Toshiba
  • Vizio

And several more, responsible for the design of products that deal everyday in our daily lives.

The crisis workers

The milestones that have marked a history of negligence in Foxconn image 2

After February 19, the second milestone would occur on May 14 of that year, when the world learns that Foxconn had hired an exorcist to control the wave of suicides that was taking place within the company, with about eight workers presumably affected psychologically, following labor abnormalities dating from June 2006 , among which are, again, making the imposition of up to 80 hours extra per month, even in China the monthly limit is 36 hours.

From then on it was all uphill for Foxconn: an undercover reporter revealed the secrets of one of its factories , where we saw that a month people received $ 132 as salary, making over 36 voluntary overtime a month, mostly for earn some extra money for his family. It was expected that this lifestyle on the minds of people are upset, so a wave of continued, and the company hired about 2,000 psychiatrists to treat their people.

Meanwhile, Apple communicated to their customers that they felt ” sad and sorry “for this reality, and Foxconn surprised with their ingenuity to devise tragi-comic two solutions to the problem: forcing employees to sign contracts “no-suicide” , and installing nets around buildings to cushion the fall of potential suicide.

But the killings continued , and Foxconn, in his infinite genius, consider putting a million robots in production lines because they do not commit suicide. Bad luck also haunted the company, and a pair of explosions in some facilities left many injured workers , all because of the iPad . More over, despite its practices, Foxconn goes bad economic times.

But that was not all they had to show, and in a show surrounded by misfortune, organized meetings for workers subirles mood , are the first cases of minors working in production lines and a new explosion now leaves two dead . For his part, Terry Gou, CEO of the company, had a couple of cards up his sleeve to surprise us even more: they denied the allegations of mistreatment of workers and to top it said “manage one million animals gives pain head “, alluding to a million people employed by the company . All this, amid numerous strikes and stoppages that occasionally organized the most dispossessed.

The public pressure increased, not only affecting Foxconn, but one of its major clients, and successful, Apple, who began a campaign to clean up its image and reassure customers that everything was fine, so do not feel responsible for conscience by buying products with the bitten apple behind. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said first that they ” care about all workers “in the midst of a pay raise for employees who joined a commitment of both companies to improve working conditions, resulting in Apple assume the cost of increased wages . This ultimately solved some problems in China , putting cold water on the situation.

But the calm did not last long, as was revealed recently running a strange system of “boarding” for school students in China, which are taken out of obligation to work for three and half months to factories, paying $ 244 month to meet production goals, which mysteriously become academic credits required in schools.

This resulted in less than 14 years old were working assembling products, in a situation so far is being investigated and revives suspicions about whether or not things improved in the company.

Who is to blame?

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Here we should not confuse us. At first glance, it seems that Foxconn is a hell on earth that exploits children and youth through an inhumane labor activity, and in a way, is true. However, the company itself is not responsible for all of this harsh reality, and if they can carry out their activities, it is because we live in a world that can do it. Foxconn Because if not, it would be another, and if not that one, another one would come, in a never ending story.

Have you seen what the problem is? There is a need in the market, when Western companies compete fiercely and one of the most important areas that power is getting low prices. Consumers always claim for the price of things, and companies are listening. But for a low sale value, you need to cut back on production lines, and the workforce is one of the areas where it is most saves, especially when there are places like China that allow paying ridiculous salaries to their employees.

Are we willing we, as customers, to subsidize the wages of people at Foxconn? When the problem is as complex as the current economic system of free competition and low prices so ingrained in society, a simple solution is difficult. While not occur, there will be a thousand Foxconn, not only in China but also in the country to turn to allow the lowest wages .

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