Foxconn Posts Jobs to Improve Apple Working Conditions

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Foxconn is advertising for positions to address lifestyle, safety, and security issues at its Chinese plants that supply Apple. Two fire chiefs, a safety and security officer, and a lifestyle services manager are being sought for the Shenzhen plants that build iPhones and iPads.

The positions have been advertised on the human resources website according to The Integrated Digital Products Business Group, which is doing the hiring, is one of two Foxconn groups that supply Apple.

Apple and Foxconn have come under fire for working conditions and labor practices in the factories. In addition to Apple, Foxconn supplies many of the major electronics companies, including Microsoft, HP, Sony, and Dell. Apple, however, is the only company that has voluntarily asked for independent inspection of the plants in response to the events and accusations.

With hundreds of thousands of employees in Shenzhen, these new positions will have their hands full. The fire chief and safety and security positions require education and experience in those areas. The lifestyle manager position will be responsible for conditions at the dormitories, canteens, and health departments at the company’s facilities.

The Fair Labor Association, which conducted the independent inspections of the facilities for Apple, had both good and bad to say about conditions there. These new positions could be intended to address some of the issues they discovered. Foxconn has been making improvements for workers and recently increased the salary of junior workers.

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A lot of work has to be done in order to make Apple’s factories safer. Here are some shocking facts that really put your apple products in perspective:


The petition urges Apple to step up and lead the way in factory labor improvements, to ?make the iPhone5 and your other products ethically? and to insure ?the quality of working conditions matters as much as the quality of [Apple’s] products.?

Um…yeah. I think they’re not only doing that, they’re the tech company sourcing products in China doing the MOST of that.

The data in your iKill graphic is not very shocking and many people who have worked in the U.S. will recognize that they have worked under one or more similar conditions at one point in time or another in their lives.


They are not “Apple’s factories.” They are Foxconn’s factories. They also make products for companies other than Apple. Why aren’t people making a big deal over those other companies?


I think these are all good points. What’s happening with Apple is very similar to what happened with Nike and the allegations that they were using sweatshops to produce their running shoes and sports apparel. Nike wasn’t the only other company doing this, but they had a high-profile and this attracted the attention of activist groups and later, the media.

Both Apple and Foxconn got really bad press with the spate of suicides in 2010. While you might not be able to link the suicides directly to factory conditions (some psychologists say it’s more to do with compulsive behavior and a “cluster” effect. See: it’s still pretty shocking and heavy stuff to read about. ie. The frequency of the suicides in 2010, the subsequent suicide nets that went up outside the dorms and factory buildings…

It’s not so much laying blame on Apple, but pushing for better conditions for workers all around.


A lot of work has to be done in order to make Apple?s factories safer. Here are some shocking facts that really put your apple products in perspective:

What’s shocking is the mixture of half truths and misleading statements in the article.

So there were suicides at Foxconn. Foxconn builds electronic devices for dozens of companies, but according to this article the suicides at Foxconn are exclusively Apple’s fault. None of the other companies is apparently to claim. Can you give a rational explanation why that would be the case?

Another question is whether suicides are related to working conditions at all. Clearly nobody at Foxconn committed suicide because of mental problems, because of depression, because of problems with boyfriends or girlfriends, right?

The other point is that 18 suicides are very unfortunate, but statistically actually a very small number when you consider that Foxconn has over a million employees. If we compare with the suicide rate among average chinese citizens, the rate at Foxconn is considerably lower. If we compare with the suicide rates among average US citizens, those US citizens commit about four times more suicides. We can compare with another number: Rate of murders of US retail employees. Both rates are about the same.

So can you explain why you think that Apple is to blame that working at Foxconn is four times safer than living in the USA?

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