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With working conditions in Chinese factories still making headlines, Apple manufacturer Foxconn is going to be increasing wages, and Apple is reportedly going to allow independent environmental reviews of at least 2 of their suppliers, with the potential for more to follow.
Apple recently requested that the Fair Labor Association conduct audits of its assembly suppliers, with Foxconn being a focus due to recent media attention surrounding the working conditions there. The FLA has now indicated that general conditions within Foxconn's iPad and iPhone production facilities have better overall ratings than most other assembly vendors in the business.
Apple has voluntarily requested that the Fair Labor Association conduct special audits of its final assembly suppliers. Apple has moved very quickly following the damning report by the New York Times last month where workers’ rights and safety whilst working on the manufacture and assembly of Apple products was in question.
Rene recently wrote an editorial about the current controversy surrounding Apple and the working conditions in the Chinese factories where Apple -- and almost every other consumer electronics company -- has their products made. It was a nice editorial, but I disagree with it completely. Well, almost completely. I do agree that it's an important issue and that the discussion is good. He took a position and argued it well, that China was the story, and Apple merely link-bait. And it's that position I disagree with.
There are several stories floating around the web this week concerning boycotts planned against Apple, the result of stories floating around the web last week concerning working conditions in China. While in some cases the sentiment is good and the intention noble, in many cases its based on lazy, exploitive journalism and shallow, opportunistic activism, fed by a soundbite- and sensation-seeking readership.