I was so surprised to read this story from the Washington Post last friday. As I told you last week, Apple has hired a new watchdog firm to review the practices of its contractor Foxconn. Foxconn employs a lot of Chinese people to make all the iPhones and iPads we buy. Anyway, Apple’s new watchdog firm, The Fair Labor Association (FLA), has reportedly uncovered “tons of issues” that need to be addressed at a Foxconn Technology Group plant in Shenzhen, China. Wow, those issues must have been really hard to find. Apple asks the FLA on February 13, 2012 to inspect plants owned by three of its largest manufacturing partners and the Post is reporting 4 days later that FLA was “finding tons of issues.”
It kind of begs the question why Apple couldn’t have found those issues on it own prior to hiring FLA if it only took FLA about 15 minutes to find them once they were on the job. Maybe Apple hired the FLA because the FLA has special sensitive apparatus at their disposal. You know, proprietary apparatus specially designed to sniff out appalling labor practices. Well at least the FLA is now on the job and hopefully the employees at those Foxconn plants will be seeing an improvement in their working conditions. Or, why not have Apple really make a splash and announce that is bringing its iPhone and iPad assembly jobs back home. Designed in California, Made in USA. Wouldn’t that look cool on the back of iPads and iPhones. And Apple could put 67,000 members of our extended American family back to work in the bargain. But hey, what do I know. Not much if you believe Forbes. But maybe a little if you believe the Huffington Post (check the link in the “Insanely Great” section of the post).