Apple reaches Nike moment over Foxconn issues

An auditor from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) said that Apple has reached a “Nike moment” in its history, referencing the negative publicity surrounding the working conditions at iPad and iPhone factories owned by Foxconn.

An auditor from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) said that Apple has reached a “Nike moment” in its history, referencing the negative publicity surrounding the working conditions at iPad and iPhone factories owned by Foxconn.

 
Inaes Kaempfer is one of a team of 30 people from the FLA investigating the Foxconn plants, and despite an initially positive and perhaps somewhat biased appraisal, Apple and Foxconn remain subject to extensive criticism over the treatment of workers in Chinese facilities.
 
“We call it the 'Nike moment' in the industry," Kaempfer told ABC News' Nightline. "There was a moment for Nike in the '90s, when they got a lot of publicity, negative publicity. And they weren't the worst. It's probably like Apple. They're not necessarily the worst, it's just that the publicity is starting to build up. And there was just this moment when they just started to do something about it. And I think that's what happened for Apple."
 
 Apple reaches Nike moment over Foxconn issues
 
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has been forced to investigate many of its suppliers after a spate of suicides and suicide attempts brought the media spotlight on Foxconn, revealing poor working conditions, low pay, and a failure to adequately provide for the emotional and psychological well-being of employees.
 
Foxconn staff are currently paid just $1.78 per hour, giving staff a measly $425 per month. While prices are usually lower in China, this is still a very low rate, forcing staff to seek overtime, a practice which Foxconn has been attempting to limit. Foxconn has also recently promised to increase pay by 25 percent, the second pay rise since these troubles began in late 2009.
 
The “Nike moment” for Apple has prompted it to axe contracts with 11 suppliers in the past and its CEO Tim Cook has vowed to fight underage labour, which he called “abhorrent.” Foxconn, however, is a major supplier and one of the reasons why Apple has been making high profits. It will be difficult for it to move production and assembly elsewhere, so changes at Foxconn facilities will largely depend on audits like this current one by the FLA.
 
Source: The Telegraph