Apple & Foxconn Case Study

2740 words - 11 pages

Foxconn: Impact of globalization on labor conditions.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd which trades as Foxconn Technology group or as the media calls it Foxconn has been in media limelight recently due to labor problems that have surfaced from the organization. Foxconn is a major equipment manufacturer supplier to electronics giants like Blackberry, Apple, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation and the Nintendo Wii. The internet has several articles and controversies regarding the deplorable worker conditions and cases of suicides by the workers.
Foxconn has factories in Asia, Europe, Mexico and South America why is it that only China’s Foxoconn was in highlight and not any other country? While the Chinese factories happened to be the largest factories in China, these factories are also facilitated with dormitories and other infrastructure to host the workers and provide workers to go back at end of the 12 hour shift to relax and reenergize for the next shift. A quarter of the employees live in these so called dormitories. My Case study will analyze how the various news sources revealed the global sweatshop to the world and the reactions by the companies who were using Foxconn to manufacture electronic goods. The Chinese newspaper displayed Foxconn employees having social and psychological reasons leading to suicides whereas US news showed it as human rights violation. Both of them did not acknowledge the social justice and world economy aspects and steps that were taken by the electronics giants to rectify the problems that were being faced in Wuhan, China.
Central facts and assumptions
The central facts for Foxconn involved protest by 150 of the 32,000 employees at its campus in the city of Wuhan in China and suicides by 18 workers in the China Factory division. The latest incident surfaced in The New York Times and other mass media in January of 2013. The latest incident involved about 18 Foxconn employees who jumped off from the building to fatality. The media reported that there were nearly eighteen workers at the China factories who attempted or committed the suicidal act. TV news clipping showed fall protection nets in place that went up after psychologists recommended them. An investigation by an undercover team revealed that the underlying cause of mass suicides was due to work conditions rather that any personal or social reasons. The specific reasons for each suicidal cases are still unclear and the “silence mode” prevails in the organization in which an employee is threatened to loose job if they speak up.

After doing an intense research into what various media sources have published for Foxconn it is quite obvious that this is another Nike case but nearly after two decades and despite the working conditions and infrastructure may have improved this is a case of sweatshop labor that is on steroids. The long tiring hours, nearly low wages, and a robotic lifestyle are reflective of the extreme conditions that prevail beyond the...

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