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  • Nightline Special: Inside Apple's Magic Factory, Airs Tonight *Update*


    ABC put up a five minute taste of their Foxconn “iFactory” special, with the rest of the set to air tonight at 11:35 on their Nightline news program.

    The program is being billed as an exclusive special “Inside Apple’s Magic Factory: Rare Look at Secret World.” Even in the preview the footage is rather extensive, showing the production process up close and the conditions workers must operate in. ABC’s was even granted access to the dormitories and interviews with production line workers.

    While the extent to which Apple granted ABC access has yet to be seen, ABC didn’t find anything egregious as far as labor violations are concerned. However, the full special tonight could reveal additional details, violations, and an even deeper look into Apple’s massive production facilities, which up till now Apple has kept shrouded in mystery.

    You can bet this would have never happened with Jobs at the helm. Check here for the preview and tune in to ABC at 11:35 for the full special. We'll update with more info after the special.

    *Update*

    The amount of access granted to ABC's camera crews and reporters turned out to be quite extensive, more so than I imagine, but just short of truly delving into the biggest question mark: the Foxconn workers psyche.

    A few workers were given time to speak, but they briefly lamented on being tired, and wanting more pay. However, the social and emotional toll these jobs have on Foxconn's workers was never delved into. It was amazing to see a Foxconn exec explain away workers passing out on top of boxes in the few spare minutes they had after a meal break as a "Chinese Tradition."

    Even more amazing are the hordes of hopeful workers that line up outside of Foxconn's recruiting center each morning in the hopes of being granted the opportunity to work inside the factories. One young man's comment that "I hear the work is hard, but I want the experience" and another young woman when asked about the suicides answers "I don't think it has much to do with the company." All of this for the chance to land a starting salary of $1.78/hr. The good news is 80% of the people who show up will be hired (many travel days by bus), and many will pay $17.50 a month to live in the cramped dormitory.

    The lines remind me immediately of ration and labor lines found in America during the Great Depression, and during the Gilded-Age of American Industry. Scores of people lining up to receive minimal amounts of pay for an incredible amount of work just to gain "experience" and put food on the table to survive. America was built on the back of its labor force and China appears to be doing the same. However, China is letting corporations, and its manufacturing facilities exploit their labor force in the same way.

    China will likely experience a Labor movement that makes the formation of Labor Unions in the United States look like peanuts in comparison. China is in the midst of a societal J-Curve. As poorer nations become increasingly developed their once distressed and exploited populace begins to taste a standard of living not afforded them before. They begin to see what other people in developed nations have, and realize they can have it to. This gradual realization eventually becomes and exponential explosion of demand resulting in a revolution (demonstrations have become increasingly frequent throughout the country). Unless China adopts a Syrian-like stance toward civil upheaval Apple and other companies will need to look elsewhere for cheap labor on a massive scale.

    Still, the Fair Labor Association's Audit, paid for by Apple mind you, will be an interesting read. How does someone measure the labor practices of a company and it's manufacturers? Do they compare it to other developing nations, or do they compare it to other world super powers of manufacturing? Time will tell.


    Source: ABC [via 9to5Mac]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Nightline Special: Inside Apple's Magic Factory, Airs Tonight started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 49 Comments
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      I'm going to guess that Apple didn't let them record anything so bad that it would affect their business.
    1. Eli_'s Avatar
      Eli_ -
      Cant believe foxconn pays these workers $1.75 an hour
    1. mlee19841's Avatar
      mlee19841 -
      I heard a lot of the workers actually
      Live their. But yea a dollar and change and hour it's nuts. On the other hand how high is the cost of living out their?

      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      Yea. For a company worth that much money.
    1. ceramicwhite's Avatar
      ceramicwhite -
      Can't find it on my TV listings anywhere, I'm using COX.
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      I don't think you realize every other factory in china has same to lower prices media is just making drama about apple even though it's the same conditions as every other factory In china
    1. GooseG's Avatar
      GooseG -
      It's not Apples factory. It's not them that pays them, it's -whichever partners factory it is- job. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    1. skyman6529's Avatar
      skyman6529 -
      Wth guys you don't have a clue about their cost of living, nor the conditions they dealt with before the factories arrived.

      10 yrs Ago I remember seeing documentaries where Chinese citizens were living in huts with thatched roofs. No running water and no power (not even battery op lights).

      You really can't judge others society without A) being a part of it or B) witnessing it yourself.

      As for the "Apple's rich they can afford it", well I suppose everyone ought to pay they neighborhood kid $100 a lawn mow, or your baby sitter $200 a night.

      Your loaded you can go out to a nice dinner, so you should pay to make sure all their needs are met right? I mean since you hired them, it's your responsibility now... right?

      I am not that old, and I clearly remember manufacturing $75,000 RV's @ $3.25 an hr. I can guarantee not one of their employees had one in their driveway. OB noes!
    1. Antman217's Avatar
      Antman217 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GooseG View Post
      It's not Apples factory. It's not them that pays them, it's -whichever partners factory it is- job. Correct me if I'm wrong.
      You're totally correct, I don't understand where this thinking of apple paying or having to do with working conditions in these factories began. All apple does is ask them to make their stuff and the factory is responsible for its own conditions and workers pay. Apple products aren't the only thins made there. Ps3, Xbox, Wii, Tvs, blu rays, pretty much any electronic is made at foxconn and only apple is receiving all this blame when they are the only company actually doing anything about working conditions at Foxconn providing therapy and protection for the workers there when they don't really have to because foxconn is supposed to be doing that not apple. What are all the other companies like Sony and Microsoft doing, nothing.
    1. EVO's Avatar
      EVO -
      watching it barely 5 minutes into the show and can already feel the anguish and sorrow for them...I can see the "thousand yard stare" in their faces.....


      and suicide nets???

      unbelievable...these damn factories!
    1. anime007's Avatar
      anime007 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Antman217 View Post
      You're totally correct, I don't understand where this thinking of apple paying or having to do with working conditions in these factories began. All apple does is ask them to make their stuff and the factory is responsible for its own conditions and workers pay. Apple products aren't the only thins made there. Ps3, Xbox, Wii, Tvs, blu rays, pretty much any electronic is made at foxconn and only apple is receiving all this blame when they are the only company actually doing anything about working conditions at Foxconn providing therapy and protection for the workers there when they don't really have to because foxconn is supposed to be doing that not apple. What are all the other companies like Sony and Microsoft doing, nothing.
      exactly
    1. rkswat's Avatar
      rkswat -
      Quote Originally Posted by Antman217 View Post
      You're totally correct, I don't understand where this thinking of apple paying or having to do with working conditions in these factories began. All apple does is ask them to make their stuff and the factory is responsible for its own conditions and workers pay. Apple products aren't the only thins made there. Ps3, Xbox, Wii, Tvs, blu rays, pretty much any electronic is made at foxconn and only apple is receiving all this blame when they are the only company actually doing anything about working conditions at Foxconn providing therapy and protection for the workers there when they don't really have to because foxconn is supposed to be doing that not apple. What are all the other companies like Sony and Microsoft doing, nothing.
      I bet you a billion of apple's dollars that they COULD do something about it if they chose to. If you don't believe they would jack up the pay if apple threatened to pull out and go elsewhere you're a silly silly person. It's also about ethical business practices.
    1. RyoSaeba's Avatar
      RyoSaeba -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      In China, virtually all factory workers have paid living and food (3 meals a day). Granted you have to live in dorm conditions but is that any different from being in a school dorm?

      In addition, you need to consider the cost of living as well. When you can get noodles for 3-5 yuen ($0.48-$0.79), it actually is pretty proportional.

      China is a place where there are parts that are super poor to super rich. Honestly, if they complain about the pay, tell them to stop having kids. It's all about supply and demand. When there are too many people, the cost for laborer decreases. It wouldn't be much different if there were 1.3 billion people in the US. Corporations are in it to make money, not to make world peace. They will do it however they can. If it's not China, it'll be Vietnam, or India.
    1. novadam's Avatar
      novadam -
      Quote Originally Posted by Antman217 View Post
      You're totally correct, I don't understand where this thinking of apple paying or having to do with working conditions in these factories began. All apple does is ask them to make their stuff and the factory is responsible for its own conditions and workers pay. Apple products aren't the only thins made there. Ps3, Xbox, Wii, Tvs, blu rays, pretty much any electronic is made at foxconn and only apple is receiving all this blame when they are the only company actually doing anything about working conditions at Foxconn providing therapy and protection for the workers there when they don't really have to because foxconn is supposed to be doing that not apple. What are all the other companies like Sony and Microsoft doing, nothing.
      /thread
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Quote Originally Posted by rkswat View Post
      I bet you a billion of apple's dollars that they COULD do something about it if they chose to. If you don't believe they would jack up the pay if apple threatened to pull out and go elsewhere you're a silly silly person. It's also about ethical business practices.
      They recently raised the pay for their employees 25%. May not seem like much to you, but if I got a 25% raise, it would be completely unheard of and I would be doing backflips and kissing my boss on the mouth.

      So, yeah, they're doing something. And what's even better is that the employees that make **** for Dell, LG, Samsung, and others will gets raises to for Apple's efforts while those companies didn't do ****!

      I just hope they do the right thing and point out how many other companies use these same factories, and how much of China's manufacturing employees in other factories are actually working under much worse conditions and making even less money while making 90% of what everybody uses every day!
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      Quote Originally Posted by rkswat View Post
      I bet you a billion of apple's dollars that they COULD do something about it if they chose to. If you don't believe they would jack up the pay if apple threatened to pull out and go elsewhere you're a silly silly person. It's also about ethical business practices.
      They already jacked Up the pay twice
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Another thing, the Foxconn employees want to work there! They showed large numbers of Chinese who were trying to get a job there. I'm sure the factory is a lot cleaner than others too since they do make electronics.
    1. Maxime Caudebec's Avatar
      Maxime Caudebec -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      You have it wrong, FOXCONN pays these workers 1.75$ an hour not apple.
    1. Kotin6006's Avatar
      Kotin6006 -
      I do not understand you people see another country's working conditions and instantly think they are terrible because they are not up to snuff with how the USA is current day. It takes time to work towards and strong economy and China is definitely doing that. At least there poor are out trying to get any job they possibly can to help their families living conditions. I can not say the same for many homeless Americans.
    1. Eli_'s Avatar
      Eli_ -
      So if foxconn is paying them that how much u think apple is paying foxconn
    1. Madman604x's Avatar
      Madman604x -
      well on the flip side...they could be unemployed.