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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. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      Apple doesn't pay these workers. It's the company heads decide how much they want to charge Apple and how much they pay their workers.

      I don't get why people criticise Apple.
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      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

      Exactly. Just because the spotlight is on Apple/Foxconn you can be sure the working standards there are better than most. Imagine what the workers making the junk that is sold in the dollar stores are being paid, and imagine how they live. The USA is not China & China is not the USA... things are different, just like other countries vary. It is not a fair comparison.
      If you were to compare USA auto workers to those who work for the same companies in Mexico there would be huge differences. I bet mexican auto workers are not going home to big screen tv's and Budweiser's... and they live next door, not halfway around the globe.
    1. jabij1's Avatar
      jabij1 -
      Any way I can watch this online somewhere?

      Nevermind, just saw shawnie's post. Thanks!
    1. m0rgan23's Avatar
      m0rgan23 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      Apple doesn't pay them. Foxconn is a company contracted by apple. Foxconn execs make apple exec money. They pay their workers 1.75. Not apple.

      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      Apple doesn't pay them idiot. Foxconn is contracted by Apple. Foxconn execs make millions. ***** at them.
    1. mastaryan's Avatar
      mastaryan -
      Let's not forget that Foxconn also makes products for other companies not just Apple. I'm sure Apple is the reason why they (Foxconn) can pay that much and is probably their biggest contract.
    1. tvadakia's Avatar
      tvadakia -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      Actually, Foxconn pays them $1.75 an hour. Apple pays Foxconn the amount that Foxconn bid the work out to. I'm sure the bid was negotiated, but in the end Foxconn locked themselves into an x-dollar-amount contract and makes the decisions they need to meet the rates they've quoted. Apple's responsibilities lie solely in that Foxconn doesn't indulge in illegal activities in the making of any part of Apple's product.
    1. tabaks's Avatar
      tabaks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      I'm going to guess that Apple didn't let them record anything so bad that it would affect their business.
      I'm going to guess you imagine Apple secret agents are sitting on every corner, making sure Chinese workers don't get out of the line. And that unicorns eat golden grass.
    1. foureyez's Avatar
      foureyez -
      let me see....they get paid $1.78/hr...lets say they work 12 hrs a day....that's $21.36/day. they pay $17.50/month for "rent" in the dorms. sign me up!!
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MetallicaFan1991 View Post
      Apple doesn't pay these workers. It's the company heads decide how much they want to charge Apple and how much they pay their workers.
      I don't get why people criticise Apple.
      People criticize Apple for the same reasons people criticize Jewelers who sell "Blood" Diamonds. The Jeweler simply bought the diamond from the dealer who abused the miner. Apple simply buys manufacturing from Foxconn who abuses their workers. Same basic principle .
    1. Antman217's Avatar
      Antman217 -
      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.
      Like others have posted. They have already jacked the price up, but the point is that they shouldn't have to but they did because unlike the other companies whose products are made there, apple actually gives a sh*t. It's like if apple would jack up pay for Samsung employees just because Samsung provided screens for apple. That wouldn't happen because Samsung isn't owned by apple so the same goes for Foxconn, apple doesn't own Foxconn and shouldn't even need to help them, yet they do because they care. The only reason apple is always in the headlines next to Foxconn is because they are very popular now, they are the biggest company in the US, and the news loves to throw dirt on successful companies. If Sony or Microsoft were top dog right now, you would see the news calling Foxconn Sony factories or Microsoft factories.
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Quote Originally Posted by tabaks View Post
      i'm going to guess you imagine apple secret agents are sitting on every corner, making sure chinese workers don't get out of the line. And that unicorns eat golden grass.
      lol!
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      will you still buy apple products?

      Quote Originally Posted by 6thDAY View Post
      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!


      but how many iDevices do you own? and what will your next phone or tablet be?
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      The video didn't look bad at all, I think the workers seemed happy to have a job there and didn't really mind the conditions too much. I think anyone that works on an assembly line would like better working conditions. They do the same thing everyday so yeah it's going to get a bit boring, but at least you've got a job. The conditions outside the factory seemed a lot worse then the one's inside. Just like it said in the video, it's the Nike effect, Apple is the big popular business right now so they're the one's that are getting attacked for working conditions. Most of us know though that all other company factories are the same way, some worse!
    1. Imahottguy's Avatar
      Imahottguy -
      The theory is that since Apple pays Foxconn and Faxconn pays it's workers, that Apple pays the workers, and it is sort of true. Since Apple pays Foxconn, could they not negotiate that the workers be compensated at least X.XX an hour? Do they really think that it is fair to make billions upon billions off of the backs of these people that are just trying to feed their families and try to have a good life? Obviously Apple cannot dictate foreign policy, so it is a bit unfair to target them solely just to "expose" them for whom they really are, a corporation. It is, however, a good thing that this is making noise, worldwide, in my opinion. With that said, I doubt much will change right now, but hopefully this may start the wheels over there. I like Apple's products, and would honestly pay more if it meant that those that make them for us were paid more than they are now. Sadly, I think I am in a very small minority when I say that.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by tabaks View Post
      I'm going to guess you imagine Apple secret agents are sitting on every corner, making sure Chinese workers don't get out of the line. And that unicorns eat golden grass.
      It was the article that made it sound like Apple was restricting access.
    1. Cheesey123's Avatar
      Cheesey123 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Eli_ View Post
      Cant believe apple pays these workers $1.75 an hour not cool
      Apple DON'T pay these workers foxxcon does jeezs
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by skyman6529 View Post
      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!
      Thank god someone else knows this
    1. Eli_'s Avatar
      Eli_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by jOnGarrett View Post
      will you still buy apple products?
      yeah **** it i'll still buy apple stuff all i know im gratefullly i live in the u.s




      but how many iDevices do you own? and what will your next phone or tablet be?
      i got the ipad 2 and the iphone 4 and 4s im waiting on a unlock for my device im on 4.11.08

      Quote Originally Posted by m0rgan23 View Post
      Apple doesn't pay them. Foxconn is a company contracted by apple. Foxconn execs make apple exec money. They pay their workers 1.75. Not apple.



      Apple doesn't pay them idiot. Foxconn is contracted by Apple. Foxconn execs make millions. ***** at them.
      F**k YOU

      Quote Originally Posted by tabaks View Post
      I'm going to guess you imagine Apple secret agents are sitting on every corner, making sure Chinese workers don't get out of the line. And that unicorns eat golden grass.
      not secret agents but your mama is in the corner....lol
    1. k3u's Avatar
      k3u -
      I'm just wondering why images are so hard to be leaked. Because the people in Foxconn seems to be able to come back and forth anytime they wished. Why can't they snap a few photos of the upcoming iDevice. :P But at first I was kind of against the whole "sweat shop" idea, however their living conditions is way different compared to ours. Most of them are lucky to have those jobs even though compared to America it's horrible. But I know a lot of people in Vietnam who would wish to get paid $200 bucks a month.