iPod maker responds to “slave” labor assertions

iPod maker responds to “slave” labor assertions


We reported last week about charges brought forth by a British newspaper of so-called “slave” labor conditions in a Chinese factory dedicated to making iPods. Apple said nothing more than that it would investigate. The manufacturer, however, has something to say.

Foxconn Electronics, the subject of the story, has fired off a torrent of words in its own defense. One of the ways in which Foxconn disputed the story was in disputing statistics. For example, the company has denied having a factory in Suzhou, which housed an “iPod city,” according to the Mail story. And to the Mail’s claim that one factory employed 200,000 people, Foxconn countered with the assertion that its entire companywide workforce was only 160,000.

In addition, a company spokesman has said for the record that Foxconn complies with China’s minimum wage law and has provided for its workers free laundry, sports areas, and even libraries.

It all sounds a little too rosy to be true, if you ask me. The truth, as is often the case in these situations, is likely somewhere in the middle.