Your next iPod may be a bit more expensive, but if it is, you might not have to feel guilty about the questionable labor practices in the factory in China that made it. Hongfujin Precision Industries, the company in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen which supplies the iPod, has been ordered to allow its employees to unionize.
There are no private unions in China, but the government has been pushing companies with foreign investment to let their employees join the state-controlled All-China Federation of Trade Unions. Many foreign companies have already allowed the union to proceed. The fact that this comes about just a couple of weeks after labor practices at the factory came under international scrutiny surely isn’t a coincidence.
Hongfujin also makes products for other companies including Dell and Intel. Incredibly, they employ 200,000 people in Shenzhen. Their factory is reportedly a small city, complete with recreation facilities and restaurants.