Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A closer look at Apple and Foxconn: Labor practices in China and Brazil

In the media attention given to the labor practices of Apple’s Chinese supplier, Foxconn, and the March 29th report of its newly-hired auditor, some key information has been overlooked: Foxconn’s plants in Brazil benefit from collective bargaining agreements and from wage, hour and benefit laws that are not only in place, but which Foxconn actually follows. Foxconn’s record in Brazil shows that Apple and Foxconn are capable of making products under lawful conditions at decent wages when the local environment requires it – and that Apple and Foxconn have been taking advantage of Chinese workers simply because they believe they can get away with it.
While the Fair Labor Association’s audit report confirmed many of the violations previously found by independent investigators, it also suggested that conditions at Foxconn plants in China are not as bad as Apple’s critics have alleged and praised Apple and Foxconn for agreeing to a remediation plan. Labor rights advocates are skeptical that Apple and Foxconn will clean up their act, something they have promised and then failed to do in the past.
On Wednesday, April 11, from 10:00 – 12:00 pm (Eastern) the Economic Policy Institute and the Worker Rights Consortium will host a forum, A closer look at Apple and FoxConn: Labor practices in China and Brazil. Debby Chan of Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), Larry Cohen of the Communications Workers of America, Scott Nova of the Worker Rights Consortium and Li Qianq of China Labor Watch will discuss labor practices at Apple’s Foxconn factories and evaluate Apple’s recent labor rights pledges in light of their actual track record.  Luis Carlos de Oliveira of the Metalworkers Union of Jundiai, Brazil, will discuss his experience negotiating on behalf of workers producing Apple products at Foxconn factories in Brazil.
Debby Chan, Project Officer, Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior
Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America
Luis Carlos de Oliveira, Vice President, Metalworkers Union of Jundiai, Brazil
Scott Nova, Executive Director, Worker Rights Consortium
Li Qiang, Executive Director, China Labor Watch
Ross Eisenbrey, Vice President, Economic Policy Institute
Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 10:00-12:00 pm
Economic Policy Institute
1333 H Street, NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
The event is free, but we ask that you register HERE.

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