There is a company by the name of Foxconn based out of Taiwan. This company is well known for it’s electronic manufacturing and has been involved in numerous business controversies. Many businesses today are having a reoccurrence of unethical behaviors. When anyone that deals with electronics is asked about Foxconn, they don’t tell you how good the products that come from the company are but more of how they treat their employees and the environment they are put in.
Foxconn is widely known throughout the world as having a major impact on the electronic devises we have used in the past, present and maybe even the near future. The company has many factories throughout the world but the main headquarters is located in New Taipei, Taiwan. Foxconn has been known to be the largest maker and exporter of electronic components in Greater China for quite some time now. The company has well over 250,000 employees just in China alone. Many refer to the property as Foxconn City because of the amount of people that work within the 15 factories.
This 1. 16 square miles of factories and employees is where the majority of negative publicity has been coming from and is making many question the business ethics of such a well known business. The definition of business ethics can be well described as “balancing the goal of profits with the values of individuals and society”(1). To my understanding, I would take that definition as the company should not only take into consideration the value of the money they are making but should also take into the factor the value of the employees who made that company make money.
This company was first in the major headlines for having unbearable working conditions much to the extremes of a sweatshop. Foxconn was known to give their employees long hours, low pay salaries, having many underage children working and even violating laws towards overtime. Many British newspapers wrote about these horrific conditions. They all seemed to describe the same situations when it came to the living, social, and working environment, up to 15-hour workdays, dormitory living quarters for the 230,000 workers, and no visitors were permitted in these dorms.
Many of the British newspapers have also found there to be child labor issues as well. A newspaper called “The Telegraph” had an article dated back to 2011, talking about there being 91 children under the age of 16 in almost all of the factories. Foxconn also doesn’t have the best green and safety standards either. All of this negative publicity from this company has had a trickling effect on one of Foxconn’s major business partner’s, Apple. Apple is a widely known and a multinational company in which has become a key factor is today’s technological world that we live in.
Foxconn makes Apple’s products at this same property where all of the negative troubles have come from. Apple was never considered a company that would be associated with such a company as Foxconn. Unfortunately, Foxconn’s bad image around the world has somehow grown on Apple. Many of Foxconn’s employees have had countless protests and even reports of suicide. All of this is caused because of the working and living conditions of many of their employees. This all brings up a valid question to mind, how could one consider Foxconn to have great business ethics?
The majority of the workers at Foxconn had slips for overtime that stated they have worked “98 hours in overtime for one month”(2). The legal limit for overtime is only 36 hours for one month. The company has confessed that some of their employees have worked well over the legal overtime law. With all of these known conditions and overtime laws broken, Foxconn still had many more negative reports coming from their company. One news article from the “Business Insider” showed reports that Foxconn had paid their employees “$1. 8 an hour” (3), along with when the iPad was in high demand, many employees were “allowed 1 in 13 days off”(3). The company also banned their employees from talking while working because they thought that it would slow down production.
Foxconn has in many ways gone off the deep end with the way they treat their employees. From a strong ethical standpoint, words can only describe with the way they treat their employees as morally wrong and very inconsiderate. With many suicides, protests, and public scrutiny you would think that a company would see that it needs to treat their employees in a different anner than what they already are before they lose big named contracts. Many of these conditions and laws broken can be looked at from the legal side of things. The underage workers that Foxconn has hired are a law broken, not to mention the clear as day overtime working hours. With all of these broken laws and everyone in the world knowing it, Foxconn still seems to get away with all of this and not get in trouble at all. Apple has been trying to correct its damaged public image by stating that they have tried to make Foxconn treat their employees better and follow laws.
Even though Apple’s sweatshops are not considered the worst in the world, they still are rated up there and it all falls back to the negative publicity they have received from it. Apple can do many things to show that they are trying to improve the working conditions at Foxconn. One way they could is to hire a survey company to pull a certain amount of employees from the factories and see what it really is like. From there they can improve the overall negatives that the employees stated were the worst.
Apple not only did the survey but also hired a non-profit organization to inspect the factories where apple products are made to get an even bigger scope of the problem they face. Foxconn was forced by Apple to pay for every underage child that worked at the factory for 6 months or until they were 16(5). If Foxconn were to treat their employees as well as they produce many electronic components then they would in essence, become an amazing company that has a positive public image instead of the negative one it has today.
Even though they’re still a long shot of a way from having a positive image and they can still turn all of this around if they accept the help from Apple to better their company into an amazing company. Works Cited 1. ) Twomey, David. Business Law. Mason:Southwestern. 2011. Print 2. ) Chang, Gordon. ”Suicides at Apple Supplier in China”. Forbes. com. May28,2012. 3. ) Pague, David. ”What Cameras Inside Foxconn Found”. New York Times. February 23, 2012. 4. ) Moore, Malcom. ”Apple Child Labor Issues Worsen”. The Telegraph. February 15, 2011
Cite this Apple Labor Issues
Apple Labor Issues. (2016, Oct 25). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/apple-labor-issues/