An independent audit has shown that Foxconn works workers for too many hours per week, cheats them out of overtime money, allows unsafe working conditions, and packs worker representation boards with management plants.
While giving Apple credit for instigating this audit, I wonder again why Apple, which is sitting on an enormous pile of cash, can’t solve this problem with money. Supposedly, the whole point of having a Chinese supply chain is that it is far more reactive than its US counterpart. If Apple created a well-paid corps of independent inspectors, and said that they’d allow slightly higher margins for suppliers who would let those inspectors roam their plants at will, I’d be surprised if conditions didn’t get better quickly.
And, since this will inevitably come up in the comments, there’s no doubt that working conditions at Foxconn and other suppliers making non-Apple products are probably as bad or worse, and Mike Daisey is a big liar.