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Apple Forces Foxconn's Hand in Supporting Expanded Union

T 01 - Patently Informative
In January of this year we reported that China Labor Watch was noting that Foxconn wasn't providing their workforce with a communication channel to voice their frustrations that resulted in a strike. According to strike participants, they carried out the strike to demand higher wages and better working conditions. This morning, Reuters is reporting that Foxconn Technology Group is trying to raise participation in its union as part of efforts to dispel a rash of bad publicity over poor working conditions and labor disputes.


The UK's Telegraph added that the move comes in response to pressure on Foxconn from Apple and its own workers over pay and conditions. Protests, unofficial strike action and even riots have caused disruption


Apple forced Foxconn to allow its facilities to be inspected by the Fair Labor Association, which identified lack of proper union representation as key failing, as well as long hours and low pay, and safety concerns.


Reuters added that Labor analysts said that while the latest plans show willingness on the part of the company to engage its workers, they would not mean much of a change, with the key being how the representatives will be chosen.


"Only by letting the workers choose their candidates by themselves and then vote for them can they fully express the hopes of workers," said Wang Jing, dean of the department of labor relations at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing.


The All-China Federation of Trade Unions, backed by the stability obsessed Communist Party, discourages worker activism and generally sides with management in labor disputes.



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