1.) In the US the labor force is by no means equal and while there has been progress and labor laws have been put in place to protect workers rights I still would not qualify it as perfect. For this reason I find it difficult to determine exactly what constitutes as fair treatment but I do know what does not qualify and that is treating people in an unjust way, forcing them to do things you would never do and making someone feel like they are less than a person than you are. With the rise of globalization this has been an ongoing issue in foreign countries where migrant workers are being forced to work in conditions that are inhumane and break almost every labor law we have on a daily basis.
For years Apple has been criticized by multiple outside sources in regards to the unfair treatment of the workers in their foreign supply factories. Since then it seems Apple has done very little to actually fix the problem and has spent more time denying allegations and doing whatever it takes to cover it up. For that reason I believe that the Fair Labor Association is just Apple’s latest ploy to quite critics.
While I do think the F.L.A. is very credible I think that their system is somewhat flawed and works more in the favor of corporations instead of the actual workers. As many of the articles pointed out the F.L.A. does not constitute as an independent outside auditor due to fact of being paid by the corporations for the services they provide. I think by having Apple fund the F.L.A. it will allow Apple to have control over the types of audits being performed as well as the results of the audits. After reading the article “Early Praise in Inspection at Foxconn Brings Doubt” I felt it confirmed my belief of the inevitable bias of the F.L.A. In the article the F.L.A. claimed after completing inspection they found Foxconn “facilities are first-class” and “way above the average of the norm.” This came as a shock to me considering the 10 other articles I read had nothing but negative things to say about Foxconn including the Times labeling it the “Chinese Hell Factory.” If the largest and historically worst supplier can pass the F.L.A.’s inspection with flying colors then its obvious they aren’t really focused on finding solutions for the issue but are trying to keep the boss happy being a good glorified publicist.
As I stated earlier I do believe the F.L.A. is credible and I think if they approach this task in a different way they can be as effective as they have proven to be in the past. This new approach would require a genuine effort to find out exactly what’s happening in these factories and who is to blame for it. They could do this by performing surprise inspections without giving the factories advance notice so they don’t have time to prepare and hind everything. They could find ways to interview employee’s offsite so they aren’t terrified to tell the truth in front of their supervisor because they will be fired. I think the best approach is to send in an undercover worker for weeks at a time that can be treated equally with other workers. These simple changes would allow the F.L.A. to perform a real audit that I know they have the funds to support. When it comes to audits the hardest part is finding what you don’t know exist but when both parties know exactly what’s going on it should be more difficult to hide the truth than to discover it.
My other alternative would be selecting a different organization that people wouldn’t be skeptical about from the get-go. Such as, “SACOM who has been the most effective advocate for the rights of Chinese workers in the electronics industry, and its researcher’s have uncovered and publicized the most flagrant abuses at Apple supplier Foxconn’s sprawling factory complexes in China.” (Article -“The