Inspectors Descend (Finally!) on IPad Factories Suspected of Worker Abuse

February 15, 2012 - off the Reuters newswire by By Terril Yue Jones via huffington post

Representatives of the Fair Labor Association - FLA, formed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to help reduce sweatshop conditions around the world came to visit factories manufacturing the Apple IPad, including Foxconn.

Foxconn was one of the facilities where 270 workers had threatened to commit suicide after their lunch break a few weeks ago, due to harsh conditions and long hours in the plant. The FLA inspectors, who said they were not there at the request of Apple - were filing their notes on Apple's IPad. The Executive board of FLA includes executives from sneaker companies, Nike and Adidas.

While recent documentaries on Foxconn and the production of high tech gadgets like the IPad have underscored high pressure working conditions at these plants, with workers being forced to go almost 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week - forced to live in crowded dorms and live under almost military like discipline, the FLA inspectors reported they were finding "tranquil conditions at the plants," and surmised that mass suicide by workers was actually rooted in "coming from rural areas into an industrial lifestyle, that's quite a shock to these young workers."  In other words - we're homesick - so let's commit suicide?

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