The Chinese factory used by Apple to makes their iPad 2 devices has not been shortof problems in the past. Suicides apparently linked to alleged tough working conditions have seen it named Suicide Express in some quarters.
Now the latest incident to hit is a massive fire which has left two workers dead with a number of others fleeing from the flames. 16 workers are said to be injured although it seems there are no suspicious circumstances around the incident according to initial investigations.
The Foxconn plant in Chengdu in South West China employs an estimated 400,000 people, who are currently working round the clock to keep up with demand from Apple, Nokia and Sony. The huge success of the iPad 2, in particular, has seen the firm put under a lot of pressure to keep Apple supplied with the parts it needs to supply the High Street shops with enough of the product to satisfy demand.
The Taiwanese company is the world’s biggest computer component manufacturer but has had to deal with controversy over the claims that the predominantly young workforce is exposed to overly difficult conditions, with some saying that this hasled to the spate of recent suicides. Foxconn responded by setting up a suicide hotline for workers and bringing in monks to clear out any nasty spirits lingering around the plant.
Do you think that Apple and other big firms are ethical enough in their outsourcing of work to other firms or could they do more?