© Foxconn Electronics Production | March 05, 2010
Foxconn’s human rights record: Should OEMs be held accountable
Our last post about the Apple supplier audit problems provoked some interesting feedback. Most was supportive, but not all.
One reader felt that Apple’s , “… nearly $25B in cash, revenues of nearly $50B and profit margin over 20%…” in some way negated our comment “I’d be very skeptical of any analysis that found the time, money, and potential brand compromise of having to perform this level of diligence (and corrective action!) as being justified by the purchase price advantage achieved from these geographically remote, so-called lower labor-cost solutions?” Hmm, given that the reader probably knew that we already knew these numbers it looks to us like their premise was that the ends (in this case Apple’s financial results) justify the means. An interesting perspective and perhaps one that’s broadly embraced in today’s secular, unrestrained business climate. But to set the record straight and remove any ambiguity about our position we point out that the New England slave trade was also a wildly successful commercial enterprise. As historian Douglas Harper explains, “Slaves costing the equivalent of £4 or £5 in rum or bar iron in West Africa were sold in the West Indies in 1746 for £30 to £80. New England thrift made the rum cheaply — production cost was as low as 5½ pence a gallon — and the same spirit of Yankee thrift discovered that the slave ships were most economical with only 3 feet 3 inches of vertical space to a deck and 13 inches of surface area per slave, the human cargo laid in carefully like spoons in a silverware case.” And while we have Supplier Codes of Conduct, to ensure that suppliers to electronics industry OEMs adhere to minimal standards to avoid human rights violations and that the one from Apple goes beyond enforcing local labor laws and requires its suppliers “must uphold the human rights of [workers] and treat them with dignity and respect as understood by the international community” — still, we are appalled by all the news stories and therefore re-ask our questions directly… “Does Apple really understand how important these issues are to its customer base, and its image as a hip, socially responsible leading edge company?” We commend Apple and other Foxconn customers for conducting supplier audits. But what happens when suppliers like Foxconn, surely one of the most secretive, least transparent organizations on the planet, are caught violating the code of conduct multiple times, and efforts by OEM customers do not seem to be successful in changing long term behavior. Should the OEM be held accountable in the Court of Public Opinion? We think this is already happening, as evidenced by articles on social media users groups, and accounts on Techie fan sites, as well as articles in the Washington Post and other national media. Our bottom line, if Apple and other OEMs don’t have the courage to disengage with companies like Foxconn that won’t adhere to human rights standards, and move their production to companies that do (even if prices have to go up) then they deserve to see their most valuable asset, their brand disgraced! As Warren Buffet once put it, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” We don’t believe there are any ifs, ands, or buts about it. An OEM is either serious about Corporate Social Responsibility or they are not. ----- Author: Charlie Barnhart at Charlie Barnhart & Associates
GPV Selects Aegis as global smart factory partner Driven originally by accelerating customer expectations for traceability, GPV has selected Aegis’ FactoryLogix Smart digital manufacturing solution, targeting multiple values and benefits.
REDCOM EMS expands certification for medical device manufacturing New York-based REDCOM EMS has secured ISO 13485:2016 certification, complementing the company’s existing ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certifications.
Ozark Integrated Circuits nabs U.S. Air Force grant Arkansas-based Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc., located in the Arkansas Research and Technology Park at the University of Arkansas, has received a USD 750,000 award from the U.S. Air Force.
Norwegian EMS adds employees to Polish unit The last couple of months Norautron has welcomed three new colleagues at its office in Sdunska Wola, Poland.
Daimler’s battery production in Kamenz gradually increases production Local battery production is described as an important success factor for Mercedes-Benz AG’s electric offensive and a key element to flexibly and efficiently meet the global demand for electrified vehicles.
Tepcomp invests in new additional production line Finnish EMS provider, Tepcomp Group, has made a significant investment at its production plant in Turku. The new surface mount technology production line will significantly improve the productivity and energy efficiency of the plant.
Valoe is on schedule with both production and expected deliveries Valoe says it will start manufacturing IBC test modules in Juva, Finland in June and cell deliveries from Lithuania to customers is scheduled to start according to plan.
AMTE Power and Britishvolt sign MoU for GigaFactory AMTE Power and Britishvolt plans to investigate collaborating to build the UK’s first full cycle battery cell GigaPlant, servicing the automotive and energy storage markets.
ALLPCB’s new SMT factory has launched production On May 10 2020, ALLPCB’s new – self-operated – SMT factory in Guangde, Anhui Province, China was officially put into production.
Schweizer starts production at its new location in China Following a construction period of one and a half years, production has now started at the company’s new high-tech printed circuit board plant in Jiangsu, China.
Jenoptik supplies generators to a US customer Through its Vincorion investment, Jenoptik received a long-term order for generators that an unnamed US customer is integrating into military vehicles.
Rolls-Royce takes heavy hit from COVID-19 – reduces workforce by 9000 The impact of COVID-19 on Rolls-Royce and the whole of the aviation industry is unprecedented. RR has already taken action to strengthen the financial resilience of its business and to reduce cash expenditure in 2020. However, this will not be enough.
Data Link Solutions to provide MIDS cabinet terminals to US Navy The U.S. Navy has awarded a USD 3.2 million production contract to Data Link Solutions (DLS), a joint venture between BAE Systems and Collins Aerospace, for new Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) cabinet terminals.
Incap restarts production in India In a move to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of India instructed all state governments to introduce a lockdown in March. As a consequence, Incap had to close its factory in Karnataka, India on 23 March.
NAND Flash Revenue Undergoes 8.3% QoQ Growth in 1Q20 NAND Flash bit shipment in 1Q20 was relatively on par with 4Q19, says the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce. The overall ASP of NAND Flash products also climbed during the period. As a result, the global NAND Flash revenue for the quarter went up by 8.3% QoQ to USD 13.6 billion.
Gorenje reduces the number of layoffs At the end of April, due to a sharp drop in orders and revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hisense Europe Group launched a redundancy program in four companies in Slovenia.
NA semiconductor equipment industry posts April 2020 billings North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted USD 2.26 billion in billings worldwide in April 2020 (three-month average basis), according to SEMI.
AWS Electronics to wear the Incap name Following the acquisition of AWS Electronics Group by Incap Corporation in January 2020, the company's units in the UK and Slovakia will now be trading as Incap Electronics UK Ltd. and Incap Electronics Slovakia s.r.o.
PCB manufacturer SQP invests in new plasma treatment system As part of the continuous upgrade of the PCB manufacturing processes the Slovakian PCB manufacturer SQP International has invested in a new plasma treatment system.
Nordson delivers solid quarter considering COVID-19's impact on global end markets Nordson Corporation reported second quarter sales of USD 529 million, a 4% decrease compared to the prior year’s second quarter sales of USD 551 million.
Cicor expands its clean room set up in Bronschhofen Swiss EMS provider Cicor Group is currently expanding its site in Bronschhofen with a 60 square metre ISO Class 6 clean room.
Senate Dems to Trump: Release details of TSMC plant deal Democratic lawmakers are pressuring the Trump administration to respond to serious questions about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plans to build a USD 12 billion plant in Arizona, which the company announced last week.
SOS LAB completes series A+, inks MOU with ON Semi LiDAR sensor maker SOS LAB has secured series A+ investment funding of USD 8 million as of April.Load more news