For Immediate Release: Friday, April 20, 2012
Contact: Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, firstname.lastname@example.org 202-775-8810
Lessons from EPI’s forum, A closer look at Apple and Foxconn: Labor Practices in China and Brazil
In a new commentary, Economic Policy Institute Vice President Ross Eisenbrey and Research Associate Isaac Shapiro discuss the five key lessons that emerged during EPI’s recent forum on working conditions at Foxconn factories in China and Brazil, A closer look at Apple and Foxconn: Labor Practices in China and Brazil. The forum featured Debby Chan of Students and Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior; Larry Cohen of the Communications Workers of America; Luis Carlos de Oliveira of the Metalworkers Union of Jundiai, Brazil; Scott Nova of the Worker Rights Consortium; and Li Qiang of China Labor Watch. The speakers stressed the following points:
· Apple workers in China endure extraordinarily long hours (in violation of Chinese law and Apple’s code of conduct), meager pay, and coercive discipline.
· Apple has the responsibility and ability to reform these working conditions.
· Apple and the Fair Labor Association have an unsuccessful track record when it comes to implementing improvements in labor conditions.
· Unions and country standards can help. Foxconn in Brazil treats its Apple workers much better than Foxconn in China.
· Needed reforms can occur, but only if public pressure on Apple is sustained.
Full video of the forum is available on EPI’s website, as are Debby Chan’s PowerPoint presentation and the full text of Scott Nova’s remarks and Li Qiang’s remarks.