Foxconn (and Apple) on the Defensive

In response to criticism about pay and working conditions, Apple product manufacturer Foxconn announced plans to raise wages. However, the numbers and the amount of overtime worked have been questioned.

ABC News visited the Shenzhen, China, factory and showed a grim side of the work: teenagers working long hours doing repetitive tasks and living in cramped dormitories. Foxconn workers make iPhones, iPads and other prized products.

Apple has a few dedicated pages on its website to demonstrate its commitment to "Supplier Responsibility." Instructors and students of business communication might find the company's reports interesting in light of the Foxconn criticism.

Foxconn recently hired PR firm Burson-Marstellar to help control the bad press.

Assignment Ideas:

  • Create a PowerPoint presentation to explain the discrepancy in wages, as discussed in the New York Times blog. The calculations are a bit confusing, so try to clarify them with good visuals and talking headings.
  • Read Apple's Supplier Responsibility 2012 Progress Report. Analyze how the report is organized. What are the strengths of the report? What is missing?