För en dryg månad sen rapporterade vi om att Apple anlitar Fair Labour Association (FLA) till att undersöka deras kontroversiella underleverantörer Foxconn (där över 300 personer hotat med att ta livet av sig om de inte får förbättrade arbetsvillkor). Dock anmärkte vi att FLA fått kritik för att vara slapphänta och ägna sig åt s.k. greenwashing. Den kritiken var befogad. Make IT Fair, GreenElectronics och International Metalworkers Federation rapporterar att detta är ett simpelt PR-trick. De skriver bland annat:
The FLA investigation at Foxconn is not being conducted, as one should expect, in a proper way. Contrary to FLA’s standard methodology the Foxconn investigation was not unannounced. Foxconn management has been able to take measures to hide abuses: workers at Foxconn’s facility in Zhengzhou reported that under-age workers (16-17 years old) who normally work 12 hours per day were excluded for overtime work during the FLA audit.
The FLA audit report is due for March. Nonetheless, on 15 February, FLA president Auret van Heerden publicly described the Foxconn factories as ”very modern and very hightech”,saying that the factory floor seemed “tranquil,” and called physical conditions “way, way above the average of the norm”, and blamed “boredom” and “alienation” for many of workers’ problems, including the suicides among Foxconn workers of the past years. Describing working conditions exclusively on the basis of visual observations made during a pre-arranged tour accompanied by Foxconn management, shows no insight in the electronics industry nor any comprehension of the issues at stake. GoodElectronics, makeITfair and IMF wonder how independent FLA audits can be when already at this stage FLA allows itself tobe used for Apple PR stunts.