I think an important aspect here may be the differences between labor laws amongst various countries. Foxconn, being a Chinese company, is required to adhere to labor laws in China. Obviously, the laws there are considerably less stricter than in countries like US. So, while incidents like the explosion in the factory might be a serious crime and violation of labor laws in US, Foxconn might get away with it as per Chinese laws.
It is always sad to hear about accidents. This is a major problem that both Foxconn and Apple need to fix. They might not get their plants set up to U.S. standards, but they need to address the more serious ones to help prevent anymore loss of life. On top of these current issues, Apple is already seeing supply problems resulting from the Japanese fallout. If some of their production is shut down even for a couple of days, Apple's supply chain could get put further behind.
It is sad to hear about incidents of this nature. I hope Apple consider the potential implications of the incident and ensure it acts on its assurances to its customers and shareholders by getting"closely involved in how suppliers and contractors treat employees".
At the moment, I don’t believe the current and past incidents at Foxconn will have an immediate effect on the demand for Apple’s products, but as more of these incidents of poor working conditions continue to arise at the Foxconn facilities, it may become problematic.I haven’t noticed the competition using these incidents against Apple…yet.
I don't think this will affect the image of Apple and their products till both Foxoconn and Apple together are found guilty by the external investigating authorities. But definitely this incident is more serious than the employee suicides and it should be investigated and stern action needs tabe taken against the Foxconn management.
@Tirlapur, Foxconn is innocent unless proven guilty and investigations are continuing into this tragedy. In the past, the Chinese government did not hold Foxconn liable for disasters at its facilities, including the suicides of some employees. Perhaps there will be no criminal culpability for Foxconn but the company is getting a black eye from events like this and it needs to make sure this does not happen again. So does Apple.
It is very sad to hear that the explosion at a factory that produces iPads was caused by 'combustible dust'. It was not a major accident but it could have been more dangerous, atleast from now Foxconn and Apple has to make sure to improve the working conditions in China.If Apple wants to be the biggest brand in consumer electronics,they should also have extra more responsibility towards the working conditions for the workers in China. If this incident makes Ipad2 production little bit delay but no one can bring back the workers who lost their lives.
"Foxconn has not been charged with any labor violations, but incidents like these are damaging to the company"
I totally agree with you that incidents like these are damaging to the the company. Surprised to know that Foxconn has not been charged with any labor violations, is it because government is going soft on this issue ?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.