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Foxconn workers to become unionised

In a surprising move for the manufacturer that has had so many issues with employee safety, rights and even age in the past, Foxconn, the maker of many things Apple, has announced that it will be allowing its workers to elect union representatives, who will be voted in every five years.

The elections will allow for 20 members and a chairman to make up the Federation of Labour Unions Committee. These will collectively represent the 1.2 million currently working under the Foxconn banner.

While this move does seem impressive, it isn’t 100 per cent voluntary. Due to the many aforementioned (and linked) instances of Foxconn business practice failings, the worldwide media has piled on the pressure for the company to improve. Little has been said on whether major customer Apple has made much of a push to improve the working conditions for Foxconn employees, nor other companies like Microsoft.

Foxconn has been targeted by media groups and protesters for its working conditions

However even though unionisation could potentially help a situation like this, there are already calls that the first elected officials were anything but fairly chosen.

“The process through which Foxconn’s current labour union representatives were chosen was not democratic because there was no open and transparent nomination of candidates, and it is not representative because more than half of the committee members are from management,” said one anonymous source (via The Telegraph).

KitGuru Says: If the elections weren’t even remotely fair, do you guys think any good will come of this? It could potentially be 100 per cent a publicity stunt, but then again at least there is some sort of channel for change at the facilities now, even if it’s a very narrow one.

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  • Relayer

    Likely more window dressing than anything else, at this point. It is a step in the right direction though. The Chinese need to watch out. First there’s capitalism, then there’s unions. The slope seems to be getting a bit slippery.