We reported on an explosion in one of the Foxconn factories earlier this week. Three workers have died and several are severely injured, sadly the latest in a line of injuries and fatalities for Foxconn workers.
These recent deaths are causing a severe strain on the relationship with Apple, who are constantly finding themselves in the center of extremely negative PR due to Foxconn problems. Not only that, but the production of the iPad 2 will be affected by over half a million units, causing more delays with shipping to customers.
Apple do not want to be involved with stories of employee deaths, and understandably are becoming increasingly worried that Foxconn are landing them in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Foxconn are an important partner for Apple, but with a raft of suicides and fatalities at company premises it is becoming a worry for the Cupertino electronics giant. Apple have also recently had to deny that they are using sweat shops to build some of the worlds most expensive home computer systems.
Apple are keen to promote themselves as a very environmentally understanding company and the reports from the Far East are dragging their reputation down. Dale Ford from iSuppli says in a recent report that the explosion may very well force Apple into making very important decisions, sooner rather than later.
“Apple as a global company is accountable to all stakeholders for the conduct of its business, and the proper balance of safeguards and regulation will be debated because of the multiplicity of opinions on the topic. In the end, Apple will have to drive a level of corporate responsibility that is acceptable to its stakeholders.” he said.
Investigations into the recent explosion are still pending, and it may be some time before conclusions are made. Right now however we know via insiders that Apple are not happy with the situation at all. Analysts are already saying that Apple may be looking into alternative operations to create their products.
KitGuru says: Apple and Foxconn. The beginning of the end?