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China Orders iPod Factory to Unionize
Friday, September 1st, 2006 at 8:20 AM - by
Hongfujin Precision Industry Co., the division of Foxconn that operates the Longhua factory that manufactures iPods for Apple Computer, has been ordered by the Chinese government to allow its employees to form a trade union. According to Forbes, the union will be affiliated with the government's All-China Federation of Trade Unions.
The Longhua factory has been the focus of news reports claiming employees are subjected to substandard working conditions. Apple conducted its own investigation and found some workplace conditions violated the code of ethics it requires subcontractors to follow, including limiting the maximum number of hours in a work week.
Foxconn sued the China Business News reporter and editor that initially covered the story. It has since backed off on the 30 million yuan in damages it was asking for, and is now asking for only 1 yuan. The journalists' personal assets, however, still remain frozen.
In recent years, China has been pressuring companies with foreign investors to allow government-sponsored unions for employees.
There is no word yet on when the division of Foxconn will officially form its union.
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