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Apple faces 'Nike moment' over criticism of Foxconn iPad factory's inhuman work onditions

London , Wed, 22 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 22 (ANI): Growing criticism of inhumane working conditions in factories owned by Apple's contractor Foxconn forced the tech giant to confront problems with staff welfare and the firm faced pressure similar to that which forced Nike to reassess 'sweatshop' suppliers in the Nineties, an inspector has said.


Inaes Kaempfer, an indpendent assessor working with the Fair Labor Assocation (FLA), told ABC News that reports of suicides and accidents at the Foxconn plant meant Apple was facing the same situation that Nike faced in the 90's.


"We call it the 'Nike moment' in the industry. There was a moment for Nike in the '90s, when they got a lot of publicity, negative publicity. And, they weren't the worst," The Telegraph quoted audit inspector Kaempfer, as saying.


"It's probably like Apple. They're not necessarily the worst, it's just that the publicity is starting to build up. And there was just this moment when they just started to do something about it. And I think that's what happened for Apple," Kaempfer added.


The FLA is inspecting Foxconn, in some cases using iPads, after Apple invited the organisation in to try to deal with the intense scrutiny its factories had come under.


Foxconn, based in Taiwan, currently employs 1.2 million people in Asia. Its success has powered major electronics brands to significant profits, and Apple fans bought over 17 million computers, 38 million iPods, 40 million iPads and 93 million iPhones last year. (ANI)


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