French TV channel France 2 (state owned) has revealed the terrible working conditions at Foxconn, with undercover footage showing employees getting abused as well as the poor living conditions. The worker who was secretly filming had a dorm on the eighth floor with no lift, as well as no running water and electricity.
The footage was taken by Upside Television but broadcast as part of the Envoyé Special program on France 2. It’s highly unlikely that this is faked.
In addition to the poor living conditions, workers are seen getting abused by superiors and as the narrator states, ‘it seems that Foxconn is a machine that grinds down its workers’.
As Anne Poiret from Upside Television states:
To make this documentary, we needed to avoid police controls. To reveal the ‘Foxconn system’, our undercover sources had to take considerable risks, penetrating with hidden cameras the factories which are as big as towns.
In the final clip, two medical students give interviews to a hidden camera, claiming that they were forced to do an internship at Foxconn against their will. If they’d refused they could have had their degrees or scholarship taken away.
It’s certainly a very revealing investigation. While the above clips are only extracts of the program (the full version is only available if you live in France), it’s quite shocking and certainly makes you think about what you’re buying.
Finally, while the documentary was called ‘the hidden side of Apple’, it’s worth saying that many other companies use Foxconn, so Apple is certainly not solely at fault.