updated 10:35 am EDT, Fri September 1, 2006
Foxconn workers unionize
The Chinese government has ordered a Chinese supplier of Apple's iPod to let its more than 200,000 workers set up a trade union, according to the Associated Press. "Hongfujin Precision Industry Co., which operates Foxconn, is on a list of companies in the southern city of Shenzhen that have been ordered to set up such a union. The new union would be affiliated to the government's All-China Federation of Trade Unions, according to the report. While China does not allow independent labor organizing, it has recently been pushing companies with foreign investors to allow the state-sanctioned labor groups. Many other foreign companies have already allowed such unions to be set up in their China operations, the report says. Earlier this summer, Foxconn was accused of unfair labor practices in its iPod factories; however, an Apple investigation only revealed a few violations of its Code of Conduct for suppliers. Following the investigation, Foxconn's owner filed a defamation lawsuit against two journalists for their followup report on the iPod labor abuses, but later reduced the damages it was seeking.