This week Apple announced that the Fair Labor Association would do new, special audits of working conditions at the Chinese plants where more than 90% of its products are made. The company, which is now the world’s largest as based on the value of its shares, is responding to the backlash from a recent New York Times investigation into employee suicides and harsh, unsafe working conditions at Foxconn, its main supplier.
Both the Fair Labor Association and Apple tout the FLA’s “independent external monitoring” function, under which third-party monitoring associations that have been accredited by the FLA pay unannounced visits to the factories. (Obviously in the case of Apple the suppliers are now well aware that these visits are and will be happening.) However as the New York Times further reports, FLA has been “criticized by numerous labor unions and anti-sweatshop advocates as toothless and too cozy with its corporate members.” Continue Reading
Millions are looking forward to an exciting Super Bowl game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots on Sunday. But it’s not all good — there are huge safety concerns about the long-term effects of heads bashing at full speed.
A great article by Richard Hoffer in Sports Illustrated about the very first Super Bowl reminds us that football is a lot safer than it used to be. It was a game that “did not insult masculine sensibilities with much protective equipment.” Continue Reading