Labor

4:03pm

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Audits Are Under Way At Apple Supplier Foxconn's Plants

A group of protesters demonstrate outside Foxconn's annual meeting in Hong Kong last year. Working conditions at the company's plants have brought criticism on Apple.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty Images

Audits of working conditions are under way at Foxconn's manufacturing plants in China, a key link in Apple's supply chain of iPhones, iPads and other devices. The effort will include visits to at least three sites, "each with more than 100,000 workers," says Auret Van Heerden, president of the Fair Labor Association.

"So we've taken a representative sample of over 35,000 workers," Van Heerden tells All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel, in an interview airing Wednesday.

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3:00pm

Thu February 9, 2012
The Two-Way

Protesters At Apple Stores Demand 'Ethical' Products

Sarah Ryan, left, and Shelby Knox, with Change.org arrive at the Apple store at Grand Central to deliver petitions asking Apple to change its manufacturing practices.
Mary Altaffer AP

In an effort to protest the working conditions in the Chinese factories that make Apple products, demonstrators delivered a petition to six different Apple stores in four different countries.

The petition, which asks the country to make "ethical" products, included about 250,000 signatures. Organizers said they were delivering them to Apple stores in Bangalore, London, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Sydney and New York City.

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10:01pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Around the Nation

Arizona Lawmakers Target Public Workers' Unions

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 8:21 am

Labor unions plan to rally in front of the Arizona State Capitol on Thursday afternoon to protest four bills quickly moving through the state Legislature that could make last year's Wisconsin labor laws look modest by comparison.

Three of the four bills restrict the way unions collect dues and the way workers get paid for union activities. The fourth bans collective bargaining between governments and government workers: state and local. Unlike Wisconsin, it affects all government employees, including police and firefighters.

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9:15am

Mon February 6, 2012
Technology

Chinese Labor Practices Sour Apple Consumers

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 10:47 am

An injured man arrives at a hospital in Chengdu on a stretcher following an explosion at an electronics factory owned by Foxconn Technology Group, which makes many Apple products. Poor working conditions and low pay at such factories has made many consumers push for Apple to contract work more selectively.
AP

It's hard for those who have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod to describe what the device is worth to them, but it may be harder to measure the human cost of manufacturing Apple products.

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6:45am

Thu January 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Unemployment Claims Up Slightly; Business Spending Increased

Over the past week, 21,000 more Americans claimed unemployment benefits, the Labor Department reports. Like most economic news, that's the bad news. The good news, reports the AP, is the that the four-week average is down 2,500, which "still signals a healthier job market."

The Commerce Department also has some good news on the economy: Orders for durable goods rose 3 percent, last month.

The AP reports that this marks a gain for the second straight month. The AP adds:

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