Friday, February 17, 2012

Early Praise in Foxconn Inspection Brings Doubt -

Officials from several labor groups said on Thursday that they were surprised and dismayed by Mr. van Heerden’s comments.

“Generally, in a labor rights investigation, the findings come after the evidence is gathered, not the other way around,” said Scott Nova, executive director of the Workers Rights Consortium, a university-backed group that monitors apparel factories worldwide.

“I’m amazed that the F.L.A. would give one of the most notoriously abusive factories in the world a clean bill of health — based, it appears, on nothing more than a guided tour provided by the owner,” he added. “If the F.L.A. wants to convince people that it can somehow conduct an impartial investigation of Apple, despite being funded by Apple, this is not a good way to start.”

Heather White, the founder of Verite, another monitoring group, said Mr. van Heerden’s remarks appeared hasty. “That he would make any comments prior to workers being interviewed off-site in a confidential environment is somewhat premature, to say the least,” she said. “He doesn’t speak Chinese and he is not a trained auditor qualified to make quick assessments.”