What we learned from the 'Nightline' report on Foxconn factories

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After teasing the story yesterday, Nightline has aired its report from Foxconn's factories on ABC. In the report, host Bill Weir speaks directly to factory workers as well as their managers. You would think that this "unprecedented" look inside Apple factories would reveal much we didn't know, but the show was relatively light on information. Weir did extensively survey the places where iPads and iPhones are constructed, spent time interviewing both employees and their families, and talked to FLA president Auret van Heerden, though he uncovered mostly familiar information.

We've compiled a list of the most interesting facts in bullet points below, but we're left feeling like there wasn't much meat on the bones of the 30-minute report. Perhaps most interesting? Foxconn executive Louis Woo said that he would actually like it if Apple demanded that the company double the pay of factory employees. Your move, Apple.

Here's the rest of what we learned:

  • It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone, and the devices are essentially all handmade
  • It takes five days and 325 hands to make a single iPad
  • Foxconn produces 300k iPad camera modules per day
  • Foxconn workers pay for their own food — about $.70 per meal, and work 12 hour shifts
  • Workers who live in the dorms sleep six to eight a room, and pay $17.50 a month to do so
  • Workers make $1.78 an hour
  • New employees at Foxconn undergo three days of training and "team building" exercises before they begin
  • The FLA (which Apple brought in to audit Foxconn) is interested in whether or not workers will look up at visitors in a factory — if they'll be "willing to look at curiosities"
  • Apple paid $250,000 to join the FLA, and is paying for its audit
  • Louis Woo, when asked if he would accept Apple demanding double pay for employees replied "Why not?"

Update: The full episode is now available to view, or for a brief excerpt check out the video below.

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