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I know we lambasted Nintendo pretty badly over the child labor scandal that recently occurred at a Foxconn plant. The reason it was so public and so out was because Nintendo is viewed as a good guy in the gaming industry, consumer friendly and whatnot...where-as Foxconn has been in and out of the news for being a sleazy piece of crap, pulling this kind of mess for years-on-end. However, it does beg the question: if Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo keep using Foxconn for manufacturing purposes, would you keep supporting Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo?
I know most people will shrug it off and say, “Yeah, well, everyone uses Foxconn...what can you do?” It's true that a lot of people use Foxconn, in fact they have secured contracts with Nokia, Apple, Samsung, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon, Acer, Motorola, Toshiba, Vizio, Sony and of course, Nintendo. However, does it really mean we have to keep supporting companies who support bad practices just because that's the way it's been done for some many years? Feels like a lot of other civil rights issues that have been ignored because that's just “the way things are.”
However, child labor, as pointed out in our scathing article of Foxconn, isn't the only thing the company is notorious for.
As reported by Erik Kain at Forbes, Foxconn workers were about ready to commit suicide because the company was laying off workers and cutting all severance pay at the plant where Xbox 360s were being made.
Another man, only 28-years-old died from over-exhaustion after working a 34-hour shift straight at Foxconn's Shenzhen plant in China where, surprise, surprise, Sony has their products manufactured there including the PlayStation 3. You can read more at both Kotaku and the Wall Street Journal.
Every company associated with Foxconn has had some sort of incident happen where a worker is either killed, injured, or commits suicide to meet ridiculous standards for very little pay.
I know the Nintendo fanboys were angered that their favorite company was finger-pointed in our article over the weekend, but let's be honest, if it were Sony, Microsoft, Activision or EA, they would have been up there instead of Nintendo. 100% guaranteed. And the issues would still be the same: corporations knowingly supporting a manufacturer who has piss-poor business practices.
The real problem is that Foxconn won't stop doing what they do. Nintendo said they would “investigate the matter” but this follows on the heels of countless other investigations carried out by China Labor Association, Fair Labor Association, Apple, and many other institutions, including a non-profit organization called the Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, who found plenty of additional violations from Foxconn which you can check out at their website. So Nintendo investigating means diddly squat. They won't do anything and Foxconn won't do anything.
This begs the question: Will you continue supporting Foxconn by supporting Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony?
I'm not saying you have to give up all your electronics, all your goods, all your clothes. But you can let these companies know that about your displeasure, assuming you're not in support of corporations like Foxconn squeezing out the little guy while always posting record revenue each year.
If you want to do something you can let your favorite company know how you feel about Foxconn. Let Microsoft know, let Nintendo know and let Sony know.
Just because your favorite company comes under fire for using scumbags doesn't mean it has to stay that way, and so long as it does, trust me, this won't be the last article about the issue.