Foxconn: A Union Label on your iPod?

In the Hutong
Admiring my MOTOSLVR L6g
1825 hrs.

Will over at the ImageThief has done such a superb job covering this whole Foxconn trainwreck that I’ve shied away from saying anything. The fact that I know (and once worked with) several of the people on the front lines has caused me to hesitate. However the Foxconn case is just starting to get interesting.

One example:

Over the weekend, the government announced that Foxconn will be compelled to allow a government-supervised union into its shop.

Here’s the big question: will Foxconn succeed in coopting the union and turning it into a fig-leaf for its practices, or will it actually do any good?

I’m taking bets…

In the meantime, Fons suggests (correctly I think) that Foxconn is entering a period of legal activism, in the apparent belief that it can protect its reputation and trade secrets in the courts. I wish them luck. They may not get the chance to use other means if this one fails. And clearly, Foxconn’s vaunted chief executive seems to think that “PR” stands for “Press Release” or “Pillory Reporters.”

Update: Foxconn has dropped its legal case against the two reporters.

Memo to Foxconn management: Fire your attorneys. NOW. They’re causing way more damage to your business, your reputation, and your brand than you could ever hope to recover. And your rivals are lapping it up.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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