Rob Schmitz, Marketplace's China correspondent in Shanghai, gained access to the Foxconn factory floor in Shenzhen, making him second journalist Apple has ever allowed into its Chinese supplier.
Check out the video and the interview after the break
Gardner: Did management give you unlimited access and what did you see?
Schmitz: Both Foxconn and Apple, who both invited me, gave me unfettered access. I had really rare access to see an Apple production line. I saw the iPad line, and seeing the iPad and seeing it with its guts hanging out, on the assembly line -- it was pretty amazing.
Gardner: Now I understand that you spent a couple of days with workers outside of the gates before you went into the factory. What did the workers tell you?
Schmitz: First off, workers at this particular factory had been promised a raise that was supposed to take effect in March. For most workers I spoke to, this actually didn't happen. So many workers were really upset about that. But at the same time, most workers had a generally positive attitude about working at Foxconn. Nearly all of these workers come from rural China. They're the sons and daughters of Chinese farmers and they live on less than a few dollars a day back home.
Gardner: Yeah. And I saw some of the video that you shot inside the factory. I have to admit the inside of the factory looked a lot sleeker, and frankly nicer, than I expected. What was it like in person and were you surprised by anything?
Schmitz: This factory is one of the biggest factories in the world. It has 240,000 workers inside. It's the size of a medium-sized American city. So it not only has factory buildings, but it also has shopping centers and dorm buildings and basketball courts and swimming pools and things like that. It sort of looks like a college campus and that's because most of the workers are between 18-25 year old. It had the feel kind of like a college campus, except it was a factory.
Read the entire interview at marketplace.org