Jabil’s Turn in the Hot Seat

You can forgive — if only slightly — Terry Gou if he is smiling today.

One of the chairman of Foxconn’s main competitors, Jabil, stands accused today of creating and maintaining a what can best be described as a cruel environment for its 6,000-some workers in Guangzhou.

While no suicides have been reported — unlike the dozen at Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant this year alone — the accusations, by the very official-sounding National Labor Committee, a US-based NGO, are damning.

In a less-than-stellar initial response, Jabil took issue with the report’s summary, saying , “A quick look over this lengthy summary, written by a ‘respected Chinese worker rights activist and scholar, who must remain anonymous,’ paints a very accusatory but not very accurate picture.” Jabil’s response is too cute by half: the full report was authored by NLC director Charles Kernaghan, based on undercover investigations in China. Only theĀ  three-paragraph preface, per the report, is credited to the anonymous Chinese scholar.

Regardless of whether the charges are warranted, Jabil will certainly have to answer for itself. For the workers’ sake, let’s hope they are exaggerated. But if they aren’t, Jabil faces the same disdain the world holds for the likes of Terry Guo — and deservedly so.