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Fair Labor Association Begins Auditing Foxconn's Manufacturing Facilities at Apple's Request

Last month, Apple and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) announced an agreement that would see the FLA monitoring workplace conditions in Apple's supply chain, providing independent oversight to ensure compliance with worker rights standards set by Apple and the FLA. Apple is the first technology company to join the FLA, a move which comes as Apple has been the subject of increasing criticism over Foxconn's treatment of its employees.


Apple today issued a press release announcing that the FLA has begun inspecting Foxconn's facilities at Apple's request, supplementing Apple's own auditing practices.
Apple today announced that the Fair Labor Association will conduct special voluntary audits of Apple’s final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple’s request. A team of labor rights experts led by FLA president Auret van Heerden began the first inspections Monday morning at the facility in Shenzhen known as Foxconn City.

“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”
The release notes that the FLA will be conducting interviews of thousands of Foxconn employees as it assesses their working and living conditions. The FLA will have access to Foxconn's manufacturing areas, as well as the dormitories and other facilities where employees are housed in the massive complex.

Results of the Foxconn inspections will be posted on the FLA's site early next month, and similar inspections at Apple's other major manufacturing partners Quanta and Pegatron will follow this spring. Once inspections at the three companies' facilities are complete, the FLA will have assessed facilities where over 90% of Apple's products are assembled.

Top Rated Comments

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32 months ago

Any rational and objective person would view this as a giant step forward.


You mean like posts #2 & #4?

Looks like iIrrational and iUnobjective are off to a fast start.
Rating: 11 Votes
32 months ago
Let's see how some people will make this out to be a bad thing.

Any rational and objective person would view this as a giant step forward.
Rating: 11 Votes
32 months ago

Hasn't Apple already audited and insisted on changes recently? Or are we ignoring that?


Yes, yes they have. Just people like to bitch. Maybe this will finally shut them the hell up.
Rating: 5 Votes
32 months ago
The media has been reporting about the deplorable conditions at Foxcon and pointing the finger at Apple.

Let's see if this gets the same coverage.
Rating: 4 Votes
32 months ago
Having been on the assembly lines of factories here in Japan, I know for a fact that the demands placed on workers here are not unlike what we have been reading about factory conditions in China.

Yes, the wages are considerably higher in Japan, but so too is the cost of living. Nonetheless, factory jobs in Japan are incredibly difficult (and often dangerous), with marathon shifts (up to 16 hours a day), very few work breaks, military-like supervision, harsh disciplinary action for even the tiniest of employee errors, and a punishing physical and mental toll.

It makes me wonder whether the stories in the English-language media have been blown at least a bit out of proportion by Western reporters who simply don't understand the difference between what is tolerated by workers in the East versus those in the West.
Rating: 3 Votes
32 months ago
Personally I'd like to see Apple use some of their money to start rebuilding America's former manufacturing base. That would endear them to me even more than helping to build up China's economy in a slightly healthier way.
Rating: 3 Votes
32 months ago
Audits are pointless, issues will be hidden and brushed under the carpet, people behave differently and work harder when an audit is ongoing. It's happened everywhere Ive worked.

Just last week we had an audit, and my Sergeant told me "Let's just roll up our sleeves and get through this week, so we can return to normal after they've (the auditors) left."
Rating: 3 Votes
32 months ago
Why FLA (never heard about) and not ILO (http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm) which is a labour branch of UN?
Rating: 3 Votes
32 months ago

So the factories must pay the same wages, provide the same retirement packages, shift schedule, work environment, safety standards, benefits and so forth that a factory worker in the US would expect in a similar industry. Also that the factories meet the same environmental and code standards.


This will cause prices balloon, to which haters will respond by accusing Apple of overpricing their products. Ethics aren't cheap. Pay up, or shut up.
Rating: 3 Votes
32 months ago
The only thing that will actually change conditions is if the US requires all imported items to be built by factories that follow the same criteria as their US counterparts.

So the factories must pay the same wages, provide the same retirement packages, shift schedule, work environment, safety standards, benefits and so forth that a factory worker in the US would expect in a similar industry. Also that the factories meet the same environmental and code standards.

This would be easy for European markets as they meet or exceed many US standards already.
Rating: 2 Votes

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