Fair Labor Association Finds Progress in Follow-Up Status Report on Foxconn's Apple Facilities
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) today announced the release of a status report outlining progress that has made since the group's initial high-profile audits of several Foxconn facilities in China serving as assembly plants for Apple products. In follow-up visits to the plants in late June and early July, the FLA found that Foxconn has made a number of changes to help meet the group's recommendations for improving working conditions.
“Our verification shows that the necessary changes, including immediate health and safety measures, have been made. We are satisfied that Apple has done its due diligence thus far to hold Foxconn accountable for complying with the action plan, including the commitment to reform its internship program,” said Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the Fair Labor Association. “When we finished our initial investigation in March, Foxconn promised to address concerns with its internship program by ensuring that student interns do not work overtime, their work has a more direct connection to their field of study, and they understand that they are free to terminate the internship if and when they wish.”
Foxconn has also begun taking steps toward meeting working hour goals by July 2013, already moving to limit workers to 60 hours per week including overtime and making plans to reduce hours further to 40 regular hours and nine overtime hours per week while still protecting worker salaries.
“The verification confirmed that Apple and Foxconn are ahead of schedule in improving the conditions under which some of the world's most popular electronics are being made,” said van Heerden. “Apple and Foxconn’s progress since the March assessment, combined with the additional actions planned through July 2013, would create the roadmap for all Chinese suppliers in the tech industry.”
Human Rights First, one of the groups backing the FLA, has also acknowledges that significant progress has been made at Foxconn's facilities in China, but also continues to push Apple to hold all of its suppliers to similar standards.
“Foxconn has completed nearly 80 percent of the FLA actions recommended in March. They are ahead of schedule in implementing many of the changes necessary to ensure the health and welfare of Foxconn employees and bring the company’s work conditions into compliance with basic human rights standards,” said Human Rights First’s Meg Roggensack. “This is a win for the employees of Foxconn and for the FLA’s new assessment process. Now, Apple must continue to take steps that ensure all workers within its supply chain have access to these same standards.”
Full details on the Fair Labor Association's status report are available on the group's site, and Apple offers its own information on supplier responsibility on its site. According to Apple, tracking of over 700,000 workers throughout the company's supply chain reveals that 97% of worker weeks were compliant with the current 60-hour maximum standard in July, up well over ten percentage points since the beginning of the year.