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.”

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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.

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Top Rated Comments

Klae17 Avatar
154 months ago
Good for publicity, but I've been to China, and trust me, the people there need the jobs and as many hours as they can get. I'm all go for the health and safety improvements, but the hours cut will definitely affect the worker's livelihood and their families that depend on them. If they didn't like it or didn't have to work there, they wouldn't. But they chose the employment of Foxxcon because it is better than anything else they can get.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
charlieegan3 Avatar
154 months ago
This is great but they are only under such close observation because they are Apple, and everyone wants to have a little go at them.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
avonord Avatar
154 months ago
When are they doing an audit on Samsung?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macs4nw Avatar
154 months ago
This is great but they are only under such close observation because they are Apple, and everyone wants to have a little go at them.

When are they doing an audit on Samsung?

If it was that much of a law (more of a stunt for the government to say "see, we support labor laws"), wouldn't you think the Chinese government would already be going around and enforcing it?
In the US, that gets taken care of relatively fast. If the Chinese government cared about labor laws, international fair labor organizations wouldn't be scrutinizing.

Oh wait...what? No other computer hardware manufacturer participates in the the program? Really? Why is that never, never, never, mentioned....?

Cannot abide interfering little socialist busybodies!

All above posts: Well said!! While I support Chinese workers' right to decent employment standards, I don't think it is fair or reasonable to expect APPLE or any other single company to be the moral policeman for the third world. I wouldn't have objected as much if the FLA had pressured the US government to bring up those issues during Trade Talks. The responsibility to fix China's labor standards lies squarely with the Chinese government. For us to demand changes in those areas, though well intentioned, is tantamount to interfering in other countries' domestic affairs.

Change does not come overnight, and in these kinds of issues, we cannot and should not be bullying other countries to see things our way.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Klae17 Avatar
154 months ago
Did you even read any of that? They'll be paid the same. Despite the reduced hours.

Yes I did read it. It says "protect the workers salaries." I also applied my own knowledge from MBA school and world travel and corporate behavior. They don't necessarily mean they will pay them the exact same salary. I did not see that. That can just mean they will be paying the same hourly rate, they might not be translating salary correctly. If you think that foxxcon won't be makin cuts here and there to make the profit margins... Well then you should look at the boat loads of companies that have made cuts and made conditions poorer than before.

If they are reduced from 70-80 hours a week, down to 40-60, that leaves 20-30 hours needing to be filled. For every two workers, you would need one extra to pick up lost hours of 40-60. That's increasing the workforce by 33%. Then what about housing at the apartments there? Living conditions, factory conditions, and health conditions will definitely be taxed.

When Apple is in the spotlight, it's hard to not get shined on too. Foxxcon was making money and had these conditions before apple most certainly.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wordwise Avatar
154 months ago
No other computer manufacturer participates...

Oh wait...what? No other computer hardware manufacturer participates in the the program? Really? Why is that never, never, never, mentioned....?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)