Fair Labor Association begins inspections of Foxconn at Apple's request

By on February 13, 2012, 11:00 AM

Amid public concerns of harsh working conditions, Apple has announced that a team of labor rights experts, under the leadership of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), will conduct audits of its final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, at its own request.

"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,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. "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."

As part of its assessment, the FLA will interview thousands of employees about working and living conditions, touching on topics like health and safety, compensation, working hours, and management communication. Apple said the FLA will inspect not just manufacturing areas, but also dormitories and other facilities.

Apple's suppliers have reportedly offered full cooperation with the FLA, which also plans to conduct inspections at Quanta and Pegatron plants later this spring, at which point the combined inspections will cover more than 90 percent of Apple’s product assembly suppliers according to the announcement.

The FLA's first findings and recommendations will be posted on the group's website in early March. This follows  a supplier report published by Apple in January detailing the company’s own audits at all levels of its supply chain, from component suppliers to final assembly. The report covered everything from problems found, remedies taken, and in some cases, supplier relationships terminated.

The New York Times recently published an article detailing what it called the "human costs" of building iPads, iPhones, and other Apple devices. Concerns about Foxconn, however, have been going on much longer and Apple is far from the only major tech company to depend on them or similar Chinese manufacturing plants.




User Comments: 10

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Xero07 said:

I wonder what level of conditions qualifies as "fair"

Guest said:

I've seen an old film outlining how bad walmart is with 3rd world manufacturers and workers rights. This seems to be the same sort of thing. The biggest issue they had for quality control was that the workers had no choice but to lie when asked questions. They said they would be phased out if they didn't lie and are desperate for the little that they already get.

Guest said:

A weekly wage that will buy a cup of joe here in the states.

veLa veLa said:

Guest said:

A weekly wage that will buy a cup of joe here in the states.

A cup of joe of the cheap shit that is.

MilwaukeeMike said:

"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,? Apple CEO Tim Cook said

Oh right... it had nothing to do with the protests at the apple stores [link]

Or the petition on Chang.org [link]

In other news... Apple's stock price hit $500!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

There is nothing special about what Apple does as compared to other manufacturers, except the profit margin. When you have way higher profit margins than anyone else in the industry, one can begin asking if perhaps some of those margins be given back to the person making the product. Just makes Apple seem a bit greedier than others, but that's really pot/kettle territory.

Tygerstrike said:

10 to 1 every single one of those manufactuors are right now pooping themselves and trying to "clean up" any of those sick or overworked employees. Im betting that much like any visit from a corporate office, their visit will be planned. Meaning only the best and least complaining ppl will be working on the day the inspectors show up.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

"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,? Apple CEO Tim Cook said

Oh right... it had nothing to do with the protests at the apple stores [link]

Or the petition on Chang.org [link]

In other news... Apple's stock price hit $500!

Win/Win for you guys that hate Apple so much. Apple does nothing 'Outrage!', Apple gets some group to look into working conditions 'Outrage!'

treetops treetops said:

lol is this a response to the recent cnn and john stewart show where they show that apple factories in china are so bad that they placed nets outside the buildings to catch people trying to commit suicide by jumping off? And for all that we only save 23% on a ipod. The list goes on in that episode of the craziness the workers go through they live in a city\factory with a few hundred thousand workers, they bunk with 8 people per tiny room, get beat, work 16 hour days 7 days a week and some other stuff I can't remember. Yeah im so eloquent today.(sarcasm)

oh look i still have it, it aired jan 16th 2012

wow edit just watched the segment again 35 hour shifts!

31 cents an hour

if they try to make a union they get 12 years in prison

call of duty modern work fair lol

john stewart singled apple out because rick perry said that more american corps should be like apple

MilwaukeeMike said:

gwailo247 said:

There is nothing special about what Apple does as compared to other manufacturers, except the profit margin. When you have way higher profit margins than anyone else in the industry, one can begin asking if perhaps some of those margins be given back to the person making the product. Just makes Apple seem a bit greedier than others, but that's really pot/kettle territory.

You're right... nothing special. But it's the same reason why McDonalds was the target of Fast Food nation etc... even though others had higher fat/calorie burgers. 1) They're the biggest, and in Apple's case, they're very very rich and can afford to change.

2) The intangibles. For McDonalds, marketing to kids was over the top. For Apple it's the hypocrisy of the Apple users, not so much the company. The iPhone is the preferred phone of the creative hippie. There's even an app called Inhuman Megaphone for use at Occupy protests to get around the megaphone laws at parks.

The same crowd who hates corporate greed, uses Apple to shout their message. Apple is arguably the dirtiest corporate player we've seen in a LONG time. Constant lawsuits to stifle competition coupled with overpriced products (it costs $200 to make the phone they sell for $600) and only now are finally taking notice of the workers' conditions.

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