NYT: Apple Is Making Good Progress With Foxconn Working Conditions Overseas [Report]


Apple CEO Tim Cook spent time with Foxconn employees during his visit to China earlier this year.
Tim Cook spent time with Foxconn employees during his visit to China earlier this year.

The New York Times raised quite a stink at the beginning of this year with its provocative ‘iEconomy’ series on the poor working conditions at Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturing partner in China. After running headlines like “In China, human costs are built into an iPad,” the Times has published a new report that more positively portrays Apple’s recent efforts to improve working conditions in the supply chain.

After the mainstream media turned its attention to Apple and Foxconn, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) got involved to help ensure quality factory life for Chinese workers. For years, Apple has also been performing detailed audits of over 800 facilities where parts for its products are made and assembled. The Cupertino company has been beefing up its requirements in order to set the bar even higher in the supply chain. All of the combined efforts have resulted in better overall working conditions and pay raises for Foxconn employees. But that doesn’t mean there’s no more progress to be made.

Future iOS Devices Could Be Built By Machines As Foxconn Replaces Workers With Robots


This "Foxbot" could soon be building Apple's latest gadgets.

Apple gadgets you buy in the future may have been assembled by machines as Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner, Foxconn, begins replacing its workers with robots. The move is expected to improve efficiency in Foxconn’s Chinese plants, as well as combat rising labor costs.

Foxconn Admits To Using Underage Interns As Young As 14


Foxconn says it will fire the employees responsible for hiring underage workers.

Foxconn has admitted to finding underage interns as young as 14 working in one of its Chinese plants, where the minimum legal working age is 16. The company, which assembles Apple’s hugely popular iOS devices, has sent all underage workers back to their schools, and it’s now investigating how they were ended up at its plant.

Apple & Foxconn Worker Abuse: “Nothing’s Changed”

Tim Cook visits Foxconn, where Apple's iMacs are traditionally assembled.
Despite a visit from Apple CEO Tim Cook, Foxconn shows little signs of improvement.

Following the Fair Labor Association’s audit into Foxconn working conditions earlier this year, which unearthed several labor violations, including unlawful working hours, poor pay, and a total disregard for health and safety, Apple and Foxconn promised to make some major improvements.

However, two months on, activists say violations “remain the norm,” and that there is no evidence of any significant changes in Foxconn’s Chinese factories.