After being invited by Apple to perform an audit at Foxconn, the Fair Labor Association released its findings today in a report. The findings were a bit mixed, saying they found wide scale issues primarily around amount of overtime worked, compensation, and safety. Apple and Foxconn agreed to improve on the FLA’s findings by 2013.
Labor group Human Rights First has reacted this evening, saying that Apple and Foxconn’s changes will help reform supply chains as a whole and will be a turning point for the industry. But primarily, the changes will be “life-changing” for the workers.
So what kind of changes will Apple and Foxconn be making? Workers at both the Foxconn Shenzhen and Chengdu plants will be limited to working 49 hours a week and monitored to keep paying consistent with current take-home rates. FLA inspectors will also be present in these facilities, monitoring the improvements.
Not only do workers face long hours, but they also face many hazardous conditions. There have been many reports of injuries, not only at Foxconn plants but other Apple parts suppliers, that have left employees seriously injured. Apple’s steps, if taken, will work to reduce the amount of injuries on the supply lines.
Foxconn not only produces devices for Apple, but also Dell, Amazon, HP, and more. Apple won’t be the only one striving to make working conditions better, but other companies will also have to join in too.
Apple should lead by example and work to make the necessary changes at its supply chains. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has been seen touring the supply lines at Foxconn, showing Apple has a vested interest in making things better. FLA employees will continue to monitor the situation, up until 2013.