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.