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Apple Supplier Factory Audit Reveals Failings

A review of working conditions at computer manufacturer Foxconn's Chinese factories has revealed that workers have been exposed to "excessive working hours, unpaid overtime, health and safety failings, and management interference in trade unions". Reportedly, Apple Inc (Apple), on whose behalf Foxconn assembles computer products, invited the Fair Labor Association to conduct a "full body scan" Foxconn factories in Guanlan, Longhua and Chengdu, which employ approximately 178,000 people. Among problems at the plants audited, the FLA's review reportedly found that "43% of workers reported experiencing or witnessing an accident", workers being denied pay for overtime, and young workers were hired as interns or on work experience terms against regulations.

Apple chief executive officer (CEO) Tim Cook reportedly stated that "[o]ur team has been working for years to educate workers, improve conditions, and make Apple's supply chain a model for the industry, which is why we asked the FLA to conduct these audits". FLA CEO Auret van Heerden reportedly added that "Apple and its supplier Foxconn have agreed to our prescriptions and we will verify progress and report publicly".

The Guardian: Apple's factories in China are breaking employment laws, audit finds (30 March 2012)

Related news item:
Reuters: Apple, Foxconn revamp China work conditions (29 March 2012)
(Source: The Guardian; Reuters)

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