Labor group finds poor working conditions at Apple supplier Foxconn
A Fair Labor Association investigation reveals compensation issues and health and safety risks in a widespread survey
IDG News Service - An investigation by the Fair Labor Association into factories operated by Apple supplier Foxconn in China found poor working conditions and worker abuse, leading Foxconn to pledge it will make improvements.
A monthlong investigation by FLA revealed compensation issues, health and safety risks, and issues that have led to a "sense of unsafe working conditions among workers," the organization said in a statement.
FLA claimed it gave Foxconn "a full-body scan through 3,000 staff hours," and surveyed more than 35,000 workers, while investigating three of its factories. Foxconn Technology Group, owned by Hon Hai Precision Industry, is Apple's largest supplier and makes the iPad and iPhone. Independent groups have urged Apple to address the poor conditions of factory workers in China.
Foxconn has been under scrutiny over the past few years, following a string of suicide attempts at facilities in China. The company came under fire again earlier this year after the New York Times published a story describing poor working conditions at Chinese factories operated by Apple contractors. Nonprofit organizations such as Change.org are running campaigns calling for Apple to address the issue and make products ethically.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended Apple's record, saying the company is leading the way in improving working conditions. Apple also acknowledged violations related to issues such as wages, underage labor and working conditions in its 2012 annual supplier report issued in January.
While past investigations by watchdog groups such as Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) have covered just a few factory workers, FLA's exhaustive investigation covers three Foxconn factories in the cities of Guanlan, Longhua and Chengdu. The organization says that if Foxconn were to take corrective action, the lives of 1.2 million workers would improve.
In the audit, FLA found that workers were forced to work extra hours and were not given appropriate compensation. Workers on average worked 56 hours per week, including overtime, which exceeded the Chinese legal limit of 49 hours per week including overtime. About 64.3% of the surveyed workers felt that their wage was not enough to meet their basic needs, and FLA also found issues related to the assessment of overtime pay.
On Thursday, Foxconn said it was committed to bringing working hours within the Chinese legal limits and to fairly compensating workers by July 2013. Foxconn committed itself to hiring and training more workers and to compensating workers for lost wages.
A considerable number of workers also had health and safety concerns, which was of particular concern to FLA after an explosion at the Chengdu factory last year killed three people.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- The Brave New World of Customer-Centric Manufacturing The Unique Opportunity for Manufacturers to Better Understand their Consumers
- See the Possibilities Utilizing Data Visualization Do you simply want to collect data, or do you want to derive business insights from it? What if you could quickly and...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All IT Industry White Papers | Webcasts