Apple has been facing a lot of accusations that the facilities where its popular gadgets like the iPad and iPhone are constructed use unfair labor practices. Foxconn is the company that builds these devices for Apple and over the past year, Foxconn has been the center of attention in several high-profile cases of employee suicides and attempted suicides allegedly due to working conditions.
Apple tried to put out these fires and has long maintained that it supports fair labor standards across the globe. Apple has now announced that it is instigated a voluntary inspection of Foxconn facilities that manufacture its products by the Fair Labor Association or FLA. Apple reports that the team of experts in labor rights led by FLA president Auret van Heerden will begin the first inspections at the Foxconn facility in Shenzhen known as Foxconn City.
“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”
[Source: Digital Trends]
Apple says that the FLA will interview thousands of employees about the working and living conditions at the facility as well as health and safety conditions. The labor rights experts will also talk with employees about their compensation, working hours, and communication with management. While employee interviews are going on, other FLA workers will inspect the facility to determine working conditions as well as inspect the manufacturing areas, dormitories, and other facilities. The goal of the FLA investigation is to look at all aspects and stages of employment.
Apple reports its suppliers will fully cooperate with the FLA and offer unrestricted access to operations for the purposes of the investigation. The findings and recommendations that the FLA makes will be posted in early March on the website Fairlabor.org. This investigation will cover 90% of the facilities where all Apple products are constructed.
Activist groups were protesting at Apple Stores this month against alleged poor treatment of workers in Apple manufacturing facilities. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook was outraged by the allegations of worker abuse.
Foxconn was also recently the target of a hacker attack that was able to get the CEOs password and corporate documents were stolen as well.
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