After beginning their audit of Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn in mid-February, the Fair Labor Association has published a detailed report on their findings, in which they reveal numerous labor violations at all three of Foxconn’s facilities.
From the report:
FLA’s investigation found that within the last 12 months, all three factories exceeded both the FLA Code standard of 60 hours per week (regular plus overtime) and the Chinese legal limits of 40 hours per week and 36 hours maximum overtime per month. During peak production periods, the average number of hours worked per week exceeded 60 hours per worker. There were periods in which some employees worked more than seven days in a row without the required 24 hours off.
While a number of problems were discovered, however, the FLA also reports that Foxconn has committed to improving the labor conditions at their facilities, and has promised to take measures to bring all of their factories into full compliance with Chinese law and FLA standards.
Foxconn has committed to bring its factories into full compliance with Chinese legal limits and FLA standards on working hours by July 2013, according to its remediation plan in FLA’s report. The supplier will bring working hours in line with the legal limit of 49 hours per week, including overtime. This means a reduction in monthly overtime hours from 80 to 36, and would be a significant improvement given that most of the technology sector is struggling to address excessive overtime.
Foxconn has also agreed to provide a compensation package in order to protect workers from lost income due to the reduced number of overtime hours, and has also agreed to increase their workforce, while building additional housing and amenities for workers.
All things considered, this seems like a great result. These issues should not have existed in the first place, but thanks to Apple’s proactive decision to order an audit, the labor conditions at these facilities will now improve significantly.