Report: Many worker violations at Foxconn's Apple plants

In February, the Fair Labor Association, in cooperation with Apple, announced that it would conduct special worker audits at plants in China where Apple products are made, including factories operated by Foxconn. Today, the FLA has issued its report, claiming it found a number of worker rights violations at the three Foxconn plants it inspected.

The press release gives the highlights of the full report, stating:

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.

The press release states that Foxconn has vowed to improve worker conditions at those plants. Foxconn has reportedly committed to bring its worker hours to both Chinese and FLA's standards by July 2013. That means workers at those plants cannot work more than 49 hours a week, including overtime. Foxconn has also pledged to increase its overall work force at those factories.

Foxconn also has agreed to pay workers for any unpaid overtime they may have generated. FLA's report states that 14 percent of Foxconn workers may not have received full compensation for overtime work. In addition, FLA's report says that 43 percent of Foxconn workers that were interviewed said they had either experienced or witnessed an accident at work. Foxconn has said it will now report all accidents or injuries at its plants instead of just reporting accidents that caused a stoppage of production.

In related news, Bloomberg reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook traveled to China this week and toured Foxconn's new plant in Zhengzhou. The factory makes iPhones and employs a massive 120,000 workers.

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10 Comments

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Mekun said,

Isnt it great that people work for so little so people can have so much.

I understand where your coming from. It used to be far worse though and eventually the world will balance out.

Personally I think it should be up to the workers to decide whether they want to work more hours or not. Require the minimum and if they want to work more hours for more money then they should be able to. That way the workers could have a say in the matter and the company won't be blamed for what the workers decide to do.

Tech Star said,
Personally I think it should be up to the workers to decide whether they want to work more hours or not. Require the minimum and if they want to work more hours for more money then they should be able to. That way the workers could have a say in the matter and the company won't be blamed for what the workers decide to do.

A lot of these is also due to Apple wanting a lot of products fast and cheap. Every year there is at least one new ipad, itouch, ipod and iphone, released in a very tight time period worldwide, every year selling millions upon release. Personally they should either hire more staff for release of new apple devices and charge extra for early devices then drop off the price slowly. Or slowdown the releases worldwide, release in the usa then Europe a month later then Asia a month after that.

Tech Star said,
Personally I think it should be up to the workers to decide whether they want to work more hours or not. Require the minimum and if they want to work more hours for more money then they should be able to. That way the workers could have a say in the matter and the company won't be blamed for what the workers decide to do.

All good in theory, but can workers in China make these kind of decisions? I'm not entirely sure the rules and regulations over there, but I think China runs things differently when it comes to labour and employees. I could be wrong, but I do think its a different beast over there...

Tech Star said,
Personally I think it should be up to the workers to decide whether they want to work more hours or not.

I think the problem is that if person A 'only' wants to work 10 hr, then Person B comes along and wants to do 20hr, Person A is going to feel like if he doesn't match 20hr his job will be at risk.