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.