Apple announced on Monday that the Fair Labor Association (FLA) will conduct special voluntary audits of Apple's final assembly line suppliers, including Foxconn plants in Shenzhen and Chengdu, at Apple's request. in China.
A team of labor rights experts led by FLA president Auret van Heerden started their first inspections of the Shenzhen facility known as Foxconn City on Monday morning.
“We believe that workers, wherever they are, have the right to a safe and fair working environment. This is why we have asked the FLA to independently assess the situation of our main suppliers in this regard. ”said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “The inspections currently underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scope and in scope, and we are grateful to the FLA for agreeing to identify the various factories in its reports, which is for them an unusual step. ”
As part of its independent appraisal, the FLA will interview thousands of employees about their working and living conditions, focusing in particular on health and safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management. . The FLA team will inspect production areas, dormitories and other facilities, and will review in detail the documents regarding the procedures used at all stages of hiring.
A first report expected in early March.
Apple’s suppliers have pledged to cooperate fully with the FLA, providing free access to their facilities. The conclusions of these first assessments and the recommendations formulated by the FLA will be published in early March on the association's website, the address www.fairlabor.org. Similar inspections will be carried out later this spring at the Quanta and Pegatron facilities. Once these are completed, the FLA will have assessed the installations in which more than 90% of Apple products are assembled.
The New york times said in January that the people involved in assembling iPhones, iPads and other Apple products in factories in China from Apple suppliers often worked under difficult conditions and excessively high working hours. Two factory explosions killed four people last year and left 77 injured, the daily said.
Apple boss Tim Cook was shocked by the accusations formulas against the Californian group. Each year, we inspect more factories, he said. We have made a lot of progress and improved working conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers. We don't know anyone in our industry who has done what we have accomplished, he insisted.
In 2010 already, Apple was accused of allowing poor working conditions to be practiced at its subcontractors after a wave of worker suicides in a factory in China of the Taiwanese Foxconn.
In January, Apple launched a major transparency offensive on working conditions at its suppliers, agreeing to publish their list and open the door to the factories where its products are made by independent observers.
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