Apple opens up its Foxconn assembly facilities to a Fair Labor Association audit, the report is due in March
Fair Labor Association Begins Inspections of FoxconnCUPERTINO, California—February 13, 2012—Apple® today announced that the Fair Labor Association will conduct special voluntary audits of Apple’s final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple’s request. A team of labor rights experts led by FLA president Auret van Heerden began the first inspections Monday morning at the 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.”
As part of its independent assessment, the FLA will interview thousands of employees about working and living conditions including health and safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management. The FLA’s team will inspect manufacturing areas, dormitories and other facilities, and will conduct an extensive review of documents related to procedures at all stages of employment.
Apple’s suppliers have pledged full cooperation with the FLA, offering unrestricted access to their operations. The FLA’s findings and recommendations from the first assessments will be posted in early March on its website, www.fairlabor.org. Similar inspections will be conducted at Quanta and Pegatron facilities later this Spring, and when completed, the FLA’s assessment will cover facilities where more than 90 percent of Apple products are assembled.
Apple has audited every final assembly factory in its supply chain each year since 2006, including more than 40 audits of Foxconn manufacturing and final assembly facilities. Details of Apple’s supplier responsibility program, including the results of more than 500 factory audits led by Apple throughout its supply chain over the past five years, are available atwww.apple.com/supplierresponsibility.
In January, Apple became the first technology company admitted to the Fair Labor Association. The FLA conducts independent monitoring and verification to ensure that the FLA’s Workplace Standards are upheld wherever FLA company products are made.
1. PAPINYC (Posts: 2044; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
Fair Labor Association auditors commit mass-suicide (together).
2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5282; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
And what is Apple going to do when the audit results come back showing Foxconn operating a sweatshop? Not anything that cuts its margins.
17. bigdawg23 (Posts: 307; Member since: 25 May 2011)
What is going to happen you find out that FoxConn operates under the law in China? People keep forget this isn't the USA. Labor laws are different.
Lastly, Apple isn't the only company using them to build electronics.
19. quakan (Posts: 1079; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)
Exactly. For anyone to think that Apple is the only one using cheap labor, they're crazy. Many business do. One big issue that people will be looking at when November comes around is who is going to help bring back some of the many jobs that left, but like Steve Jobs said, "Those jobs aren't coming back" and for known reasons.
21. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5282; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Those jobs aren't coming back because Apple is engaging in labor cost arbitrage. If the iDevices were produced in factories subject to U.S. labor law, the iDevices would easily cost 2x what they presently cost.
25. quakan (Posts: 1079; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)
@Droid_X_Doug and that's why those jobs will remain in China. It's not just Apple either, Apple has just been thrown into the spotlight this time.
27. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
thats a misnomer and not completely true. Apple has a 70%+ profit margin. If it cost THEM 2x as much, they would still maintain an incredibly healthy 35%+ profit margin, which is still higher than Samsung's who is in 2nd place.
Samsung makes many of its parts here in america. Yet, the big american Apple company cant. Its a sad excuse and a lie. Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are both american companies that operate the majority of their factories.. .in America. Nokia and Moto both used to have factories for phones in america.
Apple prizes extreme profit margins over human life. its that simple.
30. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)
You sound ignorant when you try to make it sound like Apple is the only company doing this. Lets not forget that Foxconn makes products for Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon just to name a few. You do love to only tell one side.
32. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
speaking of sounding ignorant.
can you tell me where i said this was only apple? did i? no i didnt. dont put words in my mouth, thanks.
should i go on a dissertation every time foxconn is brought up about every company that they have as a client to make you happy? Or should I just stick to the topic at hand? I think I'll just stick to the topic at hand.
35. Hallucinator (Posts: 338; Member since: 24 May 2010)
Well, If you are going to condemn a company for doing something and then turn around and buy products or praise products from another company that does the same thing such as Samsung or Motorola. That just seems like a hypocritical better than thou attitude. So yes you were sticking to the topic at hand. My bad.
36. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
this has been discussed many times on this site. Unlike most, ive actively tried to avoid buying products made by foxconn plants since learning of this. I looked up where my computer was made (india), and I've looked up other devices I thought about buying. Can others say the same thing?
Foxconn says that they follow the rules and regulations put forth by their partners and that each factory is run a little differently. Foxconn says they comply with apple's rules, and apple is happy.. which means apple is setting the rules that is making people want to commit suicide. Rarely does a foxconn incident happen that isnt apple related. The only one I can recall was actually recently where a group of workers threatened mass suicide if their demands for better conditions were not met. that was at the Xbox factory. They were all lied to, to get off the roof, then arrested and not heard from since. Welcome to socialism/communism.
Samsung largely makes its products in house in korea. they dont use foxconn for too much at least in the cell world. They actually have chip factories in America, unlike Apple, and are opening more in Texas this year.
So yes, I am aware of where my products come from. I do have many foxconn products like the rest of us. Unlike most I am now actively trying to avoid foxconn products until things change. The ONLY way to get them to change is to openly pressure them by refusing to buy their products and telling them that its because they are not an ethical company in the least.
37. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5282; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
"Apple prizes extreme profit margins over human life. its that simple."
No disagreement from me on that statement. Which is why IMO, Apple isn't going to do anything if the audit results come back negative. The response will squarely put any blame on Foxconn. It is called plausible deniability.
We are probably discussing two sides of the same coin - Apple prizes extreme profit margins and they aren't going to do anything to jeopardize the margins they are making.
20. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5282; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
China has some pretty robust labor laws. They are just routinely ignored. When the local inspector comes around, the designated 'entertainer' takes the inspector out for entertainment, and life at the sweatshop goes on.
Hopefully the NGO doing the audit won't be susceptible to the 'entertainment'. It would be interesting to see how Foxconn stacks up to a true, transparent audit.
31. LoneShaolin (Posts: 307; Member since: 14 Jan 2012)
@Droid, I meant to upvote you. I hit down on accident. My bad.
3. Rawrzellers (Posts: 224; Member since: 22 Aug 2010)
It's not like the workers are gonna say anything against the company. They're too afraid of losing their jobs.
5. Sniggly (Posts: 6490; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Why is it that I'm starting to recall the scene in Stalag 17 when the Geneva Convention guy comes along to do his inspection, and the Germans pass out curtains and warm blankets for the visit along with telling the prisoners to tell the Geneva guy they're doing fine?
9. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
Yes, the only real way to get an accurate picture is to go undercover as well as conduct surprise inspections over a few months. The fact that FOXCONN can now show that it knows how to prepare itself for the cameras does nothing to address core issues.
33. rf1975 (Posts: 232; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
Yes. But this must be done not only for Apple suppliers / manufacturers. This has to be done for other Manufacturers like Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, HP and Acer etc. Then only people who are working in these OEM will get the benefit.
34. rf1975 (Posts: 232; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
I am not saying Apple is a good company. But if Other manufacturers like Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer open their OEM facilities to FLA, do you expect that the situation at those placec will be better than Apple OEM. All manufacturers more or less same like Apple. All manufacturers look for better profit. I am not just saying this. I have experience in OEM production field. Whether you like or not this the real situation.
7. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)
sounds like another marketing gimmick from rotten fruit
14. dreammixer (banned) (Posts: 81; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Apple is doing the right thing. They're showing they care about the Foxconn workers.
15. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
im not going to touch this one, i dont want to speculate as to whether apple is putting on a show or geniunely trying to find out about the working conditions.
i will say that i am very interested what the FLA can dig up. Foxconn claims they can add 4000 workers at the drop of a hat if needed, something might be up.
16. gallitoking (Posts: 4630; Member since: 17 May 2011)
This is the golden opportunity.. for these workers to finally step up and speak up... lets see why much change they want...(hope fear doesn't get in the way as it will resolve nothing)
23. Stuticus (Posts: 26; Member since: 05 Feb 2012)
I agree also, but unfortunately its going to take someone with immense courage to speak up. China is a Totalitarian Communist nation, and there fore Foxcomm is owned by the party. If someone knows they have spoken out against "The Party" they, and their families, will be silenced. The "Undercover" inspection mentioned earlier is really the only way to do it.
28. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
its not going to happen though, gallito. Its not america. If they speak up, they will be fired, jailed, and things will happen to their family. Socialism/communism is just so wonderful.. yay.
22. tluv00 (Posts: 134; Member since: 18 Oct 2007)
This should have been done almost immediately as opposed to giving them a date and time to make sure they had the plant cleaned up, the rowdy employees sequestered and a script for everyone created. Thre is a specific reason why random checks (drug, inspections etc) work. It's because everyday could be an inspection day and a day to have your company shut down. This is smoke and mirrors.
24. tluv00 (Posts: 134; Member since: 18 Oct 2007)
Oh......and how is it Tim Cook's job to get them their in the first place? Sounds a little fishy to me. Apple is way too involved in this.
29. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
yes, Tim Cook's job while SJ was alive was to control all the manufacturing/labor contracts. The fox is watching the henhouse and trying to convince the farmer he is innocent while feathers hang from his mouth.
26. hutty24 (Posts: 84; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
They new what was happening why else would they have the is**ts made there tons of newly freed slaves lookig for jobs where to much like the Romans pissed that the slaves have all the jobs and the rich have all the money