It has been widely known Apple was the first tech company to join the Fair Labor Association, as revealed in the release of the 2012 Supplier Responsibility Report. When ABC went ‘on the ground’ in China to observe Foxconn factories, they just happened to run into the FLA while an audit was being conducted, which included surveys from a random lot of 35,000 workers.
FLA found that during some periods over the past 12 months, workers at all three facilities worked an average of more than 60 hours per week, exceeding the FLA code and Apple’s own standard. The audits found there were several months in the past year in which the majority of workers exceeded China’s legal maximum of 36 overtime hours a month.
In response, Foxconn will lower working hours to 40 per week and a maximum of 36 hours overtime per month by summer of 2013, and hire more workers to comply. Apple responded in a statement “We think empowering workers and helping them understand their rights is essential.”
However, not everyone is happy about the changes. Reuters reports some workers are upset about the reduced overtime as it will impact how much money they can make:
“We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important,” said Chen Yamei, 25, a Foxconn worker from Hunan who said she had worked at the factory for four years.
“We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little,” she added. Chen said she now earned a bit over 4,000 yuan a month ($634).
Apple CEO Tim Cook was recently in China to meet with top government officials and even made a trip to an iPhone Foxconn factory. He continues to pledge improved working conditions for workers at Apple suppliers.
What do you think of Apple’s work with the FLA to improve working conditions in China?