Yesterday the Fair Labor Association (FLA) released a report that noted Apple supplier Foxconn has successfully completed a bunch of actions seen to improve working conditions for its employees:
This verification reviewed items slated for April and May, finding that Foxconn has completed all of the 195 actions that were due. In addition, 89 action items were completed ahead of their deadlines. The remaining 76 items are due over the course of the next year.
Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the Fair Labor Association, had this to say:
“Our verification shows that the necessary changes, including immediate health and safety measures, have been made. We are satisfied that Apple has done its due diligence thus far to hold Foxconn accountable for complying with the action plan, including the commitment to reform its internship program,”
The FLA verification noted Foxconn made numerous healthy and safety implementations, such as enforcing ergonomic breaks, redesigning worker equipment to prevent repetitive stress injuries, updated maintenance policies for equipment, further tested emergency protective equipment such as eyewashes and sprinklers, plus hired consultants to further implement health and safety training for workers.
In response, Apple spokesperson Steve Dowling noted to Bloomberg “We’ve been making steady progress in reducing excessive work hours throughout our supply chain,.”
Van Heerden goes on to note:
“The verification confirmed that Apple and Foxconn are ahead of schedule in improving the conditions under which some of the world’s most popular electronics are being made,” said van Heerden. “Apple and Foxconn’s progress since the March assessment, combined with the additional actions planned through July 2013, would create the roadmap for all Chinese suppliers in the tech industry.”
Looks like the microscope Apple and Foxconn are under is now putting pressure on other tech giants like Samsung and Microsoft, notes a report by Bloomberg:
“The pressure is definitely going to be on other companies, including Samsung and other U.S. brand names,” said Alberto Moel, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “Samsung may be resistant, while companies such as Microsoft are likely to be more pragmatic and proactive in opening up.”
China Labor Watch, based in New York, accused a Samsung supply chain in China of hiring underage workers working in conditions way worse than those of Apple suppliers. Samsung responded by sending a team to HEG Electronics to investigate the claims.
This is great news for workers at Foxconn, and it appears the ripple effect of Apple’s supply chain transparency is being felt rightly so by its rivals as well.