FLA’s Audits Fail To Improve Working Conditions In Foxconn Factories

Earlier this month, Foxconn CEO announced that his company and Apple will share the initial costs to improve working conditions for their factory workers. However, a new Reuters report claims that working conditions at Foxconn’s factories have barely improved according to workers’ rights activists and employees. Earlier this year, Apple allowed the U.S.-based Fair Labor Association (FLA) to conduct an extensive audit of Foxconn’s China factories which unearthed labor violations including extreme work hours and unpaid overtime. As a result, Apple and Foxconn pledged to cut workloads, improve safety protocols and upgrade workers’  quality of life.

According to the source:

A fresh report released on Thursday by labor watchdog Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), based on visits to several Foxconn factories and 170 worker interviews, found rights violations “remain the norm” including high production targets, inhumane treatment and signs of overall salary cuts.

“The frontline management continue to impose humiliating disciplinary measures on workers,” it said.

“The above findings demonstrate that Apple and Foxconn have not turned over a new leaf,” the report added.

“I haven’t seen any real evidence of any significant changes,” said Geoffrey Crothall of China Labour Bulletin, another group which monitors Foxconn.

“At the moment they’re just tinkering around the edges and doing PR stunts … I don’t think there’s a short term fix to the situation at Foxconn. It’s too big, it’s too complicated.”

Foxconn Group is Apple’s largest global contract manufacturer run by Taiwanese tycoon Terry Gou and employs 1.2 million workers in China.