Apple has initiated the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to start inspections of Foxconn factories in Shenzen and Chengdu, China, as announced earlier this morning in a press release. Inspections are to begin on Monday morning in Shenzhen by teams of FLA experts.
“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 first revealed it had joined the FLA back when it released its 2012 Apple Supplier Responsibility Report, a comprehensive and transparent audit of all factories in its supply chain. Extensive reports such as articles by the New York Times and CNN have labeled the factories at Foxconn as places of harsh working conditions, in which CEO Tim Cook personally responded to.
Apple is the first technology company to be accepted to the FLA, and the process requires suppliers to adopt to stringent standards within two years. This is a great step to elevate working standards for employees in China that make Apple products.