Apple on Monday put out a press release in which it announced that “the Fair Labor Association [FLA] 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.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “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. 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.”
Apple said that FLA will interview thousands of Foxconn employees about their working conditions, and it said its suppliers “have pledged full cooperation with the FLA.” Apple expects findings and recommendations to be posted in early March on the FLA web site.
Last month, Apple became the first tech company admitted to the FLA. It has been auditing the final assembly factories in its supply chain every year since 2006 and has the results of those posted to its web site.
A CNET story about this latest development quoted from a CNN interview with an 18-year-old Foxconn employee who said: “It’s so boring, I can’t bear it anymore. Every day is like: I get off from work and I go to bed. I get up in the morning, and I go to work. It is my daily routine and I almost feel like an animal.”