Apple: Foxconn Violated Overtime Rules
by , 7:55 AM EDT, August 18th, 2006
Apple's investigation into allegations that Foxconn mistreated employees that build iPods found that although workers put in more that 60 hours a week, there was no evidence of forced labor. Based on Apple's Code of Conduct, employees can't work more than 60 hours in a week, or six days in a row.
The audit showed that Foxconn factory employees are making at least the local minimum wage, and many are paid above that level. The pay structure, however, proved to be overly complex and difficult to explain to employees. Foxconn has already implemented a new way of calculating the pay structure that is easier for employees to understand. It also agreed to implement new procedures that make it easier to track overtime work, and enforce work hour limits.
Apple explicitly asked every every line worker if they had been subjected to or witnessed inappropriate disciplinary punishment. Two employees stated that they had been forced to stand at attention as a punishment - an act that Apple found to be objectionable. In response, Foxconn has initiated new management and employee training to help prevent similar acts in the future.
To cover the audit areas beyond Apple's expertise, Verité has been contracted to investigate workplace health and safety. Verité will use its expertise to help ensure that employees work under safe, healthy and legal conditions.
Apple also plans to audit the working conditions at every iPod and Mac assembly facility before the end of the year.