Apple has been addressing concerns over labor practices in its suppliers overseas factories. One of the areas of concern was excessive work hours and Apple has made significgant progress in the last few months in that area. In February, there was an 89% compliance rate with the 60-hour work week that is part of Apple’s suppliers code-of-conduct. One month later, Apple claimed that the compliance rate was up to 95%.
Chinese Workers on an Apple manufacturing line
Reducing excessive overtime was identified as a top priority for Apple’s Supplier Responsibility program for 2012. Apple began collecting data on a weekly basis in January on the more than 500,000 people working at 110 facilities of Apple’s suppliers.
The improvement has encourage Apple to expand the program and it now covers more suppliers and 800,000 workers. This broader group had a 91% compliance rate in March, slightly less than the original group of workers covered in the monitoring program. Both numbers are still up from the 89 percent compliance rate in February.
There are other supplier responsibility issues that Apple is addressing, including ending indentured migrant labor, preventing underage labor, prohibiting discriminatory policies, and sourcing conflict-free materials. The excessive overtime issue is the first to have results reported by the company.