FLA: Foxconn Worker Conditions Improving PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:20

WASHINGTON – The Fair Labor Association today published an update asserting efforts by Foxconn to meet state and customer labor rules are improving but not fully compliant.

Foxconn began to implement the 15-month action plan following the non-governmental organization's original investigation of three facilities in early 2012.

Per FLA's January review, Foxconn was in compliance with 98.3% of the 360 action items the EMS and its primary customer, Apple, agreed to following the FLA’s original investigation. Of the 76 items scheduled for completion through Dec. 31, 2012, Foxconn had completed all planned actions. Six items related to hours of work, slated for July 2013, remain to be completed.

Assessors also found that Foxconn management had made progress in reducing hours of work to 60 hr. per week, including overtime, bringing Foxconn into compliance with the FLA code standard. However, based on Apple’s supplier code and Chinese law, Foxconn is still falling short. Apple's internal rule is 60 hr. a week maximum, while China law calls for 40 hr. per week plus 36 hr. of overtime per month. The companies said they would be in compliance by July.

Assessors found that workers at the Longhua and Chengdu facilities worked between 40 and 60 hr. during every week of the period under review; the same was true in the Guanlan facility, with the exception of two weeks in Sept. and one in Oct., where working hours were between 40 and 70 hr. per week.

Independent assessors returned to the three Foxconn facilities from Jan. 15 to Jan. to conduct visual observations, review records and documentation, and interview workers and management. Assessors found there had been increases in the participation of workers in union committees, and a decline in management participation, since the first verification visit in June 2012. The factories employ a total of 178,000 workers.

The percentage of worker representatives in the main union committees increased to 38.7% in Guanlan from 0% in June 2012; to 40.9% in Longhua from 10.3%, and to 29.5% in Chengdu from 7.1%, says FLA.

The next elections are scheduled for Jan. 2015 in Guanlan and Longhua, and for Mar. 2014 in Chengdu.

FLA assessors found that no interns had been engaged at the Chengdu facility since Sept. 2011, or at Longhua since June 2012. The internship program at Guanlan – which had employed 1,392 interns – concluded on Jan. 5. All of the planned actions related to the internship program during this time period had been completed.

Several new issues were identified, representing risks of noncompliance if not promptly addressed. These included items such as insufficient lighting at some workstations and high noise level in some areas. The FLA has forwarded the items and recommendations to Apple, which is developing a plan and addressing these items.

 

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