356 of 360 action items completed on or ahead of schedule; working hours remains a challenge
Washington, D.C. – The Fair Labor Association (FLA) today published its final status report verifying the implementation of action items following assessments conducted by the FLA at three facilities of Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn. The final verification reviewed action items slated for completion from January through June of 2013, finding that while Foxconn did significantly reduce working hours, four of the six pending items related to hours of work had not been completed. The assessment found that while Foxconn is largely complying with the FLA 60-hour/week Code standard, it did not meet its target of full compliance with the Chinese legal limit of 36 hours of overtime per month by July 1, 2013.
Independent labor monitoring organizations engaged by the FLA returned to the three Foxconn facilities for the verification between October 28 and November 8, 2013, to conduct visual observations, review records and documentation, and interview workers and management. This was the third and final verification of the robust 15-month action plan Apple and Foxconn created in response to the findings from FLA’s full body scan of working conditions and compliance with Chinese labor laws at three Foxconn facilities in Longhua, Guanlan and Chengdu in the first quarter of 2012. Foxconn management provided full cooperation and unrestricted access to the facilities and workers throughout the verification process.
“Foxconn’s compliance with the FLA working hours standard is a significant step in the right direction,” said Auret van Heerden, President & CEO of the Fair Labor Association. “FLA’s expectation is that Apple, working with Foxconn, will continue to rigorously monitor working hours to ensure that they comply with the FLA standard of 60 hours per week but also make progress toward the Chinese legal limit of 49 hours per week. We welcome Foxconn’s commitment to continue working toward achieving its target.”
FLA assessors verified that workers at the Longhua and Chengdu facilities worked no more than 60 hours every week between March and October; the same was true in the Guanlan facility with the exception of seven weeks during this period when working hours exceeded 60 hours. The assessment found that between March and October 2013, on average more than half of the workforce had worked beyond the Chinese legal limit of 36 overtime hours per month in all three facilities.
FLA assessors found that no interns had been engaged at any of the three facilities since the January 2013 verification visits and that the internship programs had been concluded at all three facilities. Assessors also verified that construction of additional exits and toilets was underway at the three facilities, with completion slated for the end of the year.
As part of its obligations as an affiliated Participating Company, Apple is required to continue monitoring labor compliance at Foxconn and its other suppliers and to report on its monitoring efforts to the FLA on an annual basis.
Detailed status updates on each item from the action plans for the three factories can be found at http://www.fairlabor.org/report/final-foxconn-verification-status-report. The FLA Workplace Code of Conduct is available at http://www.fairlabor.org/our-work/labor-standards.
About the Fair Labor Association: The FLA combines the efforts of socially responsible companies, civil society organizations and colleges and universities to protect workers’ rights and improve working conditions worldwide by promoting adherence to international labor standards. The FLA holds companies accountable for monitoring their own supply chains and conducts independent assessments to ensure that the FLA Code of Conduct is upheld. The FLA also acts on and resolves third party complaints and special investigations about workers’ rights abuses at specific factories. Through public reporting, the FLA provides consumers with credible information to make responsible buying decisions. FLA is governed by a 19-member Board of Directors that includes an independent Chair and eighteen members equally representing leading universities, labor and human rights organizations, and companies. For more information, visit www.fairlabor.org.