Second round of verification assessments finds continued improvement in compliance
Washington, D.C. – An update published today by the Fair Labor Association outlines ongoing efforts by Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn, to implement the 15-month action plan developed following FLA’s original investigation of three facilities in early 2012. This verification reviewed items scheduled for completion through December 31, 2012, finding that Foxconn had completed all planned actions. Six items related to hours of work, slated for July 2013, remain to be completed.
Independent assessors engaged by FLA returned to the three Foxconn facilities from January 15 to January 25, 2013, to conduct visual observations, review records and documentation, and interview workers and management. Assessors found that there had been notable increases in the participation of workers in union committees, and a corresponding decline in management participation in such committees since the first verification visit in June 2012.
“The increase of worker representatives in Foxconn’s union committees is encouraging,” said Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the FLA. “When FLA first visited Foxconn last year, the union committees – like those at most other factories in China – were dominated by management. By this time next year, we expect worker participation to be even higher.”
The percentage of worker representatives in the main union committees increased to 38.7 percent in Guanlan from 0 percent in June 2012; to 40.9 percent in Longhua from 10.3 percent; and to 29.5 percent in Chengdu from 7.1 percent. The next elections are scheduled for January 2015 in Guanlan and Longhua, and for March 2014 in Chengdu.
Assessors also found that Foxconn management had made significant progress in reducing hours of work to 60 hours per week including overtime, bringing Foxconn into compliance with the FLA code standard. The company continues working toward the goal of reaching full compliance with the Chinese legal limit by July 2013. Assessors found that workers at the Longhua and Chengdu facilities worked between 40 and 60 hours during every week of the period under review; the same was true in the Guanlan facility, with the exception of two weeks in September and one in October, where working hours were between 40 and 70 hours per week.
FLA assessors found that no interns had been engaged at the Chengdu facility since September 2011, or at Longhua since June 2012. The internship program at Guanlan – which had employed 1,392 interns – concluded on January 5. All of the planned actions related to the internship program during this time period had been completed.
Several new issues were also identified, which represented 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 in the ongoing implementation of its obligations as an FLA-affiliated Participating Company.
Detailed status updates on each item from the original action plans for the three factories can be found at www.fairlabor.org/report/2013-foxconn-remediation-verification. FLA will continue to monitor progress at these factories and will report results at www.fairlabor.org.
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.