Foxconn has come under fire repeatedly, fueled by several worker suicides and threats of suicides, as well as protests and its eventual installation of nets to catch employees who jump from the roof. Because of the criticism, the Chinese manufacturer – which supplies some Apple devices, among others – agreed to over 300 terms set forth by Apple after a Fair Labor Association investigation. While some things have changed, the latest report shows that employees are still being overworked.
Apple joined the Fair Labor Association in 2012 after being slammed with criticism over the working conditions at Foxconn. This prompted Apple and the Chinese company to set forth 360 items to take action on, such as things like correcting issues with a working environment that is too hot, the installation of an adequate number of fire escapes, and more. Thus far, according to a report released yesterday, Foxconn has met 98.3-percent of them.
One of the issues that is still causing grief, however, are working hours, with the report showing that employees are still being forced to work longer than allowed by Chinese labor laws. Per Apple, its suppliers are to have employees work no more than 60 hours every week. Chinese law says that 40 hours weekly is the cap, however, and that overtime can’t amount to more than 36 hours monthly. After being met with criticism, Apple and Foxconn agreed that its workers would be capped at 40 hours per week.
This hasn’t been the case, however. All three facilities had their workers clocking in up to 60 hours a week, with the spat late last year during which the iPhone was released hitting 70 hours a week. According to the Foxconn agreement, the new hour changes wouldn’t be completely implemented until July of this year, giving it a little over a month to correct the issue.
Another area of concern is unions, which have been positively impacted, showing a 20-percent increase in worker representatives over the last report. Said the Fair Labor Association’s President and CEO Auret van Heerden, “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.”
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal