BBC reports that Apple, the world’s most valuable company and maker of the world’s top selling smart phones and tablets, has accepted the recommendations of an independent US labor group’s study of working conditions at Foxconn manufacturing plants in China, which make the company’s iPhones and iPads.
The just concluded study made by the independent US Fair Labor Association, which visited Foxxconn manufacturing facilities in Zhengzhou, China on request of Apple, reported upon its return to the US that it has found significant issues among working practices at the China Apple-making plants.
The FLA told Apple executives that it has now secured agreements to reduce hours, protect workers’ wages and improve representation staff and labor representation.
Apple today said it was fully accepting the US labor group’s recommendations, even as Apple CEO Tim Cook returned from his own tour of Foxconn facilities in the China Mainland.
The company had earlier received disturbing reports of poor working conditions at the iPhone and iPad manufacturing facilities, including long hours and poor safety systems for workers.
The FLA report included findings that — at least at the Zhengzhou plants, which employ 120,000 workers, — employees worked for more than 60 hours a week, often for seven days running without the mandated days off. The Mainland China government is reportedly mandating a 49-hour week.
Other issues discovered at the China Foxconn plants included unpaid overtime work and high health- and safety-related risks for workers.
Foxconn have reportedly agreed to comply with the association’s standards on working hours by July next year.
It has been a generally accepted practice for companies in advanced countries to farm out manufacturing contracts to developing nations where manpower is readily available and labor costs are relatively cheap.