Foxconn has some problems with Chinese labour law.No one was surprised that the Fair labour Association found issues at three Foxconn factories that make Apple products.
That stuff had been well documented: concerns over levels of aluminium dust; crazy hours during peak production times and so on.
The FLA issued a 13-page report today based on interviews with 35,000 randomly chosen Foxconn workers.
Forced overtime is the main issue. The FLA found that the average employee worked more than 60 hours per week and, sometimes, worked 7 days a week. The legal limit is 49 hours (and some overtime).
The audit was initiated after two explosions occurred in two factories in Chengdu.
Foxconn is making some changes to increase the safety in its factories. It has already fixed blocked exits and added protective gear. And it will let workers participate in the conversation about union structures.
Workers are also to get reasonable hours and pay.
They just have to wait 15 months, until July 2013.
Promises are one thing, action is another, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, founder of an activist group called SumOfUs told Business Insider.
“The proposed remedies in the FLA’s report could be a good step forward if implemented in an accountable and serious way – but we know that Apple made these same promises six years ago,” she says.
“Let’s be clear — this report admits that Foxconn is breaking the law on a daily basis. And it says that it’s going to take up to 15 months before Foxconn will stop breaking the law,” she adds.
Human Rights organisations are also being cautiously optimistic. “Talk is cheap,” says Human Rights First’s Meg Roggensack in a press release. “The steps needed to protect workers in Apple’s supply chain may not be.”