Labor Group Inspects Apple's China Suppliers


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Apple has allowed the Fair Labor Association to inspect work conditions of its suppliers in China, including Foxconn. In recent years, a number of suicides were reported among workers at Foxconn and critics say work conditions are poor.

The Fair Labor Association has begun an inspection of working conditions at Foxconn's plants in southern China.

Apple has agreed to let the FLA monitor conditions at the factories of its suppliers.

[Auret van Heerden, President, Fair Labor Assoc.]:
"So if Apple wants to take the easy way out, they have a whole host of options available to them. So, the fact that they joined the FLA indicates that they were really serious about raising their game."

Working conditions at Foxconn have been a constant thorn in the technology giant's side.

[Auret van Heerden, President, Fair Labor Assoc.]:
"We wanted to get away from hearsay evidence. There's so much hearsay evidence about Foxconn at the moment we really felt that given the access we have, we have the duty to paint the first rigorous statistical report of life and work at Foxconn."

The FLA believes that some workers suffered from emotional strain.

[Auret van Heerden, President, Fair Labor Assoc.]:
"It's not the intensity and the burn-out and the high-pressure cooker environment that you have in a garment factory. This is very, very different. So I think the emotional strain that some workers have suffered is not a function of that kind of pressure. It's more of a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps."

FLA staff will interview about 350,000 employees at Foxconn's three branches, including one in Chengdu City where three people were killed last year in a blast.

The surveys will examine labor conditions, including the workers' hiring process, treatment and emotional states.