Apple announced today that it has asked an independent organization to conduct audits of working conditions at the Chinese factories that produce products for Apple:
Inspections started today at Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, China.
Apple said Monday that it had asked an outside organization to conduct special audits of working conditions inside Chinese factories where iPhones, iPads and other Apple products are manufactured. And in a significant about-face for the company that has the potential to affect the electronics industry, Apple asked the organization to identify particular facilities where abuses are discovered.
Apple said the group, the Fair Labor Association, started its first inspections Monday at a factory in Shenzhen, China, known as Foxconn City, one of the largest plants in China, with more than 230,000 workers. Human rights advocates have long said that Foxconn City’s employees are subjected to long hours, coerced overtime and harsh working conditions, all of which Foxconn disputes. Working conditions in Foxconn factories, including safety lapses that led to worker deaths, were the subject of an investigative article last month by The New York Times. Last week, coordinated protests of worker abuses occurred at Apple stores around the world.