Fair Labor Association begins inspections of Foxconn at Apple’s request

Apple today announced that the Fair Labor Association will conduct special voluntary audits of Apple’s final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple’s request. A team of labor rights experts led by FLA president Auret van Heerden began the first inspections Monday morning at the facility in Shenzhen known as Foxconn City.

“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”

As part of its independent assessment, the FLA will interview thousands of employees about working and living conditions including health and safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management. The FLA’s team will inspect manufacturing areas, dormitories and other facilities, and will conduct an extensive review of documents related to procedures at all stages of employment.

Apple’s suppliers have pledged full cooperation with the FLA, offering unrestricted access to their operations. The FLA’s findings and recommendations from the first assessments will be posted in early March on its website, www.fairlabor.org. Similar inspections will be conducted at Quanta and Pegatron facilities later this Spring, and when completed, the FLA’s assessment will cover facilities where more than 90 percent of Apple products are assembled.

Apple has audited every final assembly factory in its supply chain each year since 2006, including more than 40 audits of Foxconn manufacturing and final assembly facilities. Details of Apple’s supplier responsibility program, including the results of more than 500 factory audits led by Apple throughout its supply chain over the past five years, are available at www.apple.com/supplierresponsibility.

Source: Apple Inc.


  1. Hopefully, this will end this merit less attack on Apple’s reputation. Apple is a class act and Tim Cook is a class guy. I am sure that the independent audit will verify what we already knew…. Labor conditions at Apple’s suppliers meet or exceed tha FLA guidelines.

    1. “merit less attack”

      I understand your frustration. But even if it’s too easy to attack Apple I think we should not lower the pressure.
      This is not for the sake of bashing them but rather for the better. Apple, and us, should contribute the best we can.
      Apple is already an example to follow when it comes to innovation. What if it was the same for ethics?
      They have a responsibility as Foxconn partners and as the most valued company on earth.
      We, consumers, too. So as an iPhone/iPad/iMac owner I want more from Tim Cook than politically correct answers.

      Yes, Apple could really become better after Jobs…

        1. When you’re the leader you get the heat. Comes with the territory now that Apple for the first time in its history is dominating the world and is by far the most valuable company. Time for the company to step up. Good for them.

    2. While I also believe Apple’s the best of the bunch (i.e. like politics, the least worst of the lot), it doesn’t hurt to prove it. Hopefully some of these are surprise audits, and worker interviews are conducted off-site so they feel they can speak more freely… though the authoritarian nature of China and traditional lack of desire to question or criticize authority may still hinder this.

  2. Remember when Steve Jobs launched the iTunes Store and said Stealing is Bad Karma in reference to file sharing? Well, abusive labor practices and wages are nothing more than stealing from the workers who make the products Apple sells.

    Apple is without excuse and has more than enough money to set up their own factories that have fair wages, benefits and working conditions. They have been under the gun with customers and investors for the slave labor in China for years now- non-performance and lip service that they would not tolerate from an employee.

    1. “Progressive”, eh? I hope this means you like Yes or King Crimson.

      Apple is without excuse and has more than enough money to set up their own factories that have fair wages, benefits and working conditions.

      It’s pretty clear you have little to no idea of how the global economy actually works.

      I don’t mind holding Apple’s feet to the fire on this – what I do object to, though, is the suspiciously exclusive focus on Apple from commenters like you. If your true goal is to actually improve things for workers in China, then we need to hold *everyone’s* feet to the fire on this stuff – not just Apple – in order to make a real difference in the real world.

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