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Australian Times

Business

Apple Discovers Illegal Activities of Supplier

April 1, 2012 by Ben Collins in Business


Tech giant Apple has always been diligent in ensuring that its suppliers maintain the highest standards.  Foxconn, Apple’s preferred manufacturer of the iPhone and iPad, has been discovered to require its employees to work for more than 60 hours per week.

Apple’s audit was conducted by Fair Labour Association, a non-profit organization that audits overseas suppliers and ensures that good working practices are implemented. FLA usually caters to fashion and apparel companies. Apple is the first tech company to join the organization.

Foxconn’s work practice is in direct violation of Chinese laws. The audit also found that the factories run by Foxconn also extend operations to overtime in an effort to make more money.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the official company name of Foxconn, has made a commitment to reduce working hours to a maximum of 49 hours a week. Hon Hai also agreed to increase workers’ hourly salaries despite the reduction of work hours.

This is not the first time that Foxconn figured in controversy. Last year, the factories had an incidence of seven deaths and nine suicide attempts. More than 350 of its workers also threatened to commit mass suicide after Foxconn rejected their proposal for a salary increase.

FLA chief executive officer Auret van Heerden said that it’s a common practice for employees in developing countries to work overtime because this brings in more money. Many workers don’t see it as inhuman and instead, appreciate the opportunity to have steady income.

FLA said that workers in the Foxconn factories earn from US$347 to US$437 monthly.

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@bmcollins
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