Workers at Apple partner Foxconn have alleged that their employer transferred underage employees to other departments or did not schedule them to work overtime in order to avoid discovery during recent inspections by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) according to one non-governmental organization.
Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) project officer Debby Sze Wan Chan relayed the claims in a recent interview with “AppleInsider” (http://www.appleinsider.com). SACOM is a Hong Kong-based NGO that was formed in 2005 and has been researching labor rights violations in the electronics industry since 2007.
Chan told “AppleInsider” that she had heard from two Foxconn workers in Zhenghou last week that the manufacturer was “prepared for the inspection” by the Fair Labor Association that had been commissioned by Apple and began last week. All underage workers, between 16-17 years old, were not assigned any overtime work and some of them were even sent to other departments,” Chan reported the workers as having said.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) announced on Feb. 13 that it was beginning a study of the working conditions of Apple’s top eight suppliers in China, following reports of worker suicides, a plant explosion and slave-like conditions at one of those suppliers, Foxconn Technology Group. Auret van Heerden, president of the FLA offered no immediate conclusions on the working conditions, but he noted that boredom and alienation could have contributed to the stress that led some workers to take their own lives, says “Reuters.”
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% of Apple products are assembled.