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Apple Releases Report On Foxconn's China Labor Issues

Apple (AAPL) has just released a report on its investigation into Foxconn's mistreatment of Chinese workers.

In response to the allegations, Apple says it immediately dispatched an audit team comprised of members from its human resources, legal and operations groups to carry out a thorough investigation of the conditions at the Foxconn manufacturing site.

Apple says it found the supplier to be in compliance in the majority of the areas audited. However, it did find violations of Apple's Code of Conduct, as well as other areas for improvement that Apple says it is working with Foxconn to address.

The audit covered the areas of labor standards, working and living environment, compensation, overtime and worker treatment. The team interviewed over 100 randomly selected employees representing a cross-section of line workers (83%), supervisors (9%), executives (5%), and other support personnel (3%) including security guards and custodians.

Apple says they visited and inspected factory floors, dormitories, dining halls, and recreation areas. The team also reviewed thousands of documents including personnel files, payroll data, time cards, and security logs. In total, the audit spanned over 1200 person-hours and covered over one million square feet of facilities.

Apple says Foxconn's manufacturing facility supports over 200,000 employees–Apple uses less than 15% of that capacity–and the campus includes factories, employee housing, banks, a post office, a hospital, supermarkets, and a variety of recreational facilities including soccer fields, a swimming pool, TV lounges and Internet cafes. Ten cafeterias are also located throughout the campus offering a variety of menu choices such as fresh vegetables, beef, seafood, rice, poultry, and stir-fry noodles. Apple says employees have access to 13 different restaurants on campus and employees were pleased with the variety and quality of food offerings.

Apple's report shows that some of the workers at Foxconn, one of Apple's OEMs in China, indeed worked longer than the previously-stated 60 hours per week. 35% of the staff's working time exceeded the normal standards and 25% of the staff worked for a consecutive of six days or more. Apple says it found no instances of forced overtime and employees confirmed in interviews that they could decline overtime requests without penalty.

Apple says Foxconn owns and leases dormitories that are offered at no charge to employees, provided they help in cleaning common areas to maintain the facility. Workers are not required to live in these dormitories, although the majority do.

Apple says it has engaged the services of Verite, an internationally recognized leader in workplace standards, to help the company adhere to good corporate standards in the future.

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