Apple Says Fair Labor Association Began Inspections at Foxconn

Posted: februar 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Apple Inc. said the Fair Labor Association started audits of supplier Foxconn Technology Group’s factories in China, the first inspections of a larger effort to respond to criticism of conditions of workers making its gadgets.

The iPhone maker became the first technology company to join Washington-based Fair Labor Association in January. Labor- rights inspectors started yesterday at a Shenzhen, China, plant known as Foxconn City, Apple said in a statement.

Apple came under scrutiny from human-rights groups after workers at Chinese factories owned by Taiwan-based Foxconn, its largest supplier, committed suicide. Besides joining the labor association last month, Apple released a list of its suppliers for the first time and disclosed instances of rights violations by some manufacturers.

As part of its assessment, the Fair Labor Association will interview thousands of employees about working and living conditions including health and safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management, Cupertino, California- based Apple said in its statement.

At Apple’s request, the group will also inspect Foxconn factories in Chengdu, China. Similar audits will be conducted at Quanta Computer Inc. and Pegatron Corp. plants later this year, the company said.

Protesters who wanted Apple to develop a worker-protection strategy that prevents abuse at facilities where its products are made presented the company with petitions signed by more than 250,000 people last week.

IPads Seized

In addition to criticism about workers’ conditions, Apple is grappling with a dispute that has led some iPads to be removed from shelves. The Associated Press reported that authorities seized iPads from retailers in a city in northern China because a domestic company claims to own the iPad name.

Apple climbed 1.9 percent to $502.60 at the close in New York yesterday — the first time the stock rallied above $500 — after a two-week gain spurred by the iPad maker’s first-quarter earnings report.

The Fair Labor Association was set up in 1999 to monitor workplace environments globally in an initiative by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and its participants include Nike Inc. and Nestle SA.

–With assistance from Adam Satariano in San Francisco. Editors: Cecile Daurat, Ville Heiskanen

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Perlberg in New York at hperlberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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