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Foxconn improving conditions for workers

Apple manufacturer ahead of schedule in introducing better conditions

Apple had faced protests over conditions for workers at Foxconn.
Apple had faced protests over conditions for workers at Foxconn.

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is ahead of schedule in improving conditions for workers at plants in China.

The company has made improvements to working hours and conditions at three plants, according to the US-based Fair Labor Association (FLA).

Apple asked the FLA to inspect the plants after complaints about working conditions at Foxconn, the largest Apple manufacturing partner. The FLA carried out initial assessments in February this year, at three factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, that employ 178,000 people. The FLA and Foxconn agreed on a 360 action item remedial plan, with a July 1st 2013 deadline.

In follow up assessments, the FLA said that Foxconn is ahead of schedule in making improvements in a number of areas. Foxconn has made physical changes to improve health and safety, changes to equipment to help reduce repetitive stress injuries, and to provide health and safety training for employees.

Working hours have been reduced to 60 per week including overtime, with the goal of reaching full compliance with the Chinese legal limit of 40 hours per week plus an average of 9 hours of overtime per week while protecting worker pay.

Foxconn also helped to extend unemployment insurance coverage for migrant workers working in Shenzhen by advocating for legislation that will allow them to access the unemployment insurance scheme, effective January 1, 2013.

Intern programs have also been overhauled to ensure that student interns do not work overtime and that their employment is more directly related to their field of study; and they understand that they are free to terminate the internship if and when they wish.