The Fair Labor Association will conduct special voluntary audits of Apple’s final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, at Apple’s request.
A team of labour rights experts led by FLA president Auret van Heerden began the first inspections on Monday at the facility in Shenzhen known as Foxconn City.
The FLA will interview thousands of employees about working and living conditions including health and safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management. The 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 chief Tim Cook said: “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”
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 percent of Apple products are assembled.
Apple said it had audited every final assembly factory in its supply chain each year since 2006, including more than 40 audits of Foxconn manufacturing and final assembly facilities. It has made details of its supplier responsibility program available on its web site.