Investigation below was outlined by the press release:
FLA’s investigation found that within the last 12 months, all three factories exceeded both the FLA Code standard of 60 hours per week (regular plus overtime) and the Chinese legal limits of 40 hours per week and 36 hours maximum overtime per month. During peak production periods, the average number of hours worked per week exceeded 60 hours per worker. There were periods in which some employees worked more than seven days in a row without the required 24 hours off.
But the reality is quite different. As Apple is the first technology compay accepted by FLA after some findings about the working conditions in the supply chains abroad became mainstream. Now they want to reduce working hours for Foxconn workers for everyone in the factory, obviously this reduction will directly affects the amount of money earned at the end of the month.
More importantly, while employees will work fewer hours, Foxconn has agreed to develop a compensation package that protects workers from losing income due to reduced overtime. In order to maintain capacity while reducing workers’ hours, Foxconn committed to increase its workforce significantly as it builds additional housing and canteen capacity.
This Fair Labor Association decision resulting from yesterday' Foxconn Audit, of course, some employees are not so happy about the changes. On the other hand, Foxconn said that they will adhere to FLA's recommendations by reducing hours and attending to workers need
Some findings and issues:
- Average hours worked per week was found to be fifty-six (the legal limit is forty-nine hours a week including overtime).
- Half of the workers reported that they had worked eleven or more days in a row.
- Thirty-three percent of the workers said that they wanted to work more hours, and feared that further restrictions would lead to lower pay.
- While the factory workers make more than the minimun wage in China, sixty-four percent said that their pay was not enough to "cover basic needs."
- Minimum wage in Shenzhen is 1,500RMB per month (about $220), and the starting salary at Foxconn is 1,800RMB or $265. After a probation period the salary is raised to 2200RMB or $325 per month.
- Average reported salaries at each factory were: Chengdu, 2257RMB, Longhua, 2687RMB, and Guanlan, 2872RMB.
- Unions do exist at Foxconn, but the FLA found that membership is primarily at the managerial level, with many production line workers reporting they didn't know unions existed.
- One of the FLA's main complaints is that Foxconn pays overtime in sections of 30 minutes, meaning that if a worker completed 25 minutes of overtime, Foxconn paid them no overtime, and got that piece of labor for free.
- The FLA requests that the routine (and legal) practice of posting the names of workers facing disciplinary action on the company website and notice boards in the Guanlan factory cease immediately.
- "Young workers (16 to 17 years of age) were found working at hazardous areas, such as CNC section or in some positions that could possibly put them at risk from chemicals or expose them to physical risk factors such as aluminum dust, noise, thermal conditions and vibration."
- Resigning from a job at Foxconn is "extremely difficult," so many workers simply stop showing up, thus giving up their outstanding wages.
Apple statement to The Wall Street Journal: “We think empowering workers and helping them understand their rights is essential.”
Unfortunately Apple as a company is designed to make money and in that respect workers at Foxconn have complicated. Apple and Foxconn are commited to change their practices by 2013
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