Foxconn, the controversial manufacturer of high tech gadgets such as the iPhone had flunked an audit of working conditions at its factories.
A report from the Fair Labor Association (FLA), commissioned by Apple, has found that the company continues to force its employees to work long hours in unsafe conditions.
In response to the report, Foxconn told FLA that it would take steps to reduce work hours and improve safety conditions while also allowing employees a greater say in its policies.
“Our success will be judged by future FLA audits and the monitoring of the implementation of the remediation programme, by reviews carried out by Apple and other customers and by future employee surveys,” stated Foxconn.
“Our employees are our greatest asset and we are fully committed to ensuring that they have a safe, satisfactory and healthy working environment.”
The audit included interviews with some 35,000 workers.
The FLA found Foxconn had been breaching labour standards by forcing employees to work more than 60 hours per week. The standard is in violation of the rules of FLA, of which Apple is a member.
Foxconn has agreed to a 49-hours-a-week cap, including overtime. The company has also agreed to increase wages in order to prevent lost pay from the overtime cuts.
The company has also agreed to improve its safety policies with better accident reporting and will allow the workers' union to elect representatives without interference from management.
"The Fair Labor Association gave Apple’s largest supplier the equivalent of a full-body scan through 3,000 staff hours investigating three of its factories and surveying more than 35,000 workers," said FLA chief executive Auret van Heerden.
"Apple and its supplier Foxconn have agreed to our prescriptions, and we will verify progress and report publicly."
Though Foxconn contracts with a number of technology vendors, the company is best known for being Apple's manufacturing firm.
Earlier this week, Apple chief executive Tim Cook reportedly visited the Foxconn facilities and met with company executives.
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