Apple recently requested that the Fair Labor Association conduct audits of its assembly suppliers, with Foxconn being a focus due to recent media attention surrounding the working conditions there. The FLA has now indicated that general conditions within Foxconn's iPad and iPhone production facilities have better overall ratings than most other assembly vendors in the business.
“The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm,” said FLA president Auret van Heerden. He spent the past several days visiting Foxconn plants to prepare for the study. “I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory. So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It’s more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps.”
Additional FLA staff members plan to visit more of these factories run by other Apple suppliers, like Pegatron. Whether you're of the opinion that Apple is taking the brunt of the negativity here when many other technology companies use the same vendors for their own products, or that Apple's position in the industry comes with added responsibility, it's at least good to know the FLA is taking quick action in their investigation and seeing mostly positive results thus far.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously gone on record stating that Apple "cares about every worker in their worldwide supply chain", and added emphasis on the matter during a speech held at a Goldman Sachs conference yesterday saying they will be a leader in improving working conditions regardless of the investigation's outcome.