Foxconn employees get 16-25% raise, factories facing new environmental audits

With working conditions in Chinese factories still making headlines, Apple manufacturer Foxconn is going to be increasing wages, and Apple is reportedly going to allow independent environmental reviews of at least 2 of their suppliers, with the potential for more to follow. USA Today:

Ma Jun, founder of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, told USA TODAY in a phone interview Monday that Apple agreed to the independent reviews in late January in response to two reports that IPE and other environmental groups released last year documenting hazardous-waste leaks and the use of toxic chemicals at suspected Apple suppliers. [...] An independent review is necessary to "make sure that (it) is done in a transparent way," said Ma, whose group has had half a dozen meetings and calls with Apple since mid-September.

Because of Apple's size and success, activists are looking to Apple to lead the way and set the standard for responsible manufacturing in China.

Foxconn, one of Apple's principle suppliers and the subject of intense media attention over the last couple of years, has also said they'll be increasing workers' wages, and reducing overtime demands. The New York Times reports:

Foxconn said that salaries for many workers would immediately jump by 16 to 25 percent, to about $400 a month, before overtime.

Foxconn also manufactures products for Dell, HP, and others.

All this follows inspections by the Fair Labor Association and a tour by ABC News Nightline.

Source: USA Today, New York Times; Image: Ym Yik/European Pressphoto Agency