Apple, Foxconn to Overhaul Conditions
Move follows report critical of factory conditions
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 29, 2012 4:29 PM CDT
In this March 28 photo provided by Apple, CEO Tim Cook, center, visits the iPhone production line at Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park.   (AP Photo/Apple)

(Newser) – Apple and Chinese supplier Foxconn promise to boost factory conditions and wages for Foxconn's workers. Apple's announcement follows an independent investigation which found that Foxconn, which builds iPads, iPhones, and more, was breaking labor laws; workers at the company were averaging more than 60 hours per week at the busiest times. Now, employees' maximum weekly hours will be cut to 49 at the same total pay; the firm will hire tens of thousands to make up the gap in work hours.

Foxconn, the biggest private-sector employer in China, will also bolster workplace safety and expand and improve employee housing. The move by the technology giants will influence the whole sector, analysts say. "Apple and Foxconn are obviously the two biggest players" and they "set the bar for the rest of the sector," says the head of the Fair Labor Association, which conducted the investigation. That also means higher costs for other companies partnered with Foxconn, among them Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Amazon. Consumers are likely to see slightly higher prices, too, Reuters reports. Foxconn recently announced it would raise employee salaries amid criticism, some of which has turned out to be false.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Mar 30, 2012 1:36 PM CDT
It is very good that these independent investigations take place and that the news media cover this story!! I am an Apple investor, and I do not approve of some of what Apple does. If I had my way, Apple would have no manufacturing at all in China. China's human rights record is absolutely abysmal.
Mar 29, 2012 9:43 PM CDT
We need to model our workforce after China to be competitive. They are going to be working now only 49 hours per week instead of 60 and their pay is increasing 25% from the $366 per month for starting workers and $455 for seasoned workers.
Mar 29, 2012 6:05 PM CDT
This could easily go the way of how skeptical the general public is of Iran.