Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Plants

FLA to audit working conditions at Apple suppliers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2012 2:43 AM CST
Updated Feb 14, 2012 5:30 AM CST
Participants dressed up to represent Foxconn workers take part in a protest outside an Apple retail outlet in Hong Kong .   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Apple, facing worldwide protests over conditions for workers who make its gadgets, says it has opened up its supply chain to a level of scrutiny unprecedented in the electronics industry. An outside group, the Fair Labor Association in Washington, DC, has been asked to audit conditions at the plants where most Apple products are made, and to make its findings public starting next month.

Some labor groups cheered Apple's announcement, but others complained that Apple's chosen auditor is too closely linked to companies like Nike. "The problem with the FLA is that it lives by rules set up by the companies itself,” a spokesman for the Enough Project, a group focusing on corporate accountability, tells the New York Times. “Real transparency will transform the electronics industry. But if it’s just a whitewash, I’m not sure how much will change." (Read more Foxconn stories.)

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