With great investment come higher standards. That’s what seems to happen in Apple’s Foxconn Chinese factories. Following intense scrutiny, Apple’s Foxconn has better factory conditions and is reported to continue progress.
Reducing employee overtime work, making time for ergonomic brakes and improving safety procedures just became part of the vocabulary at Apple’s Foxconn supplier. Officials with Foxconn announced the above are just part of the work improvements in its three Chinese factories.
And the voice of the people speaks for itself. “There’s been an improvement in the past six months… It’s a bit more comfortable with shorter work days,” said Foxconn worker Liu Xiaoguan.
According to Foxconn management, the labor improvements will continue down the line. In fact, the company promises the new standards in production lines will become guidelines for other manufacturing factories around the world too.
“Our hope is that our efforts will not only benefit Foxconn, but that they will also serve as a model for other companies and help improve working conditions for the manufacturing industry throughout China” reads a statement from Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn’s CEO.
But some workers say better factory conditions and improved work standards have a negative side too. Even if the working conditions are better, some workers are complaining that now they have to take the workload of 66 hours a week in only 60 hours, for litterer cash.
Auret van Heerden, president and CEO of the FLA is aware of the trend. “We are picking up concerns now on the microblogs about what’s likely to happen as hours gets changed, and whether income will be shaved as well” said Auret van Heerden. For many of the workers moving to Shenzhen, making “as much money as they can in as short a period as they can” means overtime, which was often unpaid.
Before the changes, The FLA (Fair Labor Association) in which Apple is a member, released a report that showed quite a lot of controversial things happening in the Foxconn factories. Among the fouls there were many hours worked overtime that remained unpaid as well as a variety of faulty health safety regulations.