The inquiry "revealed serious and pressing noncompliances with FLA's Workplace Code of Conduct, as well as Chinese labor law" at some Foxconn facilities, and the contract manufacturer has pledged to address the problems within the next 18 months. It has also announced it would jack up wages at its China plants and bring overtime hours in line with Chinese law and Apple's requirements. Foxconn workers currently work more than 60 hours per week, in violation of Chinese law that caps the work week at 49 hours, including overtime.
I have excerpted below the violations unearthed by the FLA and its proposals for resolving these problems. Each alleged violation is followed by the FLA's "remedial action." The full report is available online: Independent Investigation of Apple Supplier, Foxconn.
During peak production, the average number of hours worked per week at Foxconn factories exceeded both the FLA Code standard and Chinese legal limits. Further, there were periods during which some employees worked more than seven days in a row without the required minimum 24-hour break.
Proposed remedy: Foxconn has agreed to achieve full legal compliance regarding work hours by July 1, 2013, while protecting workers' pay. In the next year, tens of thousands of extra workers will need to be recruited, trained and accommodated at the same time as hours worked are progressively reduced per worker.
Health and safety:
Our assessors identified numerous issues related to inconsistent policies, procedures and practices. The investigation revealed that a considerable number of workers felt generally insecure regarding their health and safety.
Proposed remedy: Foxconn has agreed to change the system by which accidents are recorded. In the past, only those accidents that caused work stoppage were recorded as accidents. Moving forward, all accidents that result in an injury will be recorded and addressed.
Industrial relations and worker integration:
Investigators found that workers were largely alienated, in fact or in perception, from factories’ safety and health committees and had little confidence in the management of health and safety issues.
Proposed remedy: Foxconn has agreed to ensure elections of worker representatives without management interference. All workers will receive a copy of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and new employees will receive information about union activities during their orientation process.
Compensation and social security insurance:
The assessors discovered that unscheduled overtime was only paid in 30-minute increments. This means, for example, that 29 minutes of overtime work results in no pay and 58 minutes results in only one unit of overtime pay. Across China, all workers must have health, accident, social security, unemployment, and maternity coverage, but the system is set up on a provincial and city basis. This means that workers who migrate from other cities or provinces can’t collect their insurance when they return home. Workers are further unmotivated to enroll because of a required co-pay into insurance programs from which they do not benefit.
Proposed remedy: Foxconn has agreed that the policy and practice relating to such situations warrants improvement; workers will be paid fairly for all overtime and work-related meetings that occur outside regular working hours. After extensive discussions, Foxconn will offer a two-track remedial strategy: to investigate alternative private options to provide unemployment insurance to migrant workers, and work with government agencies to expedite the transportability of benefits. FLA will conduct a cost of living study in Shenzhen and Chengdu to assist Foxconn in determining whether worker salaries meet FLA requirements for basic needs, as well as discretionary income.
I love the way it says "Foxconn has agreed" instead of "Foxconn actually made the changes already." LOL. They promise to be good. All things will be made better, tomorrow for sure. It is, after all, very hard to obey the law right this very minute. LOL.
"...[T]he policy and practice relating to such situations warrants improvement...." LOL.
They'll get it right by, oh, let's say July, maybe. LOL.
Reading this report sounds like coming straight from colonial period. Labor working without break, minimum wage and no safety net etc are not the way to keep the profit margins up. Foxconn will have to hire, train and deploy tens of thousands of workers to accommodate the basic necessity that should have been provided on the first place in itself. I hope more customer scrutinize their suppliers to find out whether they are buying "blood spare parts"
Corporations are unfortunately not that innocent and they always have to be regulated to avoid these kind of activities. If the regulatory monitoring is not so strong, they'l be more than happy to get away with it. What I think, the executives of the corporations should themselves realize that they owe a lot to the world being powerful and these illegal profit-increasing activities should be avoided without any regulation.
By moving to the core of the industry and offerings services that keep the system humming, a group within the electronics market has rendered irrelevant the question of ownership and control of the supply chain.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.