The Fair Labor Association, the group that has been performing independent assessments of Apple’s supplier facilities since 2012, today published findings from audits of Apple suppliers it carried out last year after. The reports include assessments of two Apple facilities in Shanghai and Changshu, China (here and here) that belong to Apple’s partner Quanta and also highlight a number of infractions that range from illegal recruitment policies to health and safety concerns and violations of laws related to underage employees working overtime.
The audits were previously included in Apple’s 2014 Responsibility Report with the company saying today that it has worked to improve the work conditions at the Quanta factories since. These are of course isolated events at just two of Apple’s suppliers, and Apple makes it clear in a statement (via TechCrunch) that it will cut ties with companies that don’t meet the FLA’s strict guidelines: Our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry if they want to keep doing business with Apple.
As always, FLA also makes recommendations for the company to improve the work environment at its suppliers, something Apple has increasingly made a focus in recent years. In addition to bringing the FLA on board for regular audits of its facilities that help keep its supplier partners in check, since 2012 Apple has also regularly released its own data related to suppliers in its Supplier Responsibility Reports.
Apple notes in its full statement below that it’s already been working closely with Quanta to correct the violations outlined in the assessments published today in the year since the audits were first performed.
The full statement from Apple is below:
Our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry if they want to keep doing business with Apple, which is the first and only technology company to be admitted to the Fair Labor Association. We are committed to providing safe and fair working conditions for everyone in our supply chain.
Last year we conducted 451 comprehensive, in-person audits deep into our supply chain so we could uncover problems and work with our suppliers to fix them. We track and report the weekly working hours for more than 1 million workers, and our 18-month Apple Supplier EHS Academy training program is raising the bar for environment, health and safety management in the industry.
The Quanta facilities inspected by the FLA last year were included in our 2014 Supplier Responsibility report, which we released in February. Our own experts have audited these sites 16 times, most recently last month.
In the year since the FLA’s visit, we have worked closely with Quanta to drive meaningful improvements in areas identified by both the FLA and Apple. Apple conducted four follow-up inspections on top of the annual audits of both facilities, to ensure the needed corrections are in place.
This year, through the end of July, Quanta has averaged 86 percent compliance with our 60-hour workweek. Excessive overtime is not in anyone’s best interest, and we will continue to work closely with Quanta and our other suppliers to prevent it.