Apple releases an annual report on labour conditions at its manufacturing companies the world over, but this year, they did something different. According to Mashable, in response to growing sensitivity to working conditions in plants like Foxconn where production is outsourced, Apple released their list of suppliers of 2011, as well. The annual report does show that working conditions are moving towards the better, where Apple has been tracking the working hours put in by the labourers. And, in units where labourers were commonly found working for more than 60 hours a week, consultants were hired to work with the factory. In addition, Apple has mandated that factories not discriminate hiring of employees based on health factors like Hepatitis B or pregnancy at factories where such tests were being conducted. There were also 6 active cases of underage employment.
Apple finds violations at supplier factories and initiates action
In 2011, 38 percent of factories complied with Apple's labour standards as opposed to 32 percent in 2010. However, the report shows that pay deductions were used as a punishment and laws regulating overtime pay were neglected. In some factories, payment was indefinitely delayed and payslips weren't given. In response to the aluminium fueled explosions that took place at the factories, Apple has enforced new methods of handling combustable dust, by making sure that there is continuous airflow and ventilation testing, more prevalence of fire extinguishers and more thorough inspections of ductwork.
Apple also joined the Fair Labor Organization, a non-profit which was started by Nike to ensure fair working conditions around the world. To read the full annual report on labour conditions, click here.