After enduring weeks of criticism over the working conditions at the Chinese assembly plants, Apple will submit to special audits conducted by the Fair Labor Association. The audit will include the embattled Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu.
According to the press release from Apple, the FLA's investigation will cover the facilities where 90 per cent of Apple products are assembled. After assessing the conditions, the FLA will provide Apple with recommendations. Here's how the audits will go down:
As part of its independent assessment, the FLA will interview thousands of employees about working and living conditions including health and safety, compensation, working hours and communication with management. The FLA's team will inspect manufacturing areas, dormitories and other facilities, and will conduct an extensive review of documents related to procedures at all stages of employment.
While that sounds very thorough, it's important to note that these audits might just be meaningless gestures taken in the face of public scrutiny. Apple notes that it has conducted more than 500 audits of its own facilities since 2006, including 40 audits at Foxconn plants. We'll see if the watchful eye of an outside organisation makes a difference. [Apple]