Electronic Giant Vowing Reforms in China Plants

By Charles Duhigg and Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

Responding to a critical investigation of its factories, the manufacturing giant Foxconn has pledged to sharply curtail working hours and significantly increase wages inside Chinese plants making electronic products for Apple and others. The move could improve working conditions across China.

The shift comes after a far-ranging inspection by the Fair Labor Association, a monitoring group, found widespread problems — including at least 43 violations of Chinese laws and regulations, and numerous instances where Foxconn defied industry codes of conduct by having employees work more than 60 hours a week, and sometimes more than 11 days in a row. The group released a report Thursday with its findings.

The monitoring group, which surveyed more than 35,000 Foxconn employees and inspected three large facilities where Apple products are manufactured, also found that 43 percent of workers had experienced or witnessed accidents, and almost two-thirds said their compensation “does not meet their basic needs.” Many said that the unions available to them do “not provide true worker representation.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/business

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