Apple has dispatched independent inspectors into its supplies factories to check on working conditions in what is being called by Apple boss Tim Cook “unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope” when questioned about the inspections. The Fair Labor Association has begun auditing Apple’s final assembly suppliers including the Foxconn factories in China where the iPhone 5 is secretly being built.
Since the reports of employees driven to suicide due to poor working conditions in electronics factories. The pressure has been building for Apple and other tech companies for some time due to these allegations.
Apple was the first company to join the Fair Labor Association, which came following the reports of harsh working conditions and deaths in factories. It is hoped that this step by Apple will help nudge other electronics manufactures such as Samsung and Sony to follow in their footsteps. There has even been a petition demanding an ethical iPhone 5 which received thousands of signature s from concerned citizens.
Inspections were started on Monday led by FLA president Auret van Heerden. Heerden and his team of labor rights experts at the FLA are investigating all areas of the manufacturing facilities and conducting interviews of thousands of employees regarding all aspects of their working situation. This is sure to include those who are working on manufacturing the iPhone 5.
The inspections are scheduled to take place in facilities where more than 90 per cent of Apple products are made. The inspectors first findings will be posted in early March at fairlabor.org with further inspections to take place later in the year. It should be interesting to see the results, and the effects in may have on the sterling reputation of Apple, not to mention the release of the iPhone 5.