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Apple supplier Foxconn audited by independent group

Tech company Apple says that the Fair Labor Association will inspect manufacturing areas and dormitories at the plants.

AN INDEPENDENT nonprofit organisation which campaigns to end sweatshop conditions for workers has begun auditing Apple’s Chinese supplier Foxconn after being contacted by the tech company.

Activists have expressed concern over working conditions at the Foxconn operations in China after several employees committed suicide. As well as Apple products, Foxconn’s factories also manufacture other well-known tech items such as Kindles, Playstations, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) describes its work as a collaborative effort with companies and colleges to help organisations reach certain workplace standards. Apple joined the group last month.

The FLA’s inspection of Foxconn in Shenzhen began this morning, and the organisation will also audit the Foxconn factory in Chengdu. The organisation will inspect different areas of the facilities, including the manufacturing sections and workers’ dormitories.

Apple says that other major suppliers of its electronics will be examined in the coming months and that by the end of the auditing process, the FLA will have reviewed facilities which cover over 90 per cent of Apple product assembly.

The company said today that its suppliers “have pledged full cooperation with the FLA, offering unrestricted access to their operations”. The findings from the first assessments are expected to be released online early next month.

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