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MANILA, Philippines - On Wednesday, November 7, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) criticized an August report by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) regarding conditions at 3 of Foxconn’s factories in Shenzen and Chengdu.
These factories were responsible for the production of Apple’s iPhones, the demand for which is outpacing Foxconn’s ability to supply it.
The FLA investigation report published in March outlined details of problem areas in the working conditions at Foxconn that needed remedying.
CNET’s coverage of the briefing paper by the EPI outlines how the “genuine transformation” written in the verification report that followed in August was “unfounded.”
“In contrast to the FLA's glowing assessment,” states the EPI report, “improvements in working conditions at Foxconn have in most cases been modest, fleeting, or purely symbolic, while some key reform pledges have been broken outright.”
The nonprofit organization’s briefing paper said the FLA examined conditions during non-peak conditions for the factories.
According to the EPI, evidence suggested that the transformation was “not sustained as iPhone 5 production intensified.”
In addition to citing media reports of misconduct, the EPI’s paper also noted reports from Chinese media of the coercion of student interns into extending internships to let them work on iPhone 5 production processes.
The organization also called out the FLA for not noting overlooked overtime hours and backpay issues at Foxconn reportedly stemming from high turnover, poor record-keeping and poor union leadership committee representation.
The end of a report dealt a last word toward Apple rather than Foxconn.
As the EPI paper states, “The paramount issue remains whether Apple will ever choose to apply its legendary business prowess and spirit of innovation… to the goal of protecting the basic human rights of the people who make those products.” - Rappler.com
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