Labor unions have criticized Apple's use of the FLA, insisting that audits are a "top-down" approach. Foxconn's workers would be better served, they believe, by being able to organize.
"The report will include new promises by Apple that stand to be just as empty as the ones made over the past 5 years," said SumOfUS.org, a coalition of trade unions and consumer groups, ahead of the release of the report.
The FLA found few safety violations, noting that the company had already dealt with problems like blocked fire exits and defective protective gear. It's also taken step to reduce the amount of aluminum dust in the air, after the metal created an explosion at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu last year, killing four workers.
The FLA said Foxconn has been recording only accidents that caused work stoppage but is now committing to recording and addressing all accidents that result in an injury.
Heerden said his auditors found Foxconn workers are the happiest with their jobs when they work 52 hours a week, well below the amount they often put in. Reducing their hours to 49 hours should help Foxconn retain workers in the long run, he said.
The FLA found that many workers at the Foxconn factories want to work even more overtime, so they can make more money. Foxconn told the FLA that it will raise hourly salaries to compensate workers for the reduced hours.
Heerden said that it's common to find workers in developing countries looking for more overtime, rather than less.
"They're often single, they're young, and there's not much to do, so frankly they'd just rather work and save," he said.
The auditors examined one years' worth of payroll and time records at each factory, conducted interviews with some workers and had 35,000 of them fill out anonymous surveys.
Apple has started tracking the working hours of half a million workers in its supply chain, and said that 89 percent of them worked 60 hours or less in February, even though the company was ramping up production of the new iPad. Workers averaged 48 hours per week.
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