Apple cuts ties with supplier over labour violations

Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics kicked out of supply chain, Foxconn is on course to meet FLA requirements

Apple has terminated its relationship with a key supplier in China for failing to comply with its regulations on excessive overtime and under-age labour.

The company's 2012 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report found 74 separate transgressions last year for Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics, leading to the company's expulsion from Apple's supply partners. The recruitment company Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources was also implicated, for supplying the under-age workers and, in some cases, helping families to forge age verification documents.

This is an indication of Apple's commitment to improving working conditions in the huge factories - many of which are in China - that produce its hardware. In January last year, Apple joined the Fair Labour Association (FLA), largely due to the findings of its 2011 Supplier Responsibility Report. The FLA now conducts its own, independent audits on behalf of Apple.

In the past, Foxconn has been the principle source of controversy, due to a series of accidents, riots and suicides at its factories. However, this year's report indicates that Foxconn is on course to meet the FLA's standards by the deadline of July 1 this year.

Apple now tracks the working hours of more than 1 million workers in its supply chain, and last year found 92 per cent compliance to a maximum 60-hour working week. The company conducted 393 audits in 2012, a year-on-year increase of 72 per cent. That total included 55 environmental audits, 40 process safety assessments, and 27 bonded labour audits.

Thanks, The Verge.

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