Apple Now Tracking 1 Million Supply Chain Workers

Cupertino now follows weekly supplier data for over a million employees overseas

By on December 19th, 2012 09:37 GMT

Apple has updated its Supplier Responsibility report to update the number of the employees it tracks working hours for. The company’s top supplier, Foxconn Electronics, recently made new headlines regarding the same poor working conditions at its factories in China.

As Foxconn faces scrutiny from the media yet again, Apple has included a minor update in its Supplier Responsibility report citing new numbers for the employees it tracks at its overseas suppliers.

“Ending the industry practice of excessive overtime is a top priority for Apple in 2012,” the company says.

“Our approach to reducing excessive working hours has evolved over the years from a small seed program into a comprehensive approach that interlinks training, management consultation, integration with procurement decisions, and verification of work-hour practices and systems,” Apple notes.

According to the updated documentation, Apple is now keeping track of a million workers at its suppliers, most of which are employed by Foxconn Electronics, a division of Hon Hai Precision Industry, in China.

“Going deep into our supply chain, we now follow weekly supplier data for over 1,000,000 workers,” Apple confirms.

The Mac maker adds, “In November 88 percent of workweeks were less than the 60-hour maximum specified in Apple’s code of conduct.”

“In limited peak periods, we allow work beyond the 60 hour limit for those employees that volunteer to do so,” the Supplier Responsibility report reads.

Although Foxconn also has kind words to say about its efforts to upgrade working conditions at its iPhone and iPad factories, a recent disclosure made by undercover reporters at one of the company’s plants reveals a different reality.

Workers are forced to live in unfinished buildings which present safety hazards, while students have been threatened by their school administrators that they wouldn’t receive diplomas if they didn’t take up a job with the electronics assembler.

The rules regarding weekly and monthly work hours were also reportedly violated.

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