In an industry where parts and labor need to cost as little as possible, and be put together as quickly as they physically can be, Apple is taking a brave step in getting the FLA involved. Over the past month Cupertino invited a journalist into one of the Foxconn plants to show America what conditions are like and got the Fair Labor Association to put together a report on the working environment. Although they were far from the “sweat shop” portrayal handled by the media in the past, staff still worked very long hours carrying out repetitive and monotonous tasks.
Following yesterday’s report from the Fair Labor Association, Apple has advised that staff in its manufacturing plants should work fewer hours, and shorter shifts. Foxconn and Cupertino agreed that working hours should be limited to 49 hours per week at a maximum. This figure includes overtime. But staff aren’t exactly happy about the change. Many workers are there to earn as much as they possibly can to support families. Now that they can’t work 60-70 hour weeks, it does have a negative effect on bank balances.
“We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little.”
Personally, I’m of the opinion that physical and mental health should never be sacrificed for a more comfortable wage. I couldn’t imagine working even one week at a factory like Foxconn. Hopefully, this really positive move by Apple will not only help improve the lives of its factory employees, but also set a high standard for all its competitors to match.