updated 01:31 pm EST, Thu December 12, 2013
Excessive overtime remains unresolved
A report issued by the advocacy group Fair Labor Association has praised Foxconn for continuing to improve working conditions. An audit reportedly found that three of Foxconn's factories in Longhua, Chengdu and Guanlan, each tasked with assembling iPhones and other Apple devices, have satisfied nearly all of the goals that were outlined last year in a reform plan.
"We are proud of the progress we have made together with the FLA and Foxconn," Apple said in a statement, as quoted by The Associated Press. "Our suppliers must live up to the toughest standards in the industry if they want to keep doing business with Apple."
Apple early last year became the first tech company to join the FLA, after the company faced strong criticism over perceived inaction in resolving issues at its Chinese suppliers. The move followed a dozen suicides at Foxconn plants, along with an explosion at an iPad assembly line that killed three works and injured 70.
Despite the positive tone of the FLA's latest report, the group cautions that the factories have yet to effectively reduce excessive working hours. Over half of the 170,000 workers at Foxconn's factories are claimed to exceed the Chinese government's overtime limits, though the company did bring workers' clock time to below 60 hours per week in two factories.
The death of a 15-year-old worker from a Pegatron facility has brought fresh criticism of Apple's overseas suppliers, however the companies maintain that several recent deaths are unrelated to working conditions at the factory.