Following ongoing public outcry and organized protests at Apple stores last week, Apple has announced that an organization called the Fair Labor Association is conducting independent assessments of worker conditions inside the factories of Foxconn, its manufacturing partner in China.

The FLA audit began this morning in Shenzen’s “Foxconn City.” In the inspections, FLA representatives will interview thousands of factory employees about their living and working conditions, delving into topics such as compensation, health and safety, working hours, and the workers’ communication with management. The results of the inspections will be posted on the FLA’s website in early March.

“We were hoping for a quick response, but I don’t know if we were actually expecting such a fast response from Apple,” said Sarah Ryan, a human rights organizer at Change.org, one of two groups that orchestrated last week’s protests at Apple stores. “It’s especially exciting that these audits are going to be transparent and public.”

The FLA said the audits will be conducted by “a team of labor experts” composed of FLA staff and representatives from two accredited service providers, Openview and INFACT. They’ll be visiting another Foxconn facility in Chengdu, China in the coming weeks. Read More

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