Apple starts audit on iPod factory claims

 

Apple Computer said Monday it has begun a thorough audit of a Chinese manufacturing plant operated by Foxconn that makes its iPod digital music players, after a newspaper report alleged Foxconn treated workers unfairly.

SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Computer Inc. said Monday it had begun a thorough audit of a Chinese manufacturing plant operated by Foxconn that makes its iPod digital music players after a newspaper report alleged Foxconn treated workers unfairly.

"Apple has begun a thorough audit of the manufacturing plant operated by Foxconn in Longhua, China," said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling.

The audit will look at "employee working and living conditions, interviews of employees and managers, compliance with overtime and wage regulations, and other areas as necessary to insure adherence to Apple's supplier code of conduct," Dowling said.

On June 11, a report in the London newspaper Mail on Sunday said that workers had to endure shifts of 15 hours per day for about $50 per month. Last week, Apple said that it was investigating the claims.

Monday was the first time Apple disclosed the details of the investigation that it had said last week was underway.

Apple has sold more than 50 million iPods since their introduction in October 2001 and they now account for nearly 50 percent of Apple's quarterly revenue.

For its part, Foxconn has denied any wrongdoing.

"Foxconn's employment practices are completely in accordance with the requirements of Shenzhen labor supervision departments and the Shenzhen Labor Supervision Bureau can come to our factory to carry out inspections," Foxconn spokeswoman Miss He was quoted on the Beijing Times' Web site June 16 as
saying.

Foxconn is the trade name for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., which counts among its customers Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and others.

Shares of Apple fell 36 cents, or less than 1 percent, to close at $57.20 on Nasdaq.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. Click for Restrictions


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