Foxconn plant has "tonnes of issues"

After early indications that the inspection of the Foxconn operations by US labour NGO the Fair Labour Association was going to turn out to be a white wash, it turns out that group has found a lot wrong with the hardware maker’s working conditions.

Earlier last week, after two days at the plant, the FLA said that it was better than other Chinese companies which looked like the group was going to sing from the Apple hymn sheet.

FLA chief executive officer Auret van Heerden said in an interview with Reuters that Foxconn’s plants were “first class”. He said he was surprised “how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory”.

Apple allowed the FLA into the site to investigate why people were trying to exit its biggest supplier via the roof.

Now, it seems that van Heerden has changed tack and is saying that it has uncovered “tonnes of issues” that need to be addressed at a Foxconn Technology Group plant in Shenzhen, China,

Speaking to Bloomberg, Van Heerden said that he was on his way to present preliminary findings to Foxconn management.

Foxconn will have had a chance to contest or agree to steps to prevent further violations, he said.

Foxconn has said that it is cooperating fully with the audit and that it will review and act on all findings and recommendations.

Foxconn praised what was a “very professional and thorough review” and any deficiencies the FLA might find in the implementation of customer or Foxconn policies will be addressed, it promised.

Apple has commissioned the FLA to carry out smaller projects in the past two years, in order to try out some of the inspection techniques used by the group to more effectively root out workplace problems.