Responding to new reports that it has failed to live up to certain Chinese trade laws and industry standards, Foxconn has promised to sharply reduce working hours for its employees while increasing their wages.
The Fair Labor Association (via The New York Times) reports that the manufacturer, which produces products for virtually every major electronics company, including Apple and Dell, says that by July of next year it will no longer have any workers laboring more than 49 hours per weekâ€” the legal limit in China.
An independent watchdog group, the FLA was hired by Apple to inspect Foxconn's factories last month. It found that workers there regularly worked more than 60 hours per week, sometimes for up to 11 days in a row.
In its investigation, the FLA surveyed more than 35,000 workers and had unprecedented access to the three of Foxconn's major factories where Apple products are produced.
Though Foxconn will reduce its worker hours, it will rais wages to keep salaries at their current rate. The Times points out that these changes could end up costing the company hundreds of millions of dollars, which could then end up passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices for gadgets.
Foxconn is China's single largest company (withover 1.2 million employees) and largest exporter of goods. Changes in labor standards at the company are likely to have ripple effects throughout the region.