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Foxconn: iPod factories get Apple approval

Apple Computer sent a special team overseas to investigate claims of unfair work environments within the Chinese manufacturing facilities that build its iPod digital music players but has found no problems, says Foxconn, the owner of facilities.

According to a report by China CSR, Foxconn spokesperson Li Zong said the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) complicated salary structure has caused misunderstanding among the media.

The spokesperson said the company has paid its workers according to the minimum salary standards of the Shenzhen local government.

At the same time, the China CSR report —which is unclear in some of its source attributions —said the Taiwanese manufacturer is now admitting that its employees work about 80 extra hours each month, which would place it in violation of Chinese labor laws.

In China, a company is considered to have broken the law if it asks employees to work more than 36 extra hours each month, the report states.

However, Zong said Apple "sent a special team" to the site of the factories to investigate the matter, but "found no problem."

Foxconn had previously denied any claims of wrongdoing, saying it was in full compliance with Chinese labor laws.

Both Foxconn and Apple have come under scrutiny after Britain's The Mail on Sunday this month published an exclusive report based on a first-hand account from within Foxconn's factories.

The report alleged that Apple's iPods are built primary by female workers who labor 15-hour work days for as little as $50 a month. Some workers were reported to live in rooms occupied by 99 other employees and where visits from the outside world were prohibited.

Last week, Apple announced a probe into the matter.

"Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible," the company said.

Foxconn iPod Facilities

Dormitory at Foxconn's E3 factory | Image copyright Mail on Sunday.

Foxconn iPod Facilities

Military-style drills on the roof top at Foxconn | Image copyright Mail on Sunday.