Apple (AAPL) this morning said it has requested that the Fair Labor Association, a thirteen-year-old- consortium of companies, academics institutions and non-governmental organization, begin conducting “special voluntary audits of Apple’s final assembly suppliers,” including factories owned by Foxconn in Shenzhen and Chengdu in China.
The inspections were scheduled to start today, Apple said.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said the inspections were “unprecedented in the electronics industry” and that the Association would interview “thousands of employees about working a living conditions.” He said Apple’s suppliers had “pledged full cooperation.”
The announcement comes a month after Apple issued a report on how its suppliers met Apple’s “code of conduct,” and also follow a January 27th memo to Apple staff by Tim Cook in which Cook responded to a damning New York Times article on conditions in some Chinese factories serving Apple.
Apple shares this morning are up $5.82, or 1%, at $499.26.