Apple on Thursday promised to work directly with Chinese manufacturer Foxconn to better factory and ultimately worker conditions at plants that build Apple’s iPads, iPhones and other products.
Foxconn is China’s largest private-sector employer and the company has been found to be breaking labor laws, having workers average more than 60 hours per week during the company’s biggest production times.
Under a new plan workers will be pushed back to 49 hours per week but will continue to earn 60 hour wages, the company will also hire tens of thousands of new workers in order to make up for lost worker hours.
Foxconn will also work to bolster workplace safety by implementing new practices, while also improving employee housing which is use by most of the company’s workforce.
The head of the Fair Labor Association tells Reuters that the new setup will influence the entire industry. According to that analyst:
“Apple and Foxconn are obviously the two biggest players” and they “set the bar for the rest of the sector.”
The move by Apple will also mean higher costs for other companies that do business with Foxconn, firms that include Amazon, Dell and Hewlett-Packard among various others.
With Foxconn raising employee salaries per hour its expected that consumer prices will also see slightly higher pricing to make up for higher manufacturing costs.
The move to increase worker rights and benefits has been a long road for Foxconn where many employees are known to have committed suicide over the working conditions they faced during a typical work day.