(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- After years of complaints about poor working conditions at its supplier factories in China, Apple has announced an outside organization will be coming in to investigate the plants at the company's request.
In a statement Monday, Apple said the Fair Labor Association (FLA) will be conducting audits of its final assembly suppliers, interviewing employees about working and living conditions, and inspecting manufacturing areas, dormitories and other facilities.
“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”
Apple said the first inspections began Monday morning at a factory in Shenzhen.
The first report of the investigation will be released early next month. Audits are expected to continue through the spring.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio