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Ahead of report, FLA chief says Foxconn has 'tons of issues'

The Fair Labor Association's full report on working conditions at Foxconn factories is due next month, but its CEO says the group has already spotted trouble.

A worker at one of Apple's supplier plants
A worker at one of Apple's supplier plants

Though a full report from the Fair Labor Association's audit of Foxconn isn't expected till next month, the group's head says the FLA has already found "tons of issues."

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, FLA Chief Executive Auret van Heerden told the outlet that the group had found "tons of issues," and that "I believe we're going to see some very significant announcements in the near future."

What those issues are were not disclosed by van Heerden, Bloomberg reported.

The remarks come just a few days after van Heerden described early impressions of the company's facilities as "first class," with physical conditions that were "way, way above average of the norm." The comments, which came out of an interview with Reuters, incensed at least one activist group, which lambasted van Heerden for issuing an assessment ahead of the group's official report.

The FLA is currently investigating assembly factories at Foxconn, with plans to visit Quanta and Pegatron in the coming months at the special request of Apple. Last month Apple joined the FLA as a member, announcing plans to work with the organization to compile reports of conditions at factories operated by its manufacturing partners.

Weeks after a series of stories highlighting the working conditions at these partner businesses came to light, Apple restated its commitment to worker well-being with a statement from CEO Tim Cook saying that "workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment" and that Apple had asked the FLA to conduct an immediate, special audit of these facilities, where more than 90 percent of the company's products are produced.

Earlier today, Foxconn announced it had once again raised salaries of its assembly-line workers in its main factory in Shenzhen, China. That pay raise is between 16 percent to 25 percent, and is based on performance, Reuters reported earlier today.

The FLA's full report on these particular Foxconn facilities is due sometime next month, with reports on Quanta and Pegatron to follow.