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Foxconn's Apple factories start to show signs of improved working conditions

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Close to a year after publishing an explosive report alleging dangerous and unfair labor conditions at Foxconn plants in China, the New York Times has followed up — and sees some evidence that things are getting better. According to the new report, a meeting between a "high-ranking" Apple official and Foxconn's "top executives" has resulted in the Taiwanese manufacturer pledging to increase wages and reduce working hours in reforms set to go into effect next year.

Other changes include improvements to the safety and comfort of Foxconn's factories, including better chairs for workers and automatic shut-off functions for machinery. Foxconn makes products for virtually all major electronics companies, but after drawing criticism in the past year it seems Apple is eager to spearhead the reforms. An anonymous company executive told the Times that "the days of easy globalization are done. We know that we have to get into the muck now."