Auret van Heerden, CEO of the Fair Labor Association, has issued some damning language today directed at Foxconn near the conclusion of an audit of factory conditions that had been requested by Apple several days ago. Without going into detail, van Heerden has told Bloomberg that his team was finding "tons of issues" and that he believes they're "going to see some very significant announcements in the near future." That could mean anything, of course — but when an organization devoted to protecting workers' rights calls out "tons of issues," it isn't likely a good sign for the company under the microscope.
Strangely, the comments lie in stark contrast to the impressions van Heerden had initially of Foxconn's facilities just a couple days ago, in which he said that "the facilities are first-class" and "the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm." What exactly transpired between FLA's inspectors and Foxconn since then is unclear, but the group plans to release a full report in the next few weeks.
While this almost certainly isn't the kind of language Apple wanted to hear out of the FLA — which it just joined earlier this month — these are exactly the kinds of problems it appears willing to root out and solve as it promises ongoing monthly reports on factory conditions. In the meantime, the FLA is expected to meet with Foxconn (and presumably, Apple) today for a "preliminary" report on its findings.