Conflicting reports have recently surfaced regarding the current state of working conditions in the factories of Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn. Envoyé Spécial, a French news investigation show, sent undercover reporters to the Zhengzhou Foxconn factory and found few changes following promised improvements from Apple earlier in 2012. According to the story — which ran a few weeks ago — reporters found some workers living in dorms without electricity, running water, or elevators. Also, some student employees were allegedly working at Foxconn because their school administrators threatened to take away diplomas if they didn’t go to work.
However, a New York Times report notes Apple and Foxconn have started to carry out reforms to improve working conditions in factories, as “interviews with more than 70 Foxconn employees in multiple cities indicate a shift among the people on iPad and iPhone assembly lines.” An anecdote about a female employee receiving a sturdy chair with a high back to replace a prior short stool is included in the report, as are other reforms, including protective foam on ceilings and automatic shut-off devices on machines. Foxconn has also announced that increased wages and decreased weekly work hours will be fully enacted by July 2013. [via Engadget]