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Apple CEO Tim Cook e-mails employees about 'dramatic improvements' in supplier hirings

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook sent out an e-mail to his company's employees on Friday, announcing the release of the latest supplier responsibility support and reiterating his commitment to fair labor practices.

The full 2012 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report includes data from 229 separate audits of Apple's overseas suppliers. Cook said to employees that the supplier responsibility program has resulted in "dramatic improvements in hiring practices" with Apple's suppliers.

"To prevent the use of underage labor, our team interviews workers, checks employment records and audits the age verification systems employers use," he wrote. "These efforts have been very successful and, as a result, cases of underage labor were down sharply from last year."

Cook's letter to employees also comes as Apple is now officially a participating member of the Fair Labor Association, which the CEO also acknowledged in his e-mail. The FLA's announcement on Friday makes Apple the first technology company admitted into the association.

"The FLA is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving conditions for workers around the world, and we are the first technology company they've approved for membership," Cook wrote. "The FLA's auditing team will have direct access to our supply chain and they will report their findings independently on their website."




The full e-mail sent by Cook to employees on Wednesday was first published by Mac Generation. The letter is included in its entirety below:
post #2 of 33
I can't help but think of Jar Jar Binks every time I see this pic.

Hmm, I see...
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post #3 of 33
Tim is the supply chain master of the world. Apple is lucky to have him.

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post #4 of 33
Seems like AAPL's P/E multiple will be down after the recent actions. It's probably worth it in the long run, but Wall-Street won't like AAPL turning less focused on pure profit and more on moral image.
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Seems like AAPL's P/E multiple will be down after the recent actions. It's probably worth it in the long run, but Wall-Street won't like AAPL turning less focused on pure profit and more on moral image.

This is the same Wall Street that is responsible for the financial & economic crisis going on today, was bailed out by the Feds to the tune of trillions of dollars, & expects taxpayers to pay the bill. Ask me again why I should give a shit what Wall Street thinks?
post #6 of 33
Congrats!
To prevent underage labor and educate employees are big deal, and there is not a lot of company which cares these.
post #7 of 33
Rumours that a special board meeting is being held at Samsung to find out how to join the FLA
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Day Breakfast View Post

Rumours that a special board meeting is being held at Samsung to find out how to join the FLA

lol!!!!!!!
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post

This is the same Wall Street that is responsible for the financial & economic crisis going on today, was bailed out by the Feds to the tune of trillions of dollars, & expects taxpayers to pay the bill. Ask me again why I should give a shit what Wall Street thinks?

Well, you obviously shouldn't. The investors who own Apple stock care a great deal though, and are going to be pissed that their investment will become worth less that it should be because Apple's doing the right thing and not being purely focused on profit.
post #10 of 33
The podcast (on Itunes) below details a visit to Foxconn back in 2010, so Apple has probably made significant advances since then, but nevertheless don't tell me Tim Cook did not know what was going on back then. Apple is simply managing the bad publicity shit storm this labor exploitation issue is going to bring down on the whole tech industry before it bites Apple. Note the point in the podcast where a Chinese line worker (aged 13) says Foxconn replaces the entire underage labor line with older workers while the audit is ongoing.
It's not a pretty image for a company with $80 billion in the bank and subcontracted labor with n-Hexane damaged lungs, mangled and deformed hands and no workers' compensation.

This American Life #434 Mr. Daisey goes to Apple
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Day Breakfast View Post

Rumours that a special board meeting is being held at Samsung to find out how to join the FLA

This is probably true...
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Well, you obviously shouldn't. The investors who own Apple stock care a great deal though, and are going to be pissed that their investment will become worth less that it should be because Apple's doing the right thing and not being purely focused on profit.

How about being profitable AND being morally responsible?

We need to stop accepting the nonsense from people who focus on profit to the point that they are ok with committing human rights violations.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Well, you obviously shouldn't. The investors who own Apple stock care a great deal though, and are going to be pissed that their investment will become worth less that it should be because Apple's doing the right thing and not being purely focused on profit.

I've actually invested a great deal in shares of AAPL and personally, I'm very glad to see Apple taking a stance of integrity.

In my mind this is just another area where Apple is taking a leadership position and one where I hope other companies will continue to copy them!
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Well, you obviously shouldn't. The investors who own Apple stock care a great deal though, and are going to be pissed that their investment will become worth less that it should be because Apple's doing the right thing and not being purely focused on profit.

Speculation and conjecture sure are fun eh? Nobody knows how these new practices are going to affect Apple's bottom line.

FUD.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by All Day Breakfast View Post

Rumours that a special board meeting is being held at Samsung to find out how to join the FLA

I am guessing they'll squeeze the item into the agenda of the board meeting about to convene on their new and innovative power cables.
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAM View Post

I've actually invested a great deal in shares of AAPL and personally, I'm very glad to see Apple taking a stance of integrity.

In my mind this is just another area where Apple is taking a leadership position and one where I hope other companies will continue to copy them!

Hear! Hear!

Not only as an $ investor, but as a time investor -- a great part of my personal life, business life and my grandkids future is invested in Apple.

This makes me very proud to be a small part of "the world according to Apple"... very proud, indeed!

Further, I especially like the succinct, no-nonsense nature of this communication...


I look forward to a great future for Apple, their management, their employees, their supply and distribution chains, and to their end users.


Keep the Team/Tim emails coming...
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post #17 of 33
This is of course a good thing. But I can't help but note that the most valuable corporation on earth is reduced to crowing about having reduced the number of children it exploits.

It's just not enough to define good as reducing the amount of harm we do. Growth is far more than the simple absence of decrepitude. "First, do no harm" is a fine place to start, but stopping there is a terrible mistake.
post #18 of 33
This is an example of a CEO shaking in fear because social media (including radio programs like This American Life) is pressing the company to face the music, or else lose control of a valuable brand image. It is social media holding capitalism accountable. The slogan that Apple enslaves children would be quite powerful insofar as it is a documented truth. Cook knows this, and is using leadership to try to fix the problem.
post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

This is of course a good thing. But I can't help but note that the most valuable corporation on earth is reduced to crowing about having reduced the number of children it exploits.

It's just not enough to define good as reducing the amount of harm we do. Growth is far more than the simple absence of decrepitude. "First, do no harm" is a fine place to start, but stopping there is a terrible mistake.

The difference is that you have companies like Google claiming that they are not evil - all the while they're stealing and selling your private information and stealing every piece of intellectual property they can get their hands on.

Apple, OTOH, has an incredible reputation for taking care of their employees. They appear to be the only major tech firm who actually audits suppliers in China. They have an incredible environmental record in terms of using materials of low toxicity. But since they're not trumpeting "don't be evil", people are all over them.
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post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

This is an example of a CEO shaking in fear because social media (including radio programs like This American Life) is pressing the company to face the music, or else lose control of a valuable brand image.

That may be partially true, but if you scroll down a list of other electronics companies that use Foxconn for production, which of the others on the list have gone to the lengths that Apple has to try to rectify the situation? Granted, going public with it makes it look as if Apple is 'crowing' about it, but Apple has a pretty decent track record of doing things because they are good for the environment, and this adds doing things because they are good for people to the list.

It sounds as if Apple has had suppliers change their practices in the past, and are expecting them to play by even more stringent rules in the future. Good on Apple!
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Seems like AAPL's P/E multiple will be down after the recent actions. It's probably worth it in the long run, but Wall-Street won't like AAPL turning less focused on pure profit and more on moral image.

Apple is in it for the long run. I wouldn't invest in a company that uses slash and burn tactics to make a quick buck. I suppose much of Wall Street follows Tea Party mentality these days though...
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I can't help but think of Jar Jar Binks every time I see this pic.

Hmm, I see...

Clearly, you never paid attention to your mom when she talked about panning other people's appearances.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

This is an example of a CEO shaking in fear because social media (including radio programs like This American Life) is pressing the company to face the music, or else lose control of a valuable brand image. It is social media holding capitalism accountable. The slogan that Apple enslaves children would be quite powerful insofar as it is a documented truth. Cook knows this, and is using leadership to try to fix the problem.

Unfortunately I highly doubt this is the reason. Almost nobody looks at a company's social responsibility when they purchase a product.
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

This is of course a good thing. But I can't help but note that the most valuable corporation on earth is reduced to crowing about having reduced the number of children it exploits.

It's just not enough to define good as reducing the amount of harm we do. Growth is far more than the simple absence of decrepitude. "First, do no harm" is a fine place to start, but stopping there is a terrible mistake.

You are off base (or trolling). These are not Apple's employees. They are suppliers employees. They are getting involved not because they have to, but because nobody else is. They are not crowing about anything. This is an internal memo.
post #25 of 33
If Apple really wanted to ensure that no children were being employed in the production of their goods and to ensure that companies weren't polluting the environment and their workers, they would begin manufacturing their products themselves within the United States of America.

It is fine for them to care for workers half way around the world but I regularly wonder why they don't care enough for their own nation to create and manufacture their products here.

Don't believe Apple is so worthy of praise in this arena. They are buying things from other countries where environmental laws are very lax or where bribery can make officials turn their heads.

Foxcon employs over a million workers. I'm sure they can hide the underage people on days when inspectors come around.
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Well, you obviously shouldn't. The investors who own Apple stock care a great deal though, and are going to be pissed that their investment will become worth less that it should be because Apple's doing the right thing and not being purely focused on profit.

You really off base with your comments, investors are usually long term thinkers that are looking at the company 'health' , which includes stability, growth, profitability (long term) and company's future product lines. The strategy taken by Apple to improve the oversight of their suppliers/third party manufacturing vendors will actually help to stabilize the image of Apple in society and give investors the confidence that management team understand the major issues needed to be addressed and have a solid long term strategy.
post #27 of 33
I'm pleased to see Apple showing concern their 'extended' Apple employees. To bad many corporations here in the US seemed to have forgotten how to treat their most valuable asset: the employees! Way to go Apple!
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroG View Post

To bad many corporations here in the US seemed to have forgotten how to treat their most valuable asset: the employees! Way to go Apple!

This is not exactly a recent development. When the balance sheet was first invented and employees landed on the "expense" side, it was all over. To the people at the top of most big companies, employees are "just overhead". The corporate charter demands that they view things in that manner. The only goal of all executives is to "enhance shareholder value" as dictated by the charter.

Apple, thanks to Jobs, tends to view things a little differently. Their executives tend to pay a little less attention to what shareholders think. I would also bet their charter is worded in a somewhat non-standard way.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post

This is not exactly a recent development. When the balance sheet was first invented and employees landed on the "expense" side, it was all over. To the people at the top of most big companies, employees are "just overhead". The corporate charter demands that they view things in that manner. The only goal of all executives is to "enhance shareholder value" as dictated by the charter.

Apple, thanks to Jobs, tends to view things a little differently. Their executives tend to pay a little less attention to what shareholders think. I would also bet their charter is worded in a somewhat non-standard way.

Technically, there is no 'expense side' to a balance sheet. You're referring to the P&L.

And employees don't appear on the balance sheet because the company doesn't own the employees.
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post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

If Apple really wanted to ensure that no children were being employed in the production of their goods and to ensure that companies weren't polluting the environment and their workers, they would begin manufacturing their products themselves within the United States of America.

It is fine for them to care for workers half way around the world but I regularly wonder why they don't care enough for their own nation to create and manufacture their products here.

Don't believe Apple is so worthy of praise in this arena. They are buying things from other countries where environmental laws are very lax or where bribery can make officials turn their heads.

Foxcon employs over a million workers. I'm sure they can hide the underage people on days when inspectors come around.

These pie in the sky statements are hilarious to me. If you honestly believe Apple can move manufacturing from China to the US without basically committing suicide as a company, you're utterly delusional. It's one thing to push for improvement. It's another to suggest scenarios which are economically untenable. Apple does this, their profits will plunge, their expenses will skyrocket, their stock will nosedive, they will not have a shred of a hope of being competitive with anyone else, either through pricing or supply. Apple will cease to exist as we know them within a very, very short timeframe. Within a few years they will eat through their war-chest like a knife through hot butter. Don't forget the massive retail layoffs and otherwise they'd be forced to make while bleeding to death as a company.

If you really have to 'wonder' why they don't care enough to manufacture in the US, then clearly you need to educate yourself on how it's an impossibility. But hey, at least they'd be doing the 'right thing', right? Sounds like a great plan. There's a reason why even toothpicks are made in china.
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Well, you obviously shouldn't. The investors who own Apple stock care a great deal though, and are going to be pissed that their investment will become worth less that it should be because Apple's doing the right thing and not being purely focused on profit.

The investors... REAL investors... will be happy when AAPL goes down for reasons unrelated to the company's long term success. Great time to buy more!
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

If Apple really wanted to ensure that no children were being employed in the production of their goods and to ensure that companies weren't polluting the environment and their workers, they would begin manufacturing their products themselves within the United States of America.

Glass house syndrome

Quote:
Inquiry Finds Under-Age Workers at Meat Plant

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/us/06meat.html

But most of the time we employ our underage children to work in the streets.

or put them on film,

unpaid.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Glass house syndrome

There's a more recent example of child labor violations from Chuck E Cheese.

Must be run by Apple.
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