Apple taken to task for reporting partners' child labor violations

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple's new supplier responsibility report, issued last week in advance of its shareholder meeting, is now being used to attack the company for auditing its foreign suppliers' labor practices and acting to stop worker exploitation.



The report, which describes the company's efforts to police a "Supplier Code of Conduct" on the companies it contracts with, those companies' own chain of suppliers, and the foreign worker agencies they use, outlined a number of problems Apple discovered in auditing its overseas suppliers.



Included in the report were details pertaining to the discovery of the illegal employment of children and abusive hiring practices that impose horrific fees upon foreign workers employed at factories which essentially reduce them to being indentured servants.



Report used against Apple



Writing for the Telegraph UK, Malcolm Moore characterized the report's findings to make it sound like Apple had been caught violating the law and had been forced to admit that it was "using child labour in China," when in fact the opposite was actually the case.



In reality, Apple stepped in to police a situation it had no legal responsibility to address. "We required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment [at facilities operated by contractors]," Apple stated in the report.



At one facility, Apple discovered that management had actually been falsifying records to make it appear to be compliant with the company's standards.



"When we investigated," the report notes, "we uncovered records and conducted worker interviews that revealed excessive working hours and seven days of continuous work." Apple subsequently terminated all of its contracts with the factory.



Apple virtually alone in auditing suppliers



The company's crackdown on abusive labor violations, poor working conditions, and environmentally irresponsible activity on the part of companies who manufacture its products or supply it with parts is nearly unprecedented in the tech industry.



Apple reported that its audits pertaining to labor and human rights, health and safety, environmental impacts, and business ethics were in nearly all cases the first attempt a Western corporation had ever made to monitor and react to conditions in those overseas factories.



"During most of our audits," the report said, "suppliers stated that Apple was the only company that had ever audited their facility for supplier responsibility."



Cook, Jobs address supplier responsibility



Apple chief operations officer Tim Cook repeated that fact on stage at the company's shareholder meeting, but insisted that the company doesn't need to trumpet its vanguard position in pushing overseas companies to achieve higher standards in human rights, train their employees to be aware of their rights, and maintain safe working conditions.



Cook said Apple does this not for media attention, but "because it is the right thing to do." Chief executive Steve Jobs echoed the same sentiments, passionately arguing that the media and environmental groups have ignored the real issues to focus mainly on what promises companies were making, even though many companies do not actually meet their promised goals.



Apple, Jobs said, was focused on actually achieving results. By taking real action ranging from reducing its product packaging, increasing efficiency and enhancing recyclability, to auditing its own facilities and supplying partners' factories, to publishing details on the environmental footprint of its products, Apple is pioneering social responsibility in a way that customers will see for themselves and support, Jobs maintained.



The Telegraph UK did not also take other companies to task, making no mention of the complete lack of supplier responsibility reporting from other companies Apple competes against, including HTC, the manufacturer of Google's Nexus One and most other Android and Windows Mobile smartphones.
«134567

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 124
    Apple said the child workers are now no longer being used, or are no longer underage. "In each of the three facilities, we required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment," Apple said, in an annual report on its suppliers.



    So what's the problem?
  • Reply 2 of 124
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Bully for Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 124
    "Apple taken to task for reporting partners' child labor violations"



    Once again demonstrating that no good deed goes unpunished.
  • Reply 4 of 124
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Apple should investigate the recent reports of workers being exposed to toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing of their products. Within the past six months, workers went on strike alleging exposure to toxic chemicals and in the past week there is a report of some workers becoming ill due to exposure.



    China should also improve its record on the environment. Their industries are far worse than Europe or the US--not that we are perfect.
  • Reply 5 of 124
    Obviously the Telegraph is missing the whole point, isn't it! Why is Apple being shafted for actually doing something. Slow news day at the Telegraph!!! Malcolm Moore = FAIL!
  • Reply 6 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by [CDN]switch View Post


    Obviously the Telegraph is missing the whole point, isn't it! Why is Apple being shafted for actually doing something. Slow news day at the Telegraph!!! Malcolm Moore = FAIL!



    More like wildly swerving to avoid the point and run over Apple, by the looks of it.
  • Reply 7 of 124
    Why is it that only companies which do exceptionally well (like Apple) get put under a microscope? Is it out of envy or jealousy? I realize Apple produces a much higher volume than most others but why should that influence the amount of accountability? Then, when a company takes a proactive approach to the next level, they seem to get scrutinized more than others flying under the radar.



    It is true....no good deed goes unpunished.



    Pretty sad.
  • Reply 8 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    Why is it that only companies which do exceptionally well (like Apple) get put under a microscope? Is it out of envy or jealousy? I realize Apple produces a much higher volume than most others but why should that influence the amount of accountability? Then, when a company takes a proactive approach to the next level, they seem to get scrutinized more than others flying under the radar.



    It is true....no good deed goes unpunished.



    Pretty sad.





    Oh yeah, in case you guys forgot.....TEKSTUD STILL wants Flash and STILL believes the iPad is a big iPod Touch.
  • Reply 9 of 124
    What can you expect from the "stiff upper lip" idiotic snobs in UK. For hundreds of years these guys pillaged and raped their colonies and now they are acting like they care about 15yr olds working in China. At least the Chinese are not the paedophiles like the Brits.
  • Reply 10 of 124
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anilsudhakaran View Post


    What can you expect from the "stiff upper lip" idiotic snobs in UK. For hundreds of years these guys pillaged and raped their colonies and now they are acting like they care about 15yr olds working in China. At least the Chinese are not the paedophiles like the Brits.



    This comment is totally out of line here and is soooo racist
  • Reply 11 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Telegraph UK did not also take other companies to task, making no mention of the complete lack of supplier responsibility reporting from other companies Apple competes against, including HTC, the manufacturer of Google's Nexus One and most other Android and Windows Mobile smartphones.



    AppleInsider, you are equally as guilty as the Telegraph.co.uk of what we used to call "Prostitution of the Literature."



    Except for the headline, i.e., "Apple admits using child labour" and making a blanket unreferenced, thus unconfirmed statement, i.e., "Apple has been repeatedly criticised for using factories that abuse workers and where conditions are poor," the Telegraph.co.uk article is simply a summation of what Apple has recently reported themselves from their investigations.



    I don't see anything in the Telegraph.co.uk article that suggest as your headline does, i.e., "Apple [is] taken to task for reporting partners' child labor violations. To suggest that the The Telegraph is using "Apple's new supplier responsibility report, to attack the company for auditing its foreign suppliers' labor practices and acting to stop worker exploitation is downright ludicrous.



    I must admit though that the Telegraph could have recognized that Apple's openness is not commonly seen in any company, even including their own



    Perhaps a lesson or two in reading is in order. Certainly, a lesson in writing is.
  • Reply 12 of 124
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    As components get smaller and smaller I think the need for smaller and smaller employees is a must. Child labour FTW.
  • Reply 13 of 124
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    I guess the Western World can't handle knowing where the cheap stuff on their store shelves come from.



    Apple is the only company I know of that is VOLUNTARILY doing something about it.



    They have absolutely no reason to do so apart from an altruistic motivation to improve conditions for third world workers.
  • Reply 14 of 124
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anilsudhakaran View Post


    What can you expect from the "stiff upper lip" idiotic snobs in UK. For hundreds of years these guys pillaged and raped their colonies and now they are acting like they care about 15yr olds working in China.



    Past deeds by some back in history doesn't excuse current deeds by others.



    Quote:

    At least the Chinese are not the paedophiles like the Brits.



    Wait, what? Do you want to clarify that? Are you going to blame everyone in an entire society for the deeds of a handful of miscreants?
  • Reply 15 of 124
    I'm right proud of Apple taking the lead on this. That they are DOING something is marvelous.n Let's hope ot puts pressure on other large corporations to do the same.



    It's fairly common knowledge that working conditions in China are often so poor that no-one in my country (USA) would ever accept such conditions quietly. It's important that China develop. It's also important they establish and improve the methods on all fronts as they develop...



    Apple gets my applause for all of their movement toward responsible corporate stewardship. Labor, environment, sustainability...



    They are still far from perfect, but I will focus on what they're doing right, and encourage them to continue it by giving them my business...
  • Reply 16 of 124
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Wait, what? Do you want to clarify that? Are you going to blame everyone in an entire society for the deeds of a handful of miscreants?



    He isn't even trying to make a funny, just being inflammatory. I think some moderating of the comment itself is in orderi.
  • Reply 17 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anilsudhakaran View Post


    What can you expect from the "stiff upper lip" idiotic snobs in UK. For hundreds of years these guys pillaged.... etc etc (the really offending stuff removed).



    C'mon. That is totally off-base and uncalled-for. You should withdraw the comment, and apologize to the forum.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Except for the headline, i.e., "Apple admits using child labour" and making a blanket unreferenced, thus unconfirmed statement, i.e., "Apple has been repeatedly criticised for using factories that abuse workers and where conditions are poor," the Telegraph.co.uk article is simply summation of what Apple has recently reported themselves from their investigation.



    Many people don't to read past the headline. Moreover, it reflects very poorly on the Telegraph-UK to be using a sensationalized headline just to attract eyeballs. That is tawdry on their part, a newspaper that I actually like.
  • Reply 18 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    This comment is totally out of line here and is soooo racist



    And someone doesn't know what racism means.
  • Reply 19 of 124
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    Oh yeah, in case you guys forgot.....TEKSTUD STILL wants Flash and STILL believes the iPad is a big iPod Touch.



    what's that have to do with anything? I didn't see a post to prompt it. Don't come into a forum that tries to discuss serious things and try to stir up fights. What's your motive? Your age?
  • Reply 20 of 124
    post deleted: operator error!
Sign In or Register to comment.