News24

We care about every worker - Apple

2012-01-28 12:09

Washington - Apple chief executive Tim Cook has responded to media reports alleging harsh working conditions in China for manufacturing employees of the popular gadget-maker.

Cook, who took over as chief executive from Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, addressed the reports of long hours and occasionally unsafe conditions in an email obtained by the 9to5mac.com website.

Cook's message comes after The New York Times and other media outlets published stories about working conditions in factories in China which make parts or assemble Apple devices such as the iPhone and the iPad.

"As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values," Cook said in the email. "Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple's values today, and I'd like to address this with you directly."

The Times report cited safety issues and said workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices "often labour in harsh conditions" and work "excessive overtime."

The newspaper said two explosions at iPad factories last year killed four people and injured 77.

"We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain," Cook said. "Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern.

"Any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive to us," he said. "As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It's not who we are.

"For the many hundreds of you who are based at our suppliers' manufacturing sites around the world, or spend long stretches working there away from your families, I know you are as outraged by this as I am," Cook said.

Apple was inspecting more factories and this month opened up its supply chain for independent evaluations by the Fair Labour Association, he said.

"Every year we inspect more factories, raising the bar for our partners and going deeper into the supply chain," Cook said. "We've made a great deal of progress and improved conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers.

"We know of no one in our industry doing as much as we are, in as many places, touching as many people," he said.
"We are attacking problems aggressively with the help of the world’s foremost authorities on safety, the environment, and fair labour," he said.

"We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues," Cook said. "What we will not do - and never have done - is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word."
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Comments
  • spookhuis - 2012-01-28 13:31

    "Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment" mmmmm.....that says it all. They have known for years. Maximize profits for share holders. The moment a company is run by accountants that company is doomed.

  • John - 2012-01-28 14:06

    All the major companies over the world invest a lot of money in their staff. Therefore you become an asset to that company. This means that they will want to get the best return on investment as they possibly can. What happened in China, India, Japan, etc. It is part of the culture of those people. They are very happy to have a job and they dont mind working hard. They sometimes have more then one job. It is unlike people in the West (specific Soth Africa) who want to go on strike for any stupid reason. I bet that those report came from a Western Newpaper reporter and that it didnt even appear in the daily press of those countries.

  • tilovonbrandis - 2012-01-28 15:17

    What has not been mentioned is that Apple pushes the suppliers for prices of manufacture that generates so little profit that these suppliers are forced inhumane working conditions for labourers in order to stay operational and make some profit. Apparently when Apple re-negotiate prices for the next year, they reduce the amount they are willing to pay by an average of 10%. All these inspections result in being more careful what the world can see and to remove guilt. Why is Apple the richest company? Because the get their product made cheaper than anybody else and they sell their product for more than anybody else. We must remember that Apple is a marketing company with a product and obviously they will be the victims of an unfair media campaign against them. They need to play the "victim" game so that their "cool" and "PC" customers don't feel like they have been betrayed...

      spookhuis - 2012-01-30 00:32

      Yip, It's called "sharpen your pencil" until your fingers bleed.

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