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  • Apple's Annual Supplier Audit Reveals More Than a Few Disturbing Discoveries


    Apple has published its 2011 Supplier Responsibility report as part of the company's ongoing efforts to ensure "the highest standards of social responsibility wherever our products are made." Notwithstanding, a number of disturbing violations bubbled to the surface.

    According to the audit, Apple learned that some 49 underage workers were employed at 9 different foreign-located facilities. 42 of those workers, however, were stationed at just one of those production facilities. In light of the disturbing discovery, Apple has since ended its working relationship with that facility. Additionally, Apple "required the supplier to support the young workers' return to school and to improve their management systems to prevent recurrences."

    A well known and documented health scare was also addressed in the audit. In early 2010, more than 100 workers at a Wintek facility received medical treatment after being exposed to the poisonous chemical n-hexane gas. Following the regrettable event, Apple says it mandated the facility to halt any and all usage of n-hexane gas and to promptly remedy a number of factory deficiencies, including the plant's ventilation systems.

    As the report notes, there were also instances of bribery - situations that similarly resulted in terminated business dealings. But more unsettling, without question, was the rash of suicides at Foxconn, the Chinese facility that represents Apple's largest overseas manufacturer. Throughout 2010, news of seemingly habitual suicides at the Shenzhen, China plant put both Foxconn and Apple in the headlines.

    According to the audit, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook ventured to the controversial plant as the process of addressing the suicides began in earnest. In addition to meeting with executives at Foxconn and candidly addressing the matter, Apple obtained the assistance of various suicide prevention experts who similarly assessed the conditions of the plant and its workers. The panel of experts "commended Foxconn for taking quick action on several fronts simultaneously, including hiring a large number of psychological counselors, establishing a 24-hour care center, and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings to prevent impulsive suicides." As expected, a full slate of recommended improvements were also outlined to the executives at Foxconn. "Apple will continue to work with Foxconn through the implementation of these programs, and we plan to take key learnings from this engagement to other facilities in our supply base," the report concludes.

    Apple conducted a total of 127 audits in 2010, 97 of which were first-time audits. To read the full report, click here.

    Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's Annual Supplier Audit Reveals More Than a Few Disturbing Discoveries started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 43 Comments
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by NSXrebel View Post
      GTFO of here, you know you will still buy their products. Like others have said, other companies are worse.
      If other companies are worse I might.
    1. wolverinemarky's Avatar
      wolverinemarky -
      Quote Originally Posted by EdmundGerber View Post
      So that makes it OK?

      Once a year apple goes and checks up on this stuff - they should be there 24/7!
      trust me other companies are way worse, a company as big as apple could have easily supressed or not did a report at all or fudged it to make everything look A'ok but they didnt. Yes you will still buy their products if you based all your purchases on what companies do overseas in the countries that build their products you would never buy anything ever thats how bad it is but your not aware of it.
    1. xwinger's Avatar
      xwinger -
      You guys who say apple is a bad company for this and think they are the worst manufacturers are idiots.

      And no apple products aren't like blood diamonds. That's probably the most retarded thing I've read in 2011
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by xwinger View Post
      You guys who say apple is a bad company for this
      I know, giving people working conditions that encourage suicide is totally ok. What's gotten in to people?
    1. xwinger's Avatar
      xwinger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      I know, giving people working conditions that encourage suicide is totally ok. What's gotten in to people?
      FOXCONN GIVES THE WORKING CONDITIONS

      Foxconn is a manufacturer that apple hired to make their products! They were NOT made by apple! You've obviously never been to a Chinese factory.

      Also; your replies make you around very young. Like a 14 year old.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by xwinger View Post
      FOXCONN GIVES THE WORKING CONDITIONS

      Foxconn is a manufacturer that apple hired to make their products! They were NOT made by apple! You've obviously never been to a Chinese factory.
      Sorry. What I meant to say was "I know, hiring people that give working conditions that encourage suicide is totally ok."

      And "around very young" doesn't make you sound so high above me either.
    1. Jcbzr's Avatar
      Jcbzr -
      I would hate to be in the laborers' shoes, but these things are inevitable. Unfortunately, many individuals will overlook this and continue purchasing Apple's products.
    1. xwinger's Avatar
      xwinger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      Sorry. What I meant to say was "I know, hiring people that give working conditions that encourage suicide is totally ok."

      And "around very young" doesn't make you sound so high above me either.
      iPhone auto correct win. *sound*
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by xwinger View Post
      iPhone auto correct win. *sound*
      Oh
    1. wanted.dead.or.alive's Avatar
      wanted.dead.or.alive -
      Quote Originally Posted by EdmundGerber View Post
      So that makes it OK?

      Once a year apple goes and checks up on this stuff - they should be there 24/7!
      Oh come on, according to wikipedia Foxconn's known clients include;

      Apple Inc.
      Amazon.com
      Intel
      Cisco
      Hewlett-Packard
      Dell
      Nintendo
      Nokia
      Microsoft
      Sony
      Sony Ericsson

      Do you remember ANY of them even commenting on the suicides? I'd say a Kindle or a DS is more of a blood diamond than an iPhone, least apple try to help!
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zokunei View Post
      Yeah I don't think I'm buying another Apple product any time soon.
      Or Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Dell, Intel, Nokia, Amazon, HP, Cisco and many many more, products either?
      Why is it when something bad comes out of Foxconn, everyone and the media automatically jumps on Apple. The only people to blame are Foxconn.
      At least Apple has the decency to investigate their suppliers. This wasn't just a once off audit of 1 factory. They investigated 127 facilities in 2010, 30 of which are repeated audits and 97 were first time audits.


      Comparing products manufactured by Foxconn to Blood Diamonds is completely wrong.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Put your money/time where your mouth is, hypocrites.
      While you are bemoaning Apple's 'poor foreign workers' and waiting for the next Apple product to be launched, donate your milk money to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or pretty much any of the various international labor organizations.

      Oh, and while you're at it, think about those 'poor Chinese workers' when you are complaining about the price of some dumb junk at Wal*Mart, or when you are complaining about how bad unions are, or how employee benefits are 'killing our economy'. And then think about how US worker productivity has gone up twice as fast (or more depending on the details -- Google it) as median wages or income (again, depending on which you look at, it looks even worse) and wonder where are all that wealth has gone (look at the top 10%) and then realize it's not the fault of the workers asking to be fairly compensated for their efforts.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Ok. I was wrong.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by jonnyraincloud View Post

      Microsoft or dell would have turned a blind eye.

      You base this on what? Your blind, unjustified hatred of all companies NOT Apple? Please show me a situation where they have turned a blind eye. If you can't you have no reason or right to make such accusations/ASSumptions.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      You base this on what? Your blind, unjustified hatred of all companies NOT Apple? Please show me a situation where they have turned a blind eye. If you can't you have no reason or right to make such accusations/ASSumptions.
      Agreed. Also nice job on the last part
    1. Mad Ferret's Avatar
      Mad Ferret -
      Wait a minute if there were 42 in one facility there couldn't possibly be 9 in total as there would only be 7 left to share amongst the other sites?
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      Or Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Dell, Intel, Nokia, Amazon, HP, Cisco and many many more, products either?
      Why is it when something bad comes out of Foxconn, everyone and the media automatically jumps on Apple. The only people to blame are Foxconn.
      At least Apple has the decency to investigate their suppliers. This wasn't just a once off audit of 1 factory. They investigated 127 facilities in 2010, 30 of which are repeated audits and 97 were first time audits.


      Comparing products manufactured by Foxconn to Blood Diamonds is completely wrong.
      +1 Well put sir!
    1. Rokesomesmeefer's Avatar
      Rokesomesmeefer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hyperextension View Post
      ...

      In the end...that is what happens overseas. If not in an Apple plant, it will be in some other plant. Apple wants to make as large a profit as possible, so the manufacturers have to make it as cheap as possible.
      FTFY. There's nothing reasonable about a $600+ cell phone.
    1. spudman01's Avatar
      spudman01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mad Ferret View Post
      Wait a minute if there were 42 in one facility there couldn't possibly be 9 in total as there would only be 7 left to share amongst the other sites?
      haha i was wonding if i was the only one who noticed..

      49 workers at 9 locations.
      42 at one location
      that leaves 7 left at 8 locations. hmm..
      o i get it they were working so efficiently they counted one kid twice!
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Quote Originally Posted by mortopher View Post
      If you want to pay double the price then they will gladly make it here.
      I would gladly pay double. With the state our economy is in bringing jobs back to America is the right thing to do. These situations would be easier to oversee in our own backyard.