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02-14-2011, 11:28 PM #1
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.
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02-14-2011, 11:42 PM #2
What?! They hired psychologists? Why didn't they use some of their 330+ billion and improve the working conditions? Maybe I'll buy HTC products from now on. I'm just glad someone other than Glen Beck is reporting this now, took long enough.
02-14-2011, 11:48 PM #3
Oh damn apple should get sued!
02-14-2011, 11:52 PM #4
Yeah I don't think I'm buying another Apple product any time soon.
02-15-2011, 12:06 AM #5
sad to know this kinda stuff happens but people will still overlook it and buy apple products....
02-15-2011, 12:15 AM #6
Apple products are like blood diamonds...
Blood Diamonds = Labor Exploitation
"Labor exploitation has also been linked to blood diamonds. The scenes from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blood Diamond the movie isn’t too far from the truth where African miners are exposed to atrocious living conditions and even worse working conditions. They don’t have shoes, gloves, hard hats or flashlights, and their tools - picks, ropes – are simple and do nothing to relieve the back-breaking work. Mine shafts are unsecured and very dangerous. Accidents are frequent and many miners have been buried alive in these pits. At the end of a full workday, miners get paid less than a dollar. Finding a diamond may only get them $50."
Any similitude with apple is pure coincidence.
Last edited by javiert30; 02-15-2011 at 12:23 AM.
02-15-2011, 12:49 AM #7
This is peanuts compared to other companies who manufacture their products in countries where there are little to no regulations on safe working environments. Not saying this is ok but y'all saying apple products are like blood diamonds and that y'all will never buy an apple product because of this are fooling yourself if you believe this is only defined to apple lol.You see that "Thanks!" button? It likes it when you click it!
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02-15-2011, 01:02 AM #8
um helloo, all electronics are made overseas,
apple is one of the few companies that self requlate:
"Apple has since ended its working relationship with that facility."
Microsoft or dell would have turned a blind eye.
Last edited by jonnyraincloud; 02-15-2011 at 01:02 AM. Reason: inb4"I accidentally upgraded my firmware.....again..."
02-15-2011, 01:04 AM #9
Not to mention several of the other points that Apple wants done upon finding certain things out. Like:
Additionally, Apple "required the supplier to support the young workers' return to school and to improve their management systems to prevent recurrences."
02-15-2011, 01:35 AM #10
While the report has its minor values its virtually meaningless without some comparison. How does this compare to other companies? This could be a very good result, it could be a vey bad result.
02-15-2011, 02:15 AM #11
For everyone saying their not going to buy Apple anymore because of this get off your high horse. Do you actually think this only happens overseas with Apple?? The same thing can be said about almost any major company with factories, but at least Apple's doing something about it and reporting it. Can't say the same about too many other big corporations.
I've had some big wigs from major companies come to my Business Management Lectures course. When they talk about taking over at an overseas plant to increase revenue and productivity they all say that the first thing they had to change were working conditions. And the stuff that Apple has reported was normal for them to see unfortunately. But it's nice when someone takes over that actually cares about working conditions and makes a change. Every little bit helps.
02-15-2011, 03:30 AM #12
02-15-2011, 03:34 AM #13
But wouldn't it be really cool if these American companies actually made SOME of their products here in the states? Sure they wouldn't make as much of a profit, but they would still make a profit of the product was good.
02-15-2011, 04:00 AM #14
Apple created the situation by Having their products made elsewhere. Bet they would never consider manufacturing in the U.S. Cause it would cost too much. They knew this would happen in China...it always does.
02-15-2011, 06:03 AM #15
China labor will soon be to expensive for even Apple to want to pay.
It won't be long before all the little golden stickers say Made in Vietnam.
02-15-2011, 06:52 AM #16
If you're going to stop buying Apple products because of this, and other issues like it, you had better throw out all your running shoes and don't even think about stopping at a WalMart ever again. Or how about Old Navy and their subsidiaries who refuse to use North American Oil for their vehicle fleets because of the impact on the environment. They are using middle east oil instead. Can you think of a more corrupt barrel of oil than ones from the middle east?
Child labour and poor labour standards are terrible, but there are always factories that use it. So happens that these factories are all overseas.
How about these big companies like Apple eliminate it all and start building these things in the USA and/or Canada?
In the end...that is what happens overseas. If not in an Apple plant, it will be in some other plant. We all want reasonable prices, so the manufacturers have to make it as cheap as possible.
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02-15-2011, 07:37 AM #17
02-15-2011, 07:54 AM #18
Kudos to Apple for being both proactive and forthecoming.
02-15-2011, 08:15 AM #19
02-15-2011, 08:15 AM #20
i commend apple for tackling these issues and not sweep them under the rug and ignore them