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01-27-2012, 03:18 AM #1
Cook Calls Claims of Factory Worker Mistreatment "Patently False and Offensive"
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook recently took the time to respond to a report made by the New York Times that pointed fingers at Apple over an alleged permissiveness and indifference for workers’ conditions in China. In his email, Cook rebutted the accusations by saying “any suggestions that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.”
For those of you who aren’t in the loop, a NYT report cited former Apple executives as making comments such as “We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on. Why? Because the system works for us.” Another “former Apple executive with direct knowledge of the company’s supplier responsibility group” was cited saying, “"If you see the same pattern of problems, year after year, that means the company’s ignoring the issue rather than solving it,” said another former Apple executive with direct knowledge of the company's supplier responsibility group. “Noncompliance is tolerated, as long as the suppliers promise to try harder next time. If we meant business, core violations would disappear."
The whole ordeal has sparked much debate amongst many different groups of people and the issue has become large very quickly. Tim Cook recently “fired back at reports into issues surrounding the company’s operations and partners in emerging markets,” by writing a letter to his employees in an attempt to diffuse the situation. For those of you who are interested in reading the full email, you can do so below:
As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values. Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. 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. 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. For the people who aren’t as close to the supply chain, you have a right to know the facts.
Every year we inspect more factories, raising the bar for our partners and going deeper into the supply chain. As we reported earlier this month, 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.
At the same time, no one has been more up front about the challenges we face. We are attacking problems aggressively with the help of the world’s foremost authorities on safety, the environment, and fair labor. It would be easy to look for problems in fewer places and report prettier results, but those would not be the actions of a leader.
Earlier this month we opened our supply chain for independent evaluations by the Fair Labor Association. Apple was in a unique position to lead the industry by taking this step, and we did it without hesitation. This will lead to more frequent and more transparent reporting on our supply chain, which we welcome. These are the kinds of actions our customers expect from Apple, and we will take more of them in the future.
We are focused on educating workers about their rights, so they are empowered to speak up when they see unsafe conditions or unfair treatment. As you know, more than a million people have been trained by our program.
We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues. 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. You can follow our progress at apple.com/supplierresponsibility.
To those within Apple who are tackling these issues every day, you have our thanks and admiration. Your work is significant and it is changing people’s lives. We are all proud to work alongside you.
What do you think of the whole situation? Share any thoughts and comments below!
01-27-2012, 05:44 AM #2
This situation is associated with a lot of major companies who build there products over at foxconn. Unfortunately apple seems to be the only one being attacked by the media. I believe apple has been taking action over this issue. And it will just require some time to see the results
01-27-2012, 07:29 AM #3
The reason we only hear about Apple is because news reporters like the NYT know it'll draw readers in. Apple is the big contender and a lot of ppl own at least one of their products. So if someone see's an article like this it'll catch their attention. Unless something big happens to another company we'll probably just hear about Apple. At least they're doing something about it, even letting us view the progress. Wish I could say the same about other companies.
01-27-2012, 08:03 AM #4
I have an idea, let's bring all of our factories back to the US. China allows child slave labor. We should really look at the big picture here. Land of the free? Really? But we use products everyday made by a 10 year old forced to work under extreme conditions? Do you think that 10 year old cares if you get home safely to see your kids? Every company tries to save money having goods mass produced in China. Walmart especially should be called China import direct.
01-27-2012, 08:29 AM #5
When Apple stops outsourcing to other countries, then we can accept that they 'care.'
01-27-2012, 09:15 AM #6
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/bu...dle-class.html) really lays out the problem. It's not the cheaper labor that keeps Apple in China, it's the flexibility that they have in industrial manufacturing. The article points out that China can have thousands of skilled engineers hired within days while the US just doesn't hardly have that amount available, let alone the ability to have them on the job in a few days time. They're also able to accommodate last minute changes in design to the iPhone and iPad, while factories in the US would take months to be able to make the same changes. Now, I'm not saying that we should have the working conditions that China has, but we're SO far behind in education and completely held back by red tape that we don't even come close. Apple's primary responsibility is to their shareholders. Fortunately, they seem to also care about the people that build their products and are enforcing labor regulations that they must abide by, but at this point, expecting them to bring production back to America is just unrealistic.
01-27-2012, 09:18 AM #7
01-27-2012, 10:04 AM #8
I hate when headlines are completely inaccurate:
Cook Calls Claims of Factory Worker Mistreatment "Patently False and Offensive"
Read Tim's quote from your own piece:
"Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us"
These two things do not mean the same thing.
01-27-2012, 10:43 AM #9
01-27-2012, 11:30 AM #10
Hey apple, how about you have the decency of lowering your profit$ just a little bit and making the conditions for your workers a little close to human? Stop being evil.
01-27-2012, 12:17 PM #11
bahahah he should tell that to the families who've lost loved ones in Apple's factories despite this endless "care" Apple is bragging about.
01-27-2012, 02:36 PM #12
If Apple cares then they would look after working conditions of factories that makes their products. Maximize profits by overlooking things means they don't care, only show some interest when the problem is brought to light which hurts company image then hope things gets swept under the carpet.
01-27-2012, 03:59 PM #13
01-27-2012, 06:12 PM #14
It is China, how can anybody not be aware of their work place conditions. China does not have the labor laws we do. They are a Communist state for crying out loud. That is what Communists do to their people. For Cook to make that statement tells me the man is a liar. Look in the news and there is plenty of human rights violations in China including penalties for having more than one child. Cook just needs to come clean, not lie about it.
01-27-2012, 06:15 PM #15
So, I would argue that the problem is much bigger than the idea that we've just "chosen" not to compete. Who would choose that? It's a fundamental governmental failure that has brought us to where we are today.
01-27-2012, 07:01 PM #16Correct
01-27-2012, 07:16 PM #17
I'd like to say that I don't think we should adopt Chinas standards either. I think we've got to be able to find middle ground. I don't know what the answer is, but I'd like to believe that with the brain trust we have running this country that someone would have a viable solution. On second though, I think I'll stick with my previous statement: we're screwed.
01-28-2012, 05:13 AM #18
One of the reasons I like these articles being posted on ModMyi is that it tends to draw the few adults that still seem to frequent these forums, which in turn normally turns into a fairly intelligent discussion. It's nice to see that so many people actually know when they are being baited by the media in an effort to draw readers to their periodicals. It's also nice to see so many people that still understand basic economics and business management, who while not unsympathetic to the plight of foreign workers, still understand the realities of global economics.
We cannot have reasonable prices on consumer electronic products, nor compete globally, trying to pay American workers $35 an hour, Mon-Fri, 8-5, 2-3 weeks paid vacation, with Co provided medical and dental with China paying their workers $8 dollars a week. The fact that Apple cares at all about a company they do not own or run, speaks volumes.
01-28-2012, 07:49 AM #19
01-28-2012, 08:29 AM #20