Everybody has heard about the working conditions in Apple’s factories overseas, mainly with regard to Foxconn. Every so often the media will catch wind of people living and working in horrible conditions or killing themselves because of their job. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook is once again defending the company’s track record of improving work conditions at these facilities, noting that Apple has done more to address the problems than any other company.
In a recent statement from Cook on the subject during a recent investor conference, the CEO stated, “No one in our industry is doing more to improve working conditions than Apple.” This statement comes after growing criticism over the working conditions at factories used to build Apple products like the iPhone and iPad.
There was even a story published in the New York Times highlighting some of the poor conditions Chinese workers face. Activist groups SumofUs and Change.org delivered a total of 250,000 signed petitions calling for a more ethically built iPhone. However, the company is taking it all in stride with Apple allowing the Fair Labor Association to audit its Foxconn plants.
In addition to that, Apple has gone on the offensive in defending its actions. Supporters of Apple are also pointing out that rival companies, like HP and Dell, use the same manufacturing facilities. Critics argue that since Apple is a leader in the industry, the company should lead in its call for better working conditions.
Cook also mentioned that Apple finds the use of child labor “abhorrent” and said that the practice is extremely rare in the company’s supply chain. It is a “top priority” for Apple to eliminate child labor all together, according to Cook, who also noted that a supplier who intentionally uses underage labor could be fired. “We don’t let anyone cut corners on safety,” he said.
Source: CNET – Cook: Apple’s improved working conditions more than anyone