Apple has been in the news lately because of claims that some of their suppliers have harsh working conditions and are using child labor in order to build their products. Previously and under the helm of Steve Jobs, their list of global suppliers was closely guarded and never revealed.
Tim Cook, now CEO and previously COO, revealed the list of Apple’s global suppliers in order to be more transparent about possible issues regarding working conditions and child labor among other things. It’s interesting that the tech company seems to get the most flack about this issue.
Frankly, there’s many other electronics manufacturers that could easily be in the same boat, however, they’re typically not. According to Tim Cook, this is a big issue and they want to be more transparent about what’s going on behind the scenes with their suppliers.
“Apple said it conducted 229 audits last year, representing an 80 percent increase over 2010. From 2007-2010 the company only conducted 288 total audits. The company said it looked at all levels of its supply chain, including final assembly and component suppliers.”
“The audit found a number of violations, among them breaches in pay, benefits and environmental practices in plants in China, which figured prominently throughout the 500-page report Apple issued. Other violations found in the audit included dumping wastewater onto a neighboring farm, using machines without safeguards, testing workers for pregnancy and falsifying pay records.”
So, did they find any evidence of child labor?
“Apple said it found six active and 13 historical cases of underage labor at some component suppliers but said it did not find any underage workers at its final assembly suppliers.”
The tech giant will be granting access to an independent auditing team to get past criticism of working conditions at supplier’s factories.