Monday, 30 January 2012

Apple head clears air over working conditions in factories

Harsh working conditions in their factories is the latest topic to have kept Apple in the news, lately, of course, this being alongwith news about their impending lawsuits. Battling with reports, criticising the working conditions across factories manufacturing Apple products, especially one particular report by The New York Times led to Cook typing down a lengthy e-mail to his 60,000 odd workforce. In his e-mail, a complete version of which can be read, here on 9to5 Mac, Cook stated that contrary to the reports stating that the company did not care much about the welfare of their workers, Apple cared a lot about each one of them, and that any accident was "deeply troubling". He went on to add that, "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."
Working towards the better
Working towards getting better

Cook revealed that, quite opposite to what is being reported, Apple has been carrying out inspections across its factories, worldwide. The Cupertino-based company, according to the e-mail has been engaged in the task of improving the working conditions of thousands of their workers. He asserted that Apple was was "attacking" the issues they've been facing and are being criticised for. Also, for tackling bigger issues of safety, the environment and fair labor they were seeking the expertise of those in that field. Interestingly, Cook added that they had opened up their supply chain units to Fair Labor Association to carry out independent evaluations, thereby working towards transparency in the working. Cook also attempted to familiarize people with Apple'sSupplier Responsibility page, which contains a detailed account of how Apple's faring in areas like Code of Conduct, Labor & Human Rights, Health & Safety, Environmental Impact, Ethics, Education and Development, Auditing and Reports.

Apple's been facing a lot of criticism off late, owing to the working conditions in their factories, which according to reports isn't the best. Reports complaining of workers having to undergo - excessive recruitment fees, hiring of underage workers, excessive overtime, discriminatory policies, among others. At Foxconn, in a series of events, which first highlighted the plight of the workers, some even went on to the extent of committing suicide. 

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