Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

Summary: Apple said in a report that major violations at its suppliers doubled in 2010. These major violations included underage and involuntary labor, falsification of audits, worker endangerment and other abuses.

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TOPICS: CXO, Apple, IT Employment
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Apple said in a report that major violations at its suppliers doubled in 2010. These major violations included underage and involuntary labor, falsification of audits, worker endangerment and other abuses. The supplier responsibility report comes as Apple has taken some heat for its supply chain. The suicides at Foxconn, the Chinese company that makes the iPad and other Apple devices, shed light on the issue. Here's the money graph from Apple:

In 2010, our audits of 127 facilities revealed 37 core violations: 18 facilities where workers had paid excessive recruitment fees, which we consider to be involuntary labor; ten facilities where underage workers had been hired; two instances of worker endangerment; four facilities where records were falsified; one case of bribery; and one case of coaching workers on how to answer auditors’ questions.

These audits are likely to create more than a few headlines. For perspective though, Apple is being transparent here. In addition, Apple's supply chain has grown so the company is also conducting more audits. In 2010, Apple completed first-time audits of 97 facilities and 30 repeat audits. Since 2007, Apple has audited 288 suppliers.

Apple also mapped conflict materials such as tantalum, tin, tungsten or gold in its supply chain.

Here are some of the key items Apple found in its supplier base.

  • 18 facilities had foreign contract workers who paid excessive recruitment fees to labor agencies. Apple required these to suppliers to reimburse workers.
  • 49 underage workers were discovered at 9 facilities. Suppliers were required to improve management systems and support the young workers return to school.
  • In one facility there were 42 underage workers. Apple has terminated that supplier.
  • 1 facility exposed workers to n-hexane in poorly ventilated areas. The facility had to stop using n-hexane and improve ventilation systems.
  • 2 facilities falsified payroll records and provided misleading interview answers to Apple's audit team. Apple required another investigation.
  • 1 facility manager offered to bribe Apple's third party auditors. Apple terminated business with the facility.
  • 76 facilities had workers where  working-hour limits more than 50 percent of the time. Apple sets a max at 60 hours per week with at least one day of rest per seven days. At 74 facilities, more than half of the records reviewed by Apple indicated employees  worked more than six consecutive days at least once per month.

Topics: CXO, Apple, IT Employment

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49 comments
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  • Ah ain't Apple the best with its foreign work base

    Pfffft.
    klumper
    • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

      @klumper I see the Hateraide is flowing, where are the rest of the ABA club? On a serious note Apple has already terminated contracts with two of the suppliers, maybe Microsoft will not use these two suppliers ;)
      Rick_K
      • Haterade to some

        @Rick_K

        Kool-Aide to others. Your choice of course, but with eyes wide open, I'd rather go down swinging.
        klumper
    • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

      @klumper Then tell me where are similar audits done by Sony, Nintendo, Toshiba, etc.?

      And with your obvious wisdom and knowledge tell us just what is Apple supposed to do?
      athynz
      • You again, asking the same questions?

        @athynz <br><br>Reprise follows [post x2] below.
        klumper
      • We can't see oxygen, yet we've proven it exists

        we can't see alot of things, but we know it's there.

        Just because you haven't seen similar audits done by Sony, Nintendo, Toshiba doesn't mean they haven't done any.

        Yet this is all new for Apple as the recent stories of the last year pretty much prove that it wasn't an issue until they got called on it.
        John Zern
      • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

        @athynz Perhaps produce there products where they can control how the labor is treated, you know someplace that has laws that protect it's labor force. Perhaps right here in the USA? It is immoral to increase profits by taking advantage of workers who have no recourse. And yes they KNEW that they would be taken advantage of, but did not care until they were called out.
        miatapaul
      • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

        @athynz
        "And with your obvious wisdom and knowledge tell us just what is Apple supposed to do?"

        Make their own hardware... and do so in the US? Nahhh... why would company want to help support the country they are based in....

        I remember a time when Apple, Dell, and Gateway were largely manufactured here in the US... and their quality was actually good. Now, it's all made by foxconn, and your lucky the crap makes it out of the box without a cracked screen, or a dead motherboard.

        What is Apple supposed to do...
        ShadowGIATL
      • What is Apple supposed to do...

        ShadowGIATL | miatapaul<br><br>A few remember once upon a time. ;)
        klumper
    • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

      @klumper
      Nice of Apple to work on giving its jobs to the USA its home.
      rparker009
      • It needs to do much more

        @rparker009 <br><br>And not do it as half-assedly as they do. That includes curbing the importation of cheap talent <i>en masse</i> over the cultivation and hiring of homegrown material. Just like the spoiled, elitist brats at Google and Microsoft love doing as they freely snub this country's workpool while pursuing their dreams.
        klumper
    • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

      @klumper at least they took SOME steps, personally I cant stand apple products and I cant wait to get rid of my iphone, but they at least show some concern about the people they pay to make their junk
      nickdangerthirdi@...
      • Hardly enough

        @nickdangerthirdi@... <br><br>We need to demand MUCH MORE from our technocracy -- and get it. Or we might as well ship their collective, one world butts to China to do their thing.<br><br>Yeah, they'd really love swallowing their own medicine, wouldn't they?
        klumper
  • And....

    Yet Apple will continue to use these supplier knowing that their actions are illegal. They don't care. Just get their products out the door as cheap as possible but [Apple] charge as much as possible.
    Gis Bun
    • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

      @Gis Bun

      And what part about "terminating relationship with the facility" do you not understand?

      What part of forcing a company to pay for medical treatment and lost wages for workers exposed to n-hexane do you not understand?

      What part of making facilities that employed underage workers pay for schooling for those works until they are 16 do you not understand?

      What part of making companies pay back workers who were forced to pay illegal recruitment fees to get their jobs do you not understand?

      The only thing your holier-than-thou attitude demonstrates is lack of reading comprehension skills.
      newtype
      • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

        @newtype They knew that this would happen at the prices they were paying for the products. But they did not care at all until called out on it as it meant more profit. This is not just an Apple thing, but all corporations need to take responsibility for what is happening in China. It would not happen if they took responsibility for there actions, but instead they hide behind "contractors" and "suppliers." They say hey it was them, so I am not responsible, oh and I will not use them again. Funny thing is if I hire someone to do work for me I am responsible for any short cuts I allow them to do, but corporations are not.
        miatapaul
      • There is **nothing** illegal in these plants which remained

        @newtype: you are right. All limitations are set by Apple policy; government has much more lax ones, so no laws are broken even when Apple's policy is not implemented.
        DDERSSS
    • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

      @Gis Bun Did you bother to actually read any part of this article or just decided to reply to the part where the issues were found without bothering to read further to discover that Apple took corrective actions?
      athynz
  • America spent its first 400 years providing for itself

    The sooner we get back on that path, the better off we will be.

    @athynz
    [i]But you with your obvious wisdom and superior intellect can tell us what Apple was supposed to do, right? Sure, drink more of that hateraide there klumper.[/i]

    You need to turn to Dr. Haterade for such answers? Why not turn to all those all-knowing technocrats, along with their odious franchise partners, for precious signals and signs? Lest we forget that supreme deity of commerce (ironically) called JOBS, with whom you seem to place so much faith and adoration. Please don't tell me cracks are widening at the seams of their amoral, one-world pursuits.

    Seriously, you wouldn't want to know what Dr. Klumper would do to right such wrongs. Lord knows, even the Apple faithful might have to take a hit on their precious portfolios for a spell when all these American-gone-Globalistic institutions get "reprioritized" (shades of what our founding fathers accomplished once upon a time when their commercial overlords pushed a bit too far).

    Be aware that there are others who are concerned first and foremost about the 10 million (and growing) out of work in their own backyard, even when the lucre chasing technocrats you rush to defend are not. Trust me, the multi-nationals don't give a hoot about such "peripheral" side effects when it comes to the Yankee playground.
    klumper
    • RE: Apple's outlines major supplier violations, fixes

      @klumper

      So you are proposing a return to the traditional American management? Workers want better wages and conditions? Shoot them! Workers on strike? Bring in university students to replace them -- you did know that students were a major source of scabs during the early 20th century? Remember the US Supreme Court decision in 1937 in Mackay Radio and Telegraph? Go on strike and lose your job. Want medical benefits? Get fired. Be suspected of being pro-union? Get fired? Turn over lists of your fellow employees whom you suspect of being pro-union? Get them fired and yourself a raise.

      So continue your dream of just how great American management was and how well they treated labour. Anyone who has spent any time studying American labour history is not going to be following you down that primrose path.
      DNSB