Apple audit uncovered 37 serious breaches of code of conduct at supplier facilities

Ever wondered as how your iPhone, iPod or iPad was made? Thought about the conditions that the person who was involved it its making worked in? Apple's 2011 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report might give you an insight.

Ever wondered as how your iPhone, iPod or iPad was made? Thought about the conditions that the person who was involved it its making worked in? Apple's 2011 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report might give you an insight.

Here are the highlights from the report:

  • Across 127 facilities, Apple uncovered 37 examples of what it calls "core violations" which covers aspects such as underage labor, worker intimidation and exposure of workers to toxic chemicals.
  • A total of 91 underage workers were found in 10 facilities.
  • One facility was exposing workers to toxic chemicals.
  • Several examples of false accounting in an attempt to throw Apple's audit team off the scent of violations.
  • Several examples of foreign workers who had paid excessive recruitment fees to labor agencies.
  • Several examples of suppliers underpaying workers.
  • One example of bribery.
  • A facility coaching workers in how to respond "correctly" to the audit team.

Note: Suppliers found to have underage suppliers must pay the educational expenses and wages for 6 months or until the worker turns 16, whichever is longer.

Most of the offending facilities were given a slap on the wrist and told to obey the code of conduct and local laws. Apple did sever relations with some facilities and suppliers who were repeat offenders, or the worst offending facilities.

On a more positive note, Apple believes that the steps that Foxconn took to curb the alarming number of suicides at its facilities "definitely saved lives."

If you've bought an Apple product lately, spare a thought for the people who made it possible.