Apple linked with child labour, suicide and worse
Last year, Apple audited the companies that supplied for them. Sadly for the Jobsian lot, the resultant report made for some grim reading. Apple found instances of underage labour, unsafe working conditions, lack of first-aid supplies, improper handling of hazardous chemicals, excessive recruitment fees and more.
The report states that Apple have stopped dealing with one particular facility thanks to the management there, who "presented falsified payroll records and provided misleading interview answers to Apple's audit team" while another "offered cash to Apple's third-party auditors, asking them to reduce the number of audit findings."
Last year, Apple hired 91 underage workers via facilities who don't mind a bit of child labour. "We determined management had chosen to overlook the issue and was not committed to addressing the problem," the report says of that facility, adding: "Apple has terminated business with the facility."
They've not given the boot to all companies though. At one supplier,"a facility manager assembled workers and told them to provide false wage payment information to Apple auditors." Rather than axe the firm, Apple merely asked them to produce the actual records and asked that the management staff received better training.
Another section of the report looks at illegal practises concerning chemicals used in logo production while another touches on the spate of suicides and reports of maltreatment at Foxconn's plant in Shenzhen, China. Apple met with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, which resulted in the commissioning a team of suicide-prevention experts to "conduct a deeper investigation into the suicides, evaluate Foxconn’s response, and recommend strategies for supporting workers' mental health in the future."
Of course, this is a piece of self-promotion from Apple who are very pleased with themselves for attempting to hack through the dreadful working conditions of electronics around the world. Apple are pretty much the only company auditing their suppliers in this manner, which is creditable, even if it furthers that sense of smugness that emits from each Apple device.