Apple linked with child labour, suicide and worse

15 February 2011

Bitterwallet - Apple keynote on Setember 7th?

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.

TOPICS:   Technology   Economy


  • Steve J.
    The suicide bit connected with Apple is more far reaching than you know... Bloke at work has a silly little gay blue sock knitted for his iPod touch, with a flappy lid held on by equally silly little cork button, his misses knitted it for him and I don't think he's allowed to say it 'sucks'. Honestly makes me want to slit my and his wrists everytime I see it.
  • Tiziano M.
    He's right you know, look at how vain Apple users are, now imagine how high the chance of suicide is should a blemish appear on them or their vanity articles (clothes, iPhone, shoes, car, etc), scary isn't it? I'm amazed the tube system in London functions and isn't brought down by Apple users throwing themselves under trains, although maybe it isn't spectacular and vain enough, after all, everybody should look at me, look at me, look at me.
  • Kevin
    This is the Chinese authorities fault. If they aren't following any procedures to check for child labour then it is their fault, not Apples.
  • The S.
    Kevin, I believe the word you intended was 'responsibility', not fault.

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