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Summary:

A few weeks ago, you might have heard about a Chinese manufacturer/supplier with sub-par conditions for their employees. This group of over 200,000 people happened to be a piece in the iPod making puzzle. Apple released this today noting that the majority of the code of […]

A few weeks ago, you might have heard about a Chinese manufacturer/supplier with sub-par conditions for their employees. This group of over 200,000 people happened to be a piece in the iPod making puzzle. Apple released this today noting that the majority of the code of conduct was in compliance, and even better publicly admitted the things that weren’t right.

“We were not satisfied, however, with the living conditions of three of the off-site leased dorms that we visited. These buildings were converted by the supplier during a period of rapid growth and have served as interim housing. Two of the dormitories, originally built as factories, now contain a large number of beds and lockers in an open space, and from our perspective, felt too impersonal. The third contained triple-bunks, which in our opinion didn’t provide reasonable personal space.”

There are some numbers, that the factory management planned prior to the report to increase living space by 46% (of what I wonder). Also, Apple PR reported that cafeteria and other facilities were up to snuff.

Also, the pay scale was insanely complicated and manually managed. Interestingly, the factories had electronic ID tags and didn’t utilize this as a ‘clock in/out” tool. This isn’t rocket science here, and it is very suspicious that they wouldn’t link these systems together.

It sounds like a few things came out of this, which all are good. First, Apple did the right thing when it was called to their attention by responding and investigating. Then they hired experts (respected ones) to handle the rest of the loose ends and give reports back to Apple on changing the conditions that were noncompliant. This isn’t uncommon for companies to do. It does confirm, in my opinion that something fishy was going on. I don’t think Apple will tolerate it and would rather be a company that shows action and fixing it rather than pulling out and leaving 30,000 people jobless.

  1. yolantevonscheußlich Sunday, August 20, 2006

    like any other corporation apple cares about the bottom-line and nothing else, what they did was a PR stunt. i do not believe them, if they want credibility they should let a independent human rights ngo do the investigation. did anyone expect apple to come out and say: sorry we thought nothing was wrong with slave labour as long as it did not hurt our image. but now we’ll be good and everything will be different. of course the problems they found were fixable and not all that major.

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  2. I would say this is mostly PR, but there’s a lot more to it than company profits or expenses. Apple is responsible to its shareholders, which in turn need the company to manufacture as cheaply as possible. We could blame Apple all day long, but the underlying problem holds true for many corporations, not just Apple.

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  3. “the underlying problem holds true for many corporations, not just Apple.”
    Because other company’s are doing it, that makes it ok for Apple?

    “Apple is responsible to its shareholders, which in turn need the company to manufacture as cheaply as possible.” What kind of an excuse is that?
    “Yeah well slavery is wrong but if it makes money for our shareholders then *** human rights…”

    But, even though it probably was a PR stunt, it is a step in the right direction. They could have just denied the hole thing. But then again they could have organized an independent investigation.
    Could have, should have, would have. One thing is for sure, this report will make the hole thing blow away in a couple of days.

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  4. More importantly, it’s really FoxConn who is at fault for allowing the conditions to exist. Apple isn’t completely out of the loop though, but they certainly took the brunt of the blame. Many US companies have manufacturing going on at that plant; for whatever reason the press picked on Apple instead.

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