Apple Now Tracking Working Hours for Over One Million Supply Chain Employees

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple has updated its supplier responsibility pages to note that it is now tracking working hours for one million employees in its supply chain, up from 900,000 at its previous update.

    Compliance with Apple's 60-hour work week standard stood at 88% in November, below the peak of 97% reached in July and August. Apple notes, however, that it allows the normal 60-hour standard to be exceeded during period of high demand if workers volunteer for the additional time. That policy seems to have had an impact on overall compliance over the past three months, coinciding with Apple's major product ramps for the iPhone 5, iPad mini, fourth-generation iPad, updated iPods, and a number of new Mac models.
    Apple reports that with one million supply chain workers now being tracked through the system, the company has doubled its coverage since early this year when it began a new initiative to more openly address worker rights and safety throughout its supply chain. Apple has also partnered with the Fair Labor Association to provide third-party monitoring of conditions.

    Article Link: Apple Now Tracking Working Hours for Over One Million Supply Chain Employees
  2. macrumors regular


    Jul 20, 2010
  3. macrumors 68020


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    Mods may want to make this PRSI-only. I could tell this kind of article has a high probability of heated discussion.
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2003
    London, UK
    60 hours of course is still a lot more than is standard in the USA and Europe. In the latter, we'd see 40 +/- 5 hour weeks as a standard - although of course the con that is unpaid overtime for salaried workers masks the actual worked hours - but you need to sign a form if you regularly work an average of 48 hours a week or more.

    I'd love to see the 48 hour week stats as well as the 60 hour week stats.

    Otherwise, why not just declare a 100% conformance with a "90 hour week standard".

    Of course, as a developing industrial country, long work hours are normal. And many sites provide accommodation, so that's a commute saved too.
  5. macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2011
    Lusaka, Zambia(If you know where it is)
    But yet because it's Apple, the labour conditions for another company is their fault. It's as if Apple are the one managing Foxconn.

    In truth, I find it unusual for a company to track the wages of workers for the supplier. I think what Apple are doing are more than adequate
  6. macrumors 6502


    Jan 26, 2006
    SLC, Utah
    I maxed out at 120 hours in one week at the hospital during residency, where it was illegal to go over 80 hours. The tracking is a step in the right direction, but it's only as good as the reported data it's based on.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    And Foxconn even wraps their facilities with hammocks so that you can take a break out the window!
  8. macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012

    yup ! the comparison to Walmart will run rampant !
  9. macrumors 6502


    Dec 17, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    thats why they say its lonely at the top ;)
  10. macrumors 601


    Apr 3, 2003
    Unsurprisingly we don't see media coverage of the labor practices of Google's Chinese "partners" like ZTE, Xiaomi, Huawei, Meizu, and who-knows-who-else building Android devices. Though we hear all about Android market share. Hmm...
  11. macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
    Apple is not only setting the standards for great products and design, but also Corporate Responsibility. Keep it up!
  12. macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Interesting to see that Apple would assume a 60 hour standard. I know that this is much higher than the United States and European Nations, but I am not aware what social norms are for the East Asian countries. Do these countries typically see workers in this many hours?
  13. macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
  14. macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2010
    Don't forget that large numbers of these workers are migrant workers, far away from their homes. If you talk to them, they would want to work more hours each day, make a bit more money, and take longer vacations at the end of year to visit their families.

    This behavior is standard of all migrant workers across the world. Even in US, many off-site consultants work 10 Hr weekdays, and have a 3 day weekend (I know it still adds up to 40 hrs, but this is just to explain the reasoning behind a migrant worker thought process).
  15. macrumors 68000


    Oct 1, 2004
    Mountains of Vermont
    Standard? Among some office workers. A lot of people work multiple jobs and the total is more like 60 to 90 hours a week. Don't interfere with people's right to work. If they want to work 60 hours then more power to them. I work far more than that as does everyone in our family. Just because you don't want to work don't try to force your values on other people.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2007
    This is complete ********. The U.S. government should check the hours of foreign contractors if it’s that concerned – not Apple
  17. macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2008
    While I am not sure I am comfortable with the state of affairs, almost everyone I know here in the states works 60 hour weeks. Most companies mandate a minimum of 50, average of 60 with the occasional 80 being required.

    Again, not to say I agree with it, but I would be careful about acting like 40 hour work weeks are anything but a distant memory to most in the US.

    Karl P
  18. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Q Division, Los Angeles
    I'm pleased that Apple addresses the topic of supplier responsibility but I don't expect the system to be perfect. For example, the exception for workers who "volunteer for the additional time" is hard to monitor. How do you know if workers are subtly or blatantly coerced into "volunteering"? There's a limit to how much can be monitored accurately, but the more eyes there are on the problem the harder it will be for violations to stay hidden.
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2007
    where/what did you do residency in?
  20. macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Exactly my concern as well. It is what it is I guess. This story will be retweeted/posted on FB, with not so much a second look at the details. Apple is just trying to slowly change public perception after all.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2012
    This whole scandal has given Apple the ability to disguise their need of a thorough analysis of their suppliers' actual productivity to get enough information as leverage for negotiations.

    As an example, let's say that Foxconn reveals to Apple that they need to charge extra labor time within 2 weeks to produce 500,000 units of part X for the iPhone (just a scenario, not actual info.) And in reality, the don't need to charge extra time, and/or they do not pay the complete extra time to their workers.

    Apple does not care if the worker gets paid their complete money, and this does not indicate that Apple is pure evil... is just that Apple does not want to be charged more money than they should pay. Apple must already have personnel at Foxconn that audits to some degree this, but they cannot get really inside of their finances to detect small nuances that in mass production makes the producer save money and keep it under the water without telling the client (Apple) that they have such savings.

    Now, the way public relationists are handling this... well, let's just say it's lack of ethics to hide something like this under the "we care about workers" flag.
  22. macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2010
    Who is interfering with your right to work or forcing their values on you? 40 hours a week, while not necessarily the average, is considered a standard work week. Many work more, and many work less. To each his own.

    On topic, kudos to Apple for trying to track this information. How accurately the suppliers are reporting the information is a completely different story.
  23. macrumors 68020


    Jun 11, 2007
    I work well more than 40 hours a week; I must not know what I'm doing. Who's gonna graph my work and see if I'm being taken advantage of?
  24. macrumors member


    Sep 14, 2012
  25. macrumors 65816


    Mar 2, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Probably at Fullovshet General Hospital for cranial lobotomy internship.

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