Apple Partners with Labor Group to Monitor Workplace Conditions at Suppliers' Factories

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,755
8,953






Bloomberg reports that Apple has agreed to allow the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to access its suppliers' facilities to monitor workplace conditions in the wake of publicity surrounding worker suicides at Apple's primary manufacturing partner Foxconn.
The world's most valuable technology company joins Nike Inc. (NKE), Nestle SA (NESN) and Syngenta AG (SYNN) in turning to the Fair Labor Association, set up in 1999 to monitor workplace conditions globally in an initiative by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Apple is the first technology business to sign up to the FLA as a participating company, the Washington-based body said today in a press release.
In the press release (PDF), Apple senior vice president Jeff Williams notes that Apple routinely performs audits of its suppliers' facilities but that the company is pleased to engage with the Fair Labor Association as an independent monitoring group.
"We're extremely proud to be the first technology company admitted to the FLA," said Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of Operations. "Last year we performed more than 200 audits at our supplier's facilities around the world. With the benefit of the FLA's experience and expertise, we will continue to drive improvements for workers and provide even greater transparency into our supply chain."
The FLA reports that it worked with Apple last year on the company's training programs regarding labor rights and worker standards, and that Apple will bring all of its workplace compliance standards in line with the FLA's guidelines over the next two years.

Article Link: Apple Partners with Labor Group to Monitor Workplace Conditions at Suppliers' Factories
 

arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,908
5,496
Bath, United Kingdom
Cynically I'd say Apple know the rumours over awful working conditions are bad PR and so try to combat that rather than any heartfelt humanitarian concerns, but that being said:

Good move Apple.
 

TWSS37

macrumors 65816
Feb 4, 2011
1,107
232
It's about time. Quite frankly, the human rights conditions in these factories are worse than Darfur.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
Cynically I'd say Apple know the rumours over awful working conditions are bad PR and so try to combat that rather than any heartfelt humanitarian concerns, but that being said:

Good move Apple.
It doesn't seem to stop any other companies from ignoring complaints for years. Exxon? Nike? Gap? At least Apple audits places regularly and responds instead of waiting till it goes away.
 

carlgo

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2006
1,806
17
Monterey CA
It was in the news elsewhere that workers threatened mass suicide (!) in Microsoft's Foxcon plant.

Can you imagine what would happen if there was a Jim Jones-like Kool-aid incident there? It would change everything.
 

damir00

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2011
744
7
Who watches the watchers?

----------

It would change everything.
I very much doubt that.

When it comes right down to it, almost none of us care enough to do anything but offer lip service, as we have demonstrated over and over again by ignoring the horrible things that already go on to get us our Oil and other goodies.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,199
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Cynically I'd say Apple know the rumours over awful working conditions are bad PR and so try to combat that rather than any heartfelt humanitarian concerns, but that being said:

Good move Apple.
I have to agree. The primary care of Foxconn employees lies with? Foxconn. Whilst I applaud the gesture, Foxconn's company policy is it's own concern.

Stopping depression in the younger generation is unlikely to be influenced by this decision either.

It's a fundamental flaw in Chinese Governence over which neither Apple, Foxconn or the LG have any control over whatsoever.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
It was in the news elsewhere that workers threatened mass suicide (!) in Microsoft's Foxcon plant.

Can you imagine what would happen if there was a Jim Jones-like Kool-aid incident there? It would change everything.
No, it wouldn't. There are plenty of people willing to take these jobs who would be thrilled not to have to do manual labor in rice fields. These people who hate Foxconn's working conditions didn't have to irrigate crops for 30-40 years and see what REAL sore feet feel like. While I don't think a job there is great in any way, I definitely can say it's a step up from some of the rural options.
 

MacSince1990

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2009
1,347
1
Who watches the watchers?

----------



I very much doubt that.

When it comes right down to it, almost none of us care enough to do anything but offer lip service, as we have demonstrated over and over again by ignoring the horrible things that already go on to get us our Oil and other goodies.
Almost none of us really CAN do anything about it. Those with power aren't those who care.
 

damir00

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2011
744
7
Almost none of us really CAN do anything about it. Those with power aren't those who care.
We elect those in power.

Nobody in a democracy can shirk personal responsibility.

If we wanted to, we could do something about this tomorrow. But in reality we don't really want to (and I include myself in this, I'm as "guilty" as everyone else).
 

Thunderhawks

Suspended
Feb 17, 2009
4,057
2,087
I have to agree. The primary care of Foxconn employees lies with? Foxconn. Whilst I applaud the gesture, Foxconn's company policy is it's own concern.

Stopping depression in the younger generation is unlikely to be influenced by this decision either.

It's a fundamental flaw in Chinese Governence over which neither Apple, Foxconn or the LG have any control over whatsoever.
Even if you want to blame the government (They are trying with their controversial one child policy), but what can anybody do if people make baby after baby, leading to over population?

After that the problems multiply accordingly.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,441
8,159
Austin, TX
We elect those in power.

Nobody in a democracy can shirk personal responsibility.

If we wanted to, we could do something about this tomorrow. But in reality we don't really want to (and I include myself in this, I'm as "guilty" as everyone else).
How can we fix problems overseas when we have plenty of problems here we need to work out? I applaud Apple for taking steps to rectify what they see is a problem, but I don't know that it is the responsibility of our government to get involved.
 

Boomhowler

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2008
283
0
How can we fix problems overseas when we have plenty of problems here we need to work out? I applaud Apple for taking steps to rectify what they see is a problem, but I don't know that it is the responsibility of our government to get involved.
You can always vote with your wallet. If you are unhappy with how a certain company does its dealings, don't buy their stuff and educate others why they shouldn't do that either. And communicate with that company if you actually want to buy their stuff but can't due to them being immoral.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
You can always vote with your wallet. If you are unhappy with how a certain company does its dealings, don't buy their stuff and educate others why they shouldn't do that either. And communicate with that company if you actually want to buy their stuff but can't due to them being immoral.
Your logic has a fatal flaw: what alternative companies provide better value and a better work environment for their employees? I'm all for being "moral" as long as I'm not being ripped off on a garbage product, and I don't see a lot of Apple's competitors setting up shop in comfortable plants with high pay, pensions, and perks.
 

GSPice

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2008
1,623
76
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

What a joke. Every dollar Apple pays the morally bankrupt FLA is a dollar that could have been spent improving and advancing it's technology. It's laughable how quickly people applaud what is essentially Apple paying off a fox to guard the hen house.
 

Boomhowler

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2008
283
0
Your logic has a fatal flaw: what alternative companies provide better value and a better work environment for their employees? I'm all for being "moral" as long as I'm not being ripped off on a garbage product, and I don't see a lot of Apple's competitors setting up shop in comfortable plants with high pay, pensions, and perks.
The first problem is that (in my opinion) no-one is making a similar product to the Mac so I cannot simply go to another vendor, since there is none :)

One way to solve the issue you are talking about is to do the work yourself then. If you can find part-providers which still produce their stuff in EU or US (maybe OWC? they seem to be very US-centric). Buy parts from them and put together the computer here. I'm not so well versed though in which parts manufacturers to choose, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't build a "only US" or "only EU" computer nowadays. Well, maybe some of the NANDs for example might be hard to come by.

But yes, I'm being idealistic now. As I said, that product would't be even close to the Mac. I do believe that Apple is making an ok job to try to make things good for the chinese workers and I hope that they will continue to try to make things decent for them. And yes, I would pay the eventual surplus for my machines if Apple would move their factories to democratic countries with good salaries, health politics and work conditions.