WHO IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE?
Should Apple, Sony, HP, Microsoft – or any of the numerous consumer electronic companies that use Foxconn as their supplier – be held responsible for their suppliers’ labor practices? Isn’t it ultimately the responsibility of that company and its country’s government to regulate and ensure its citizens are being treated fairly?
After months of growing scrutiny over its labor practices, Apple has agreed to implement reforms following an independent audit that discovered major violations in the sprawling Chinese factories that produce iPhones and iPads. The report, conducted by the Fair Labor Association, comes as Apple seeks to diffuse criticism about labor conditions at Foxconn following a rash of worker suicides and industrial accidents.
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Below are some a-ha! moments I learned from the call:
- Top priority is to eliminate underage labor in supply chain
- Would rather be known as a spendthrift company vs. one that throw toga parties
- Focused on developing a few, great, high quality products
- Tablets will eventually surpass the PC market, eventually making them obsolete
- Never holds back on releasing an awesome product, even though it might cannibalize another product
- Watch: 250,000 people sign Apple petition (mnn.com)
- LEAKED MEMO FROM APPLE CEO: Here’s What We’re Doing To Protect Apple Factory Workers (APPL) (businessinsider.com)
- Apple to allow deep FLA investigation of supply line (vator.tv)
- Apple’s labor response proves its brand is in danger, critic says (venturebeat.com)
Here’s a fiendish tale I thought deserved some attention given today’s historic occasion!
Strangely, the same day Apple’s stock price hit a mouth watering $500, it also announced its request to have the Fair Labor Association begin conducting special voluntary audits of its final assembly suppliers, including Foxconn factories in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China. This announcement comes after a recent report in the New York Times examining the dangerous conditions workers are subject to in Apple’s iPad and iPhone factories in China and the fatal accidents that could’ve been prevented. Read more.