While we all know that most consumer electronics are manufactured in places like China, Apple has become the public face of the current practice. While the company continues to rake in huge profits from their iPhone and iPad devices, there has been much finger-pointing in Apple’s direction when unfair and degrading labor practices in manufacturing plants in China, like Foxconn, are brought to the forefront in Western media.
Apple seems pretty aware that it’s fighting this public relations battle on their own. The company’s Labor and Human Rights webpage has just been updated to include data on how many hours per week the 800,000 production workers in their supply chain have to work.
The web page notes that Apple is against any labor practices that threaten the rights of workers, even when the laws of the region may permit it to happen.
Going deep into our supply chain, we are now tracking weekly supplier data for over 800,000 workers. In August, 97 percent of worker weeks were reported as compliant with the 60-hour maximum work week specified in our code, sustaining the 97 percent that was reported in July.
Apple even admits that this is only a start, and that it has more work to do in the future to prevent the kinds of abuses that can take place, like the hire of underage workers.
While measuring the hours in a work week is a good start, I can only hope that the people who run Apple continue to live these values, and push forward into less easily measurable areas, like the working conditions of specific factories, and the types of working and living situations many workers find themselves in. Rioting is only one potential symptom of awful working conditions, but it is a pretty clear one. 60 hours a week in horrible, degrading, and abusive working and living conditions is still a threat to human rights.
Via: Apple Insider