Mike Daisey performing "The Agony & Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs"
This American Life‘s January episode “Mr. Daisey Goes To The Apple Factory” was the show’s most popular episode in history, racking up over one million downloads and setting off a chain reaction of reports that eventually resulted in Apple ordering an independent audit of working conditions in its supply change.
The titular Mr. Daisey has been covered exhaustively by Cult of Mac. He is probably best known outside of his NPR appearance as the man behind the one-man show “The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”, which Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wept at.
Unfortunately, Daisey’s integrity and honesty are being called into question after This American Life took the unprecedented step of retracting the episode earlier today,
Employees at Foxconn factories in China claim that the company hid underage workers during the recent inspection by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) so that they would not be discovered, according to the organization Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM).
ABC aired an episode of Nightline last night showing exclusive video from inside “Apple’s Chinese factories.” In the video, presenter Bob Weir explores the production lines at Foxconn. Two things really stand out. First, the place is clean. And I mean really clean. Second, the iPhone is essentially hand made, with 141 human steps needed to assemble it.
While investigations into the working conditions in its Chinese factories still underway, Apple has now commissioned an independent environmental group to review its supply chain and identify any environmental concerns. The reviews are set to begin next month, and will focus on the environmental impact of factories belonging to Foxconn and one other unnamed supplier.
It seems that lengthy report looking into the poor working conditions in Chinese factories assembling Apple products is going to haunt the Cupertino company for some time yet. The latest backlash comes from consumer group SumOfUs, which has launched a petition calling for Apple to “stop worker abuse,” with over 35,000 signatures collected in just 24 hours.
Tim Cook was outraged by a recent report from The New York Timesthat provided a detailed look at the poor working conditions for Chinese factory workers assembling our Apple gadgets. It seems he’s not the only one. The BSR, a leader in corporate responsibility which works with Apple to develop sustainable business strategies, has labeled the report “inaccurate” and “misleading,” and has requested that it is corrected by the NYT.
Following a lengthy New York Times report published earlier this week, detailing the harsh reality behind the mistreatment of Chinese factory workers, Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded to his staff with an email that brands the report “patently false and offensive.”
Cook revealed he is “outraged” by the report, and reassured his team that “we’ve made a great deal of progress and improved conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers.”
While Apple has been actively seeking to improve the working conditions for employees at the Chinese factories manufacturing its products, a former executive for the Cupertino company believes it could do more. The trouble is, Apple’s infamous secrecy is getting in the way.
“We’re trying really hard to make things better,” said one former Apple executive. “But most people would still be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from.”
Facing a storm of criticism over the working conditions in factories building iPods, iPhones and iPads, Apple today for the first time released the names of 156 global suppliers along with a report showing mixed success obtaining fair working conditions. One bright spot: fewer children are working on the much-prized Apple devices.