Apple this week acknowledged it is still battling poor working conditions and environmental violations with some of its overseas supplier factories, but highlighted programs to solve ongoing issues, according to a company audit.
Apple’s annual Supplier Responsibility Report addressed conditions at 756 sites in 30 countries last year and scored facilities based on its Code of Conduct.
Another Foxconn worker committed suicide over the weekend at the firm’s phone assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China, according to U.S.-based Chinese workers’ rights organization China Labor Watch (CLW).
The incident reportedly occurred on Saturday, January 6, when 31-year-old Li Min jumped to his death from the factory. CLW posted video showing the aftermath of the suicide. No explanation for why Li Min took his own life have been made public, although he had only been working and living at Foxconn for a little over two months.
In a four-month investigation of 10 of Apple’s Chinese suppliers, China Labor Watch has found what they call “deplorable” working conditions in many of the factories of Apple’s component manufacturers. These factories allegedly contain hazardous working conditions and excessive overtime.
Bleeding hearts the world over are very happy with the news that Apple and Foxconn are working together to make employee working conditions better in their Chinese factories. But there is a group of people who aren’t so pleased about the reductions in working hours: the workers themselves.
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.
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.