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"In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad".

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Company response
30 January 2012

Apple response to The New York Times report, "In China, Human Costs are Built into iPad"

Author: Apple

Apple is committed to driving the highest standards for social responsibility throughout our supply base. We require that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct as a condition of doing business with us. Drawing on internationally recognized standards, our Code lays out Apple’s expectations in the areas of labor and human rights, worker health and safety, the environmental impact, ethics, and management systems. We insist that our manufacturing partners follow this Code, and we make sure they do by conducting rigorous audits with the help of independent experts...We are always looking for ways to make our program even stronger and more transparent. Apple recently became the first technology company accepted by the Fair Labor Association (FLA)...Apple will also open its supply chain to the FLA’s independent auditing team, who will measure our suppliers’ performance against the FLA’s Workplace Code of Conduct and the results will appear on their website. It’s a level of transparency and independent oversight that is unmatched in our industry...

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Article
25 January 2012

In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad

Author: Charles Duhigg & David Barboza, New York Times

...[in an] explosion...last May...[in] the area [of a factory] where employees polished thousands of iPad cases a day...[2] people were killed immediately...Employees [assembling Apple products] work excessive overtime...Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups...More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health...“If Apple was warned, and didn’t act, that’s reprehensible,” said Nicholas Ashford, a former chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health...“But what’s morally repugnant in one country is accepted business practices in another, and companies take advantage of that.”...Current and former Apple executives, moreover, say the company has made significant strides in improving factories in recent years...And Apple’s annual supplier responsibility reports, in many cases, are the first to report abuses...But significant problems remain...“Apple never cared about anything other than increasing product quality and decreasing production cost,” said Li Mingqi, who until April worked in management at [major Apple supplier] Foxconn Technology [part of Hon Hai]...“Workers’ welfare has nothing to do with their interests,” he said...Apple was provided with extensive summaries of this article, but the company declined to comment...Foxconn, in a statement, disputed workers’ accounts of continuous shifts, extended overtime, crowded living accommodations and the causes of [a] riot...“Conditions at Foxconn are anything but harsh,” the company wrote. [also refers to Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba, Amazon, Nintendo, Samsung, Wintek, Intel, Nike, Gap]

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