“As Apple Inc, the world’s most valuable listed company, braces itself for a report into alleged poor working conditions among its army of low-cost suppliers in China, it could heed the lessons from another big-brand retailer that faced similar issues two decades ago,” Terril Yue Jones reports for Reuters.
“‘Apple is facing its ‘Nike moment’,’ said Teresa Cheng, international campaign coordinator for United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), referring to accusations in the 1990s that suppliers to sportswear retailer Nike Inc mistreated workers,” Jones reports. “Such is the California-based iPad and iPhone maker’s dominance of the technology sector that its response to the non-profit Fair Labor Association’s (FLA) report – expected this week – could affect conditions across China’s vast electronics supply chain… ‘Unless we hold Apple’s feet to the fire, they’re going to get away with profiting off the same sweatshop conditions and driving a global race to the bottom while fooling the public and making it look like they’re getting better, just like Nike did,’ Cheng at USAS said in emailed comments.”
Jones reports, “Apple stresses its partners are required to adhere to strict global standards. ‘We insist our suppliers provide safe working conditions, (and) treat workers with dignity and respect,’ said spokeswoman Carolyn Wu. ‘Our suppliers must live up to these requirements if they want to keep doing business with Apple.’
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: If the report is any good for Apple, it will be discounted and/or ignored by those with an agenda that has very little to do with Apple save for coattailing on the brand for free publicity. See Greenppeace and Consumer Reports.
Newsflash #1: Factory work is repetitive and boring. Until robots take over, that’s not going to change. That’s why the young, usually students, take those jobs in China. They are not 40-year old heads of households with kids and a mortgage. These are not career jobs.
Newsflash #2: U.S. citizens are used to U.S. living conditions. Seeing non-U.S. living conditions usually shocks the non-travelled U.S. citizen. That does’t mean companies should be accused of abusing sweatshop labor when they are doing no such thing.
Newsflash #3: People commit suicide. Pampered millionaires commit suicide. Foxconn’s rate of suicide is less that China’s as a whole. Those who use the tragedy of suicide in order to advance their agendas are vile.
Watch the ABC News video of the Foxconn factory here. We do not see anything that even remotely resembles a “sweatshop.” Read about young Chinese citizens lining up by the thousands for Foxconn jobs here. United Students Against Sweatshops would do well to find some real sweatshops to be “against” for a change. It does not advance their cause to concoct “sweatshops” where there are none. It only makes them look dishonest and desperate.
FLA President: Foxconn factories ‘first-class; way, way above average’ – February 15, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook calls New York Times supplier report ‘patently false and offensive’
Apple audit led by COO Tim Cook prompted improvements at Foxconn – February 14, 2011
Media blows it: Foxconn employees face significantly lower suicide risk – May 28, 2010