Apple needs to rethink how to clean up their supply chain

“Apple Inc. needs to do better,” Tim Culpan writes for Bloomberg Gadfly. “For all the talk of cleaning up its supply chain, too many stories keep popping up about poor working conditions and excessive overtime.”

“Workers at Catcher Technology Co. were handling, and possibly breathing, noxious chemicals without appropriate safety equipment. Dormitory and showering facilities were subpar, and resigning workers had salaries withheld in what China Labor Watch says is a breach of labor laws,” Culpan writes. “Apple, for its part, says it sent additional auditors to the Catcher site but found no evidence of violations of its standards. This makes me wonder how it is that what Apple finds (or doesn’t find) is so incongruous with what’s uncovered by labor groups like CLW and by journalists.”

“I truly believe Apple is doing its best, and these efforts to clean up the supply chain are far more than a marketing ploy. I’ve covered the company and its suppliers for more than a decade, and have done my own site visits,” Culpan writes. “[But] too many incidents fall through the cracks, and Apple can’t seem to stop them.”

“A few months ago, I wrote that the company had lost its supply chain mojo as manufacturing discipline slipped. I believe the same can be said for compliance and auditing,” Culpan writes. “If Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams really want to ensure their standards are met, and I believe they do, they need to recognize that the current approach isn’t working well enough.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Put the compensation of Apple suppliers’ management teams at risk for non-compliance with Apple’s standards and you’ll see near 100% compliance in no time flat.

Apple’s latest Supplier Responsibility report is here.

Workers describe noxious hazards at Apple supplier Catcher Technology’s China factory – January 16, 2018
Apple reviewing new claims of supplier’s labor violations in China – September 4, 2014


    1. Who or what is the “Gay Blade”? And what does the “Gay Blade” have to do with the price of tea in China. As for Steve, I’m sure a lot of us miss him. But, do you think labor conditions 10 or 15 years ago were any better or worse when Steve was at the helm?

  1. i believe that the original China Labour watch report is b.s. (they,ve been going at Apple for years ignoring way worse offenders like Samsung — yes samsung has china factories where 50% or more workers were underaged vs the handful at apple suppliers. China Labour Watch like orgs like green peace want publicity to get donation funding and Apple is the fattest target)

    Apple re audited the company and found no violations.

    i can’t verify work conditions etc but just
    looking at the photos in the first article (link in the MDN link section)
    the factory looks well kept, the cafeteria looks as good as many factory cafeterias in USA.

    The dorms also look new with nice chairs . my college dorm wasn’t much better except i didn’t have bunk bed — size of my dorm room was tiny too. Filth on floor is the workers dorms is probably workers themselves not keeping them clean — most of these workers from the article statement are from farms — most probably with no flush toilets and even dirt floors.

    workers sleeping at tables are ‘normal’ in some parts of asia. most farmers take afternoon siestas as it’s too hot (the work early from dawn — and these people like stated came from farms. . i’ve worked in Asia when i was younger for 10 years over — my brother was a tech consultant in Shanghai for 2 years as well — and i personally witnessed workers who i know were not abused sleeping after a quick lunch.

    often the news gets distorted by western media.
    a few years back at height of fake Apple labour news frenzy if you read the audits the number one complaint of workers by a huge margin was ‘LACK OF OVER TIME!’ — they wanted MORE over time hours! Apple had to forcibly limit it causing workers protest… ! (this is china — they want to make money)

  2. This is clickbait. The Bloomberg writer does not understand how HUUGE the Apple supply chain is. There is over 1.5 million workers and lot of companies. You can bet that in that 1.5 million people there are bosses that are shithole orange dorks and will try to cut corners. For Apple this is priority one because it hurts their reputation, but it is very difficult job to do. Apple takes this very seriously you can be sure.

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