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Apple Among Highest-Ranking Brands in Latest Workers' Rights Report

International aid organization Baptist World Aid Australia released its Electronics Industry Trends report that examines working conditions for employees throughout the technology supply and manufacturing chain (via ZDNet). Apple was one of the highest-ranking brands in the report, which includes suppliers in all facets of the supply chain starting with mineral extraction and extending to the end stage of product assembly.

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According to the report, Apple scored a B+, placing it just below Nokia, which was the leader with a B+ score on the basis of being able to prove it was paying workers a living wage. Paying a living wage was a key metric, with most of the surveyed companies (97 percent) not able to confirm they were paying workers at a rate that would meet their basic needs for food, water and shelter.
"Apple's inclusion in the top tier may come as a surprise given the public attention it has received for poor working conditions and child labour at Chinese suppliers like Foxconn and Pegatron. In fact, Apple itself reported finding eight facilities using child labour in 2014," said the report.
Apple has made significant progress in addressing poor working conditions in supplier factories, following several high-profile reports of labor violations at manufacturers such as Pegatron and Foxconn. Apple now routinely audits supplier factories and documents working conditions in a yearly report published on the company's Supplier Responsibility section of its website.

Apple has pledged to prevent excessive work hours, unethical hiring policies, and the hiring of underage workers at the factories that supply Apple with parts. The company takes this commitment seriously, dropping suppliers when they are found to be violating its Supplier Code of Conduct.

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18 weeks ago

Apple can't prove that the workers in its production chain get a living wage (have enough money for food, water, and housing), but they still get a B+? Talk about grading on a curve...

I think that's sad. I know Apple and others are working to improve conditions, but if only one company (Nokia) can show that the workers making their products can actually make a living, then change is not happening quickly enough.


You don't know what you are talking about. I've seen and been part of China sourcing for 10+ years and believe me top tier firm like Apple/Foxconn is so much better than the typical small factories around the rest of China. Why do you suppose there are always thousands (tens of thousand) of people linking up for job interview at those factories? Someone put a gun to their head?

You have no ideas what the real world is like and how bad it is down on the farm or where they come from. Typical first world citizen seeing the world with their own lens.
Rating: 12 Votes
18 weeks ago

Does this mean they can finally cut the suicide nets down?


You need to do some research. Foxconn workers live in dorms where they work. So they live and work in one location. Sometimes people have problems and kill themselves. Usually they do it at home. If you look at the suicide rate for people in China and the suicide rate for people working at Foxconn you'll find the rate much lower than the general population. But that story doesn't sell newspapers (or get click-throughs). This was reporting bias at it's finest.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago
Why do we never hear about the working conditions for Samsung laborers ?
Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago

Please re-read my post. The report says they're not making a living wage. I think it would be good for everyone to make a living wage. You don't?


No, it does not say they are not making a living wage. Please re-read the article. It says Nokia was the only company that provided a definitive demonstration that they were paying a living wage. Just because something is not demonstrated, doesn't mean it isn't true.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 weeks ago

With no insult intended towards the US, the ridiculous leadtime on the Mac Pro helps me to believe this won't happen for a long time.


The long lead times for th first Mac Pros were not because of any mistakes. I think what Apple did was to size the factory based on the long term depend for Mac Pros. Lets say that is 1,000 per week. But when they were first announced they got 10,000 orders per week. This will not continue.

So what should Apple have done? Hire lots of extra stall and then fire then after four months? They might have done that but what to do with al the extra factory space.? No, they just lived with a temporary shortage.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks ago
I don't necessarily see this as Apple's fault. It seems like they're doing something with the annual report and taking the initiative and commitment to make sure working conditions are at standard and pay rate as well. I think it definitely has to do more with the factory itself and probably even the Chinese government. Who's to blame? It's such a big production and such a huge country.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks ago

It's horrendous, I know. My question: what is the baseline for these ratings? If the baseline are factories with horrific conditions, then isn't that measure relatively low to start?...


The baseline for many of the workers is their last job. Likely it was subsistence farming, making what they hoped was enough to eat, working 7 days a week outdoors in all weather, living with no electrical power or running water.

This was the case in China not long ago. ANY factory job as so much better than what they had at home. But now they are used to the factory job. So new factories are compared to old ones and slowly the standards are going up.

100 years ago a factory worker in the US would be fired for an on the job injury. The bos would say "I hired you when you had both hands. I don't need a one handed worker, go home, don't come back." But slowly we raised the standards here.

Eventually those factory jobs turn into engineering, marketing and service jobs just like what happened in the US. I think a slow progression in inevitable and can't happen overnight.
Rating: 2 Votes
17 weeks ago

Look, it's only as far as I'm aware. Samsung do manufacture a lot of screens for Apple, so it's logical to assume Samsung are involved.

I could be wrong.


You didn't get it. Question was about Samsung labouring! You know, someone does put these galaxy products together right? Along with hundreds of other models. Unless Samsung uses robots to manufacture them and not human beings.
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks ago

5 comments in and Samsung gets a namecheck? Is this a record?. Obsessed much?..


Not at all. All we hear in the news is that Apple's factories are terrible to workers. Can you give me one example where another vendor like Samsung was mentioned ?
Rating: 2 Votes
18 weeks ago

Look, it's only as far as I'm aware. Samsung do manufacture a lot of screens for Apple, so it's logical to assume Samsung are involved.

I could be wrong.


I was actually wondering why we never hear about any manufacturing issues with Samsung as far as the Samsung phones that are produced. Do they not have the same issues as Apple as far as workplace hours, safety, and living wage ? If so, why is Apple always singled out ?
Rating: 2 Votes

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