Apple Partners with Labor Group to Monitor Workplace Conditions at Suppliers' Factories

apple fair labor association logos
Bloomberg reports that Apple has agreed to allow the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to access its suppliers' facilities to monitor workplace conditions in the wake of publicity surrounding worker suicides at Apple's primary manufacturing partner Foxconn.

The world’s most valuable technology company joins Nike Inc. (NKE), Nestle SA (NESN) and Syngenta AG (SYNN) in turning to the Fair Labor Association, set up in 1999 to monitor workplace conditions globally in an initiative by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Apple is the first technology business to sign up to the FLA as a participating company, the Washington-based body said today in a press release.

In the press release (PDF), Apple senior vice president Jeff Williams notes that Apple routinely performs audits of its suppliers' facilities but that the company is pleased to engage with the Fair Labor Association as an independent monitoring group.

"We're extremely proud to be the first technology company admitted to the FLA," said Jeff Williams, Apple's senior vice president of Operations. "Last year we performed more than 200 audits at our supplier's facilities around the world. With the benefit of the FLA's experience and expertise, we will continue to drive improvements for workers and provide even greater transparency into our supply chain."

The FLA reports that it worked with Apple last year on the company's training programs regarding labor rights and worker standards, and that Apple will bring all of its workplace compliance standards in line with the FLA's guidelines over the next two years.

Top Rated Comments

TMay Avatar
158 months ago
It's about time. Quite frankly, the human rights conditions in these factories are worse than Darfur.

Quite frankly, you are quite full of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Darfur

One's a condition of overwork and stressful working conditions.

The other is war, starvation and genocide.

They aren't comparable, so stop trying.

Oh, and I downgraded you.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
damir00 Avatar
158 months ago
Almost none of us really CAN do anything about it. Those with power aren't those who care.

We elect those in power.

Nobody in a democracy can shirk personal responsibility.

If we wanted to, we could do something about this tomorrow. But in reality we don't really want to (and I include myself in this, I'm as "guilty" as everyone else).
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
158 months ago
You can always vote with your wallet. If you are unhappy with how a certain company does its dealings, don't buy their stuff and educate others why they shouldn't do that either. And communicate with that company if you actually want to buy their stuff but can't due to them being immoral.

Your logic has a fatal flaw: what alternative companies provide better value and a better work environment for their employees? I'm all for being "moral" as long as I'm not being ripped off on a garbage product, and I don't see a lot of Apple's competitors setting up shop in comfortable plants with high pay, pensions, and perks.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arkitect Avatar
158 months ago
Cynically I'd say Apple know the rumours over awful working conditions are bad PR and so try to combat that rather than any heartfelt humanitarian concerns, but that being said:

Good move Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacSince1990 Avatar
158 months ago
We elect those in power.

Nobody in a democracy can shirk personal responsibility.

If we wanted to, we could do something about this tomorrow. But in reality we don't really want to (and I include myself in this, I'm as "guilty" as everyone else).

Oh, Lord. You're laboring under the delusion that the masses have almost any real say about what happens in our country? Hell, our President's so hemmed in by a republican congress that he can't even do anything to help anyone. Every single time there's an initiative to help anyone, Americans included, republicans shoot it down.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
158 months ago
It was in the news elsewhere that workers threatened mass suicide (!) in Microsoft's Foxcon plant.

Can you imagine what would happen if there was a Jim Jones-like Kool-aid incident there? It would change everything.

No, it wouldn't. There are plenty of people willing to take these jobs who would be thrilled not to have to do manual labor in rice fields. These people who hate Foxconn's working conditions didn't have to irrigate crops for 30-40 years and see what REAL sore feet feel like. While I don't think a job there is great in any way, I definitely can say it's a step up from some of the rural options.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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