Tim Cook Responds to Report on Working Conditions at Suppliers' Factories

tim cook headshotIn the wake of yesterday's report regarding treatment of workers at the facilities of Apple's suppliers, Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent an email to company employees addressing the situation. As published by 9to5Mac, the email highlights Apple's efforts to oversee compliance with company standards for workers' rights and the transparency with which it has shared that information. From Cook's opening statement:

As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values. Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are.

Cook thanks those Apple employees who are focused on these issues and notes that the company will continue to increase its efforts.

We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues. What we will not do — and never have done — is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word.

The New York Times has also highlighted responses from a number of Chinese readers, many of whom note that the issue is certainly not exclusive to Apple and should also be being addressed by government regulations designed to protect workers. Many readers note that China's cheap labor force has enabled the country's rapid economic expansion over the last several decades and the culture is so ingrained across all industries that it will be difficult to change.

Top Rated Comments

benthere16 Avatar
121 months ago
Fair Labor Association

Did we all forget the story from a couple of weeks ago when it was reported that Apple has joined the Fair Labor Association? They are the FIRST technology company to join and have given their list of suppliers to the Fair Labor Association for independent auditing.

I don't think Apple's perfect by any means, but at least give some credit where it is do.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
121 months ago
Couldn't agree more with the use of atrocities. These conditions make Darfur look like a Day Camp.
Says the guy that understands neither and in a couple of sentences unwittingly diminishes both situations.

I know you will disagree, so please support your statement and tell me where any Apple supplier is on par with anything happening in Darfur. The Darfur war, to date has led to the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, women raped, small children intentionally starved, family pushed out of their homes.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ericinboston Avatar
121 months ago
We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain.

Bull

Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern.

Bull

Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.

Bull


You're telling me Apple cares about the tens of thousands of people in its supply chain? So if Jim falls down and breaks his leg at the factory, Apple steps in and helps out?! Or if Bob quits because he has terminal Cancer, Apple steps in to help out?! Or if Julie's "working condition" where she is annoyed that she has to work for minimum wage or fewer breaks, Apple steps in on a white horse and saves the day?!

All bull.

Companies like Apple are FAR REMOVED from the every day life of employees in the supply chain. The only time Apple (or other companies) will do something is if there is a major accident (like the explosion last year) which leads to huge media coverage....or if the media finds working conditions atrocious (like in the 80's and 90's with children making clothes). And why does Apple make noise now?...because of all the bad PR that's been in the news the past few months about Apple's supply chain outside the USA. If it wasn't in the news, Tim and Apple wouldn't say a bleeping peep about the problems.


If Apple truly cares so much about the tens of thousands of employees in the supply chain, Apple would OWN the supply chain OR do the manufacturing 100% in the USA where there are child labor laws, and working condition laws, and equal pay laws, and laws regarding hours worked, etc. When Apple (and others) choose to manufacture outside the USA (typically for price reasons), Apple really has no voice to tell those governments "blah blah blah about working conditions" because it's not your country Apple...just like folks in Thailand can't complain to the US government that USA employee benefits are too good. Yes, Apple can voice their opinion to the companies...but that's it. If Apple can persuade the companies to change their COMPANY POLICIES as well as sway them to push THEIR GOVERNMENT for updated laws, great.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdowns Avatar
121 months ago
Can't wait for everyone to point out that suicide rates in these factories is "better" than the national average yet completely disregard the fact these people are trying to commit suicide on the job, something which virtually never happens outside of these factories in China. Downvote on!


Where else would one try to commit suicide if you lived and worked in Foxconn's campus environment?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sparks05 Avatar
121 months ago
Great attitude

Great attitude here, Tim Cook. This is the type of CEO needed to run a company as large as Apple, someone not afraid to give his personal word: "On this, you have my word."

so far I've been very impressed with Tim Cook's leadership
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
XX55XX Avatar
121 months ago
This will all be over soon. West is looking at Africa as the new China nowadays, because Africans work for even lower wages than China.

Africa has a long way to go until it becomes a center for manufacturing. The legal environment is awful (some tax codes date back to colonial times), most countries there exhibit some form of political instability (with the exceptions of states like Ghana, Botswana, and perhaps Zambia), and infrastructure is poor (very few paved roads).

I think I will die before I see an iPad made in Africa.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
apple watch ecg

Apple Watch Likely to Gain Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Alcohol Monitoring

Monday May 3, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch may gain the ability to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol levels, according to newly-revealed information about one of Apple's chosen business partners. Apple has been revealed to be the largest customer of the British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics, The Telegraph reports. Rockley Photonics has developed non-invasive optical sensors for...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Brydge's 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Keyboard With Trackpad

Tuesday May 4, 2021 11:48 am PDT by
Brydge has been making keyboards for Apple's iPads for years now, and the newest model, the Brydge 12.9 MAX+, is compatible with the third, fourth, and fifth-generation iPad Pro models, so it works even with the new mini-LED iPad Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we checked out the new Brydge 12.9 MAX+ to see if it's a viable...
iphone 13 pro max dummy notch

iPhone 13 Pro Max Dummy Model Depicts Smaller Notch

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 13 models are expected to feature a slimmed down notch, marking the first major change to the TrueDepth camera system since it was introduced in the 2017 iPhone X. We're still months away from the launch of the iPhone 13, but Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy managed to get an iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy model that represents what we can expect from the new 2021 device. Dummy...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Mini-LED Display Production Improving for Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Later This Year

Monday May 3, 2021 8:33 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMT, a key vendor involved in the production of mini-LED displays in the newly announced 12.9-inch iPad Pro, has been able to address technical challenges for the production of mini-LED displays to be used in the upcoming 14 and 16-inch redesigned MacBook Pro models. As reported by DigiTimes, TSMT had initially been facing production constraints with the circuit board and...
netflix sign up

Apple Discussed 'Punitive Measures' Against Netflix for Dropping In-App Purchases

Wednesday May 5, 2021 11:03 am PDT by
As the Epic Games v. Apple trial progresses into its third day, Apple's internal documents and communications with various companies are continuing to surface, giving us some insight into the dealings that Apple has had around the App Store. Back in December 2018, Netflix stopped offering in-app subscription options for new or resubscribing members and instead began requiring them to sign up ...
airtags

AirTag Owners Bemoan Inability to Let Others Track Their Items Via Family Sharing

Tuesday May 4, 2021 5:12 am PDT by
Apple's new AirTag item trackers have been making their way into the hands of customers since Friday, and while the company has tried to describe the ways that they can be used to find lost items, many users are still surprised and disappointed to learn that the location of an AirTag can't be shared with other family members. On the face of it, sharing the location of an AirTag via Apple's...