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