Apple Outlines New Ban on Bonded Labor at Supplier Factories in 2015 Progress Report

Apple on Wednesday released its 2015 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report [PDF] and updated its Supplier Responsibility website, giving new details on its efforts to improve the lives of the workers that assemble its products.

For its ninth annual progress report, Apple conducted 633 audits covering more than 1.6 million workers in 19 countries, and called an additional 30,000 workers to survey them on working conditions.

One of Apple's main achievements in 2014 was putting an end to bonded labor. In October, the company told all of its suppliers that as of 2015, no worker employed on an Apple line could be charged recruitment fees. Employees have, in the past, faced significant fees levied against them by third-party recruiters, who offer them a job at an Apple factory in exchange for money. In some cases, they lose their passports until they're able to pay the fee.

supplierreport
Apple previously prohibited excessive recruitment fees (defined as anything higher than a month's net wages) and required suppliers to reimburse any such fee, but the new ban goes further, preventing all bonded labor. Any supplier who uses bonded labor will need to repay all foreign contract workers in full going forward if they incur recruitment fees.

Apple also made progress eliminating conflict minerals (those that benefit armed groups associated with human rights violations) from its supply chain. As of 2014, 135 smelters have complied with the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, and another 64 are in the process of verification. Four smelters would not commit to the program, and will be removed from Apple's supply chain.

Apple achieved 92 percent compliance with its 60-hour maximum workweek mandate. On average, employees worked under 49 hours per week, and 94 percent of all workweeks included at least one day of rest every seven days.

There were 16 cases of underage labor uncovered at six facilities in 2014, and in all cases, suppliers were required to pay for the worker's safe return home, continue to pay wages, and pay for education at a school chosen by the worker.

ranapplesupplier

A 16-year-old enrolled in Apple's Underage Labor Remediation Program, at school in Henan province, China.

Apple often finds itself in the spotlight over the conditions at the factories where its product components are produced, but the Cupertino company has for many years held its suppliers to a strict code of conduct that prevents underage labor and provides safe, comfortable working conditions for workers. Apple's Supplier Responsibility Team conducts supplier audits on a regular basis so that Apple can continue to work towards improving conditions at supplier factories.

Top Rated Comments

batchtaster Avatar
88 months ago
Apple spends Billion on ridiculous solar farms but can't pay the workers a living wage in other countries.

One thing Apple is not is a humanitarian company which is why they spend a lot of time trying to tell everything they are.
These are not Apple employees. They're employees of Apple's contractors - contractors who, surprisingly, contract their services to whatever company pays them to manufacture their widgets. You don't see Microsoft, Amazon or Sony, who are current and past customers of Foxconn, actively working to make these contractors lift their game. It's like if one of the customers of the company you work for came in and said "hey, we don't think you're paying him enough, and the coffee you provide is crap."

Why do you think it's called "Supplier Responsibility"?
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bunnahabhain Avatar
88 months ago
Apple spends many billions on ridiculous solar farms but can't pay the workers a living wage in other countries.

One thing Apple is not is a humanitarian company which is why they spend a lot of time trying to tell everything they are.

You would think that Apple could use that money they spend on solar farms to help pay better wages and provide EXCEPTIONAL working conditions. After all, it is these folks that are the bread and butter of Apple.

I am sure I will get bashed, but unfortunately as much as I love Apple products, this is the sad truth.

Oh boy, where to start.

1) You do realize that none of these people are in fact actual APPLE EMPLOYEES?

2) Apple does not claim to be a "humanitarian company". And what does that term even mean? In fact, I know of no company that does. This is simply a straw man argument.

3) Nothing stopping you from flying over to China and handing out $20 bills to employees leaving the factory. Anything is easy for the guy who doesn't have to do it.

4) People only get bashed for making stupid claims while trying to act superior.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoEw Avatar
88 months ago
As all companies should be doing, bravo Apple. Obviously there is still much to be done, but I'm glad they are stepping up.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
teslo Avatar
88 months ago
Ehhhhh. Sorry but this is still ridiculous. They were blessed with one rest day after seven working days? Terrific. How nice of them. :rolleyes:

These poor souls are being exploited. Just call it what it is. Please. Thanks.

Whatever though, as long as the obnoxious shareholders and hedge fund crooks are happy.... That's all that really matters.

take it up with China's leaders.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macboy Pro Avatar
88 months ago
Apple spends many billions on ridiculous solar farms but can't pay the workers a living wage in other countries.

One thing Apple is not is a humanitarian company which is why they spend a lot of time trying to tell everything they are.

You would think that Apple could use that money they spend on solar farms to help pay better wages and provide EXCEPTIONAL working conditions. After all, it is these folks that are the bread and butter of Apple.

I am sure I will get bashed, but unfortunately as much as I love Apple products, this is the sad truth.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
88 months ago

You would think that Apple could use that money they spend on solar farms to help pay better wages and provide EXCEPTIONAL working conditions.

So what's the theory? Apple voluntarily offers to pay more for the parts and the supplier companies decide to pass it around and not just keep that as extra profits?

How's that supposed to work, exactly?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
maxresdefault

Here's How Apple's New iPhone to iPhone Data Migration Feature Works in iOS 12.4

Tuesday July 23, 2019 1:20 pm PDT by
Apple this week released iOS 12.4, the newest version of iOS 12 available for iPhones and iPads. One of the new features in iOS 12.4 is an updated data migration option that uses device to device transfers rather than relying on iCloud. Apple didn't provide much information on the new data migration feature, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the ...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
airtag precision finding

AirTag Includes U1 Chip for 'Precision Finding' Feature

Tuesday April 20, 2021 12:11 pm PDT by
Apple's long-awaited AirTag was finally unveiled today, and as expected, the small circle-shaped accessories can be attached to items like wallets, keys, and more to allow them to be tracked in the Find My app. As was rumored ahead of release, each AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, and on devices that also have U1 chips, there's a Precision Finding feature. U1 Ultra Wideband chips are...
iOS 15 General Feature Yellow

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 6: SharePlay Disabled, Safari Redesigned and More

Tuesday August 17, 2021 2:12 pm PDT by
Apple released the sixth beta of iOS 15 just a week after the fifth beta, but the new update brings some of the most significant tweaks that we've seen to iOS 15 during the beta testing period. Safari Redesign Apple in iOS 15 beta 6 has added a toggle to move the Safari address bar to the top of the interface, which returns Safari to an iOS 14-like design and mitigates all of the Safari...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
2016 macbook pro flexgate b

Apple Faces Another Class-Action MacBook Pro ‘Flexgate’ Lawsuit

Thursday August 20, 2020 6:43 am PDT by
Another class-action complaint has been lodged against Apple, which claims that the company was aware of a MacBook Pro design flaw that caused some devices to have backlight display issues (via Apple Insider). The so-called "flexgate" problem was present in some MacBook Pro models manufactured between 2016 and 2017. The problem appears as dark patches along the bottom of the MacBook Pro's...