Apple's Supplier Responsibility Progress Report Sidesteps All the Fire/Violence/Death Bits

Illustration for article titled Apples Supplier Responsibility Progress Report Sidesteps All the Fire/Violence/Death Bits

Apple released their 2010 update on Supplier Responsibility today. And hey! According to Apple, Apple's doing a great job! But given recent events, should they really have given themselves such high marks?

There's no doubt that some of what Apple's done with their supply chain is commendable. They've made efforts to protect juvenile workers, and are actively protecting foreign contract workers from falling into forced labor. All of this should be commended.

But recent headlines have painted a different picture about conditions at Apple suppliers. A reporter was attacked last month outside a Foxconn plant for taking photographs. Workers at a Foxconn factory in Mexico burned the place down over the weekend to protest forced overtime. And just yesterday reports surfaced that a worker at a Wintek plant died of N-hexane poisoning last year. To say nothing of the Foxconn employee who committed suicide over a leaked iPhone prototype last summer.


So while I'm sure the Supplier Responsibility Progress Report is going to go over great at Apple's shareholder meeting on Thursday, and while they've definitely done admirable things to improve the conditions of their workers, I can't help but think that there's still a whole lot of progress left to make. [Apple]

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While I agree they still have a lot of work to do, I commend them solely for keeping the issue in their radar. Whether they have improved things is a subject that can be debated, but as long as Apple is raising the issue annually it means that they spent at least a few seconds on the subject. As crazy as it sounds, that is more than some companies do. A two finger clap for you, Mr. Jobs.