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Former execs speak out about Apple negligently treating overseas factories, labor conditions

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Former execs speak out about Apple negligently treating overseas factories, labor conditions
Apple is the biggest tech company - its last quarter made it even bigger, and actually it surpassed Exxon Mobile in market evaluation to become the world’s most valuable. But while it’s doing great in sales and revenue, former executives said the company is treating negligently its overseas factories.

In a report quoting former and current Apple executives, Cupertino is accused of applying lax requirements for its overseas workers while knowing about the conditions of workers in China. Of course, the origin of the problem lays on corporate greed - the desire to minimalize turnaround times and maximize margins. In contrast, when speaking about Apple’s requirements for hardware, it’s never lax - quite the opposite, the company is known as pursuing nearly perfection in its products.

Apple’s size and importance is another reason, an ex-executive explains. “The system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice."

Another executives also opines that Apple’s overly passive position is partly to blame: “Noncompliance is tolerated, as long as the suppliers promise to try harder next time. If we meant business, core violations would disappear.” Cupertino has only stopped working with 15 of its suppliers since 2007.

A shocking revelation comes from a current Apple executive: “Right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.” Shocking not because it’s all that surprising, but because it comes from a current executive.

The NY Times delivers comprehensive coverage - a must read for those interested in the company, so we definitely advise you to hit the source link below and share your thoughts about Apple’s policies below. Don’t forget, though, that we, the customers, are also partly the reason why this is possible.

source: NY Times

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posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:25 11

1. android_hitman (Posts: 591; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)


keep buying apple products.. it's good for bussiness... apple bussiness...

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 20:43 5

40. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6278; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


It's not good for the workers at FoxxCon killing themselves over these Apple products

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:38 7

2. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)


You guys will probably discredit this since it's directly from Apple, but:

http://www.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/

One thing Cook is trying to accomplish is get Apple more involved in their supply chain factory conditions and well-being. Also, Cook plans on giving back, making donations and matching donations given by employees.

http://allthingsd.com/20110908/sweet-charity-apple-matches-employee-donations/

http://www.cultofmac.com/127368/tim-cook-is-already-leaving-his-mark-on-apple-report/

http://www.digikey.com/purchasingpro/us/en/articles/supply-chain/apple-increases-its-number-of-supplier-responsibility-audits/1277

http://www.theferrarigroup.com/supply-chain-matters/2012/01/13/apple-provides-transparency-to-supplier-social-responsibility-standards/

I'm not trying to discredit this article. It just shows that, yes, they screwed up and yes they are trying to make it better.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:42 4

5. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)


Oh and another thing: A no tolerance policy should definitely be in place.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 16:37 3

34. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


easy discredit. When jobs was in charge it was Cook's job to oversee suppliers and contracts. All he is doing is PR. Come tqlk about improved conditions when we hear cheers from the slaves in chenzen.
Here is apple saying .. no one gives a damn otherwise they would say something to us. Everyone that buys apple products shares the blame. If the customers made enough noise and stopped buying the product they would change... but u vote to keep The savage status quo with every purchase.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:40 13

3. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


one of the many reasons why i support google over apple

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:15 2

10. c.hack (Posts: 496; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Irrelevant. Google does not many any phones. Not even the Nexus.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:39 6

12. BioTek (Posts: 53; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


Care to edit your second sentence?

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:40 3

13. itiswhatitis (Posts: 421; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


why? u a grammar teacher?

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:31 3

25. BioTek (Posts: 53; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


His or her second sentence makes absolutely no sense. That ended up causing the entire post to make little sense.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 16:33 2

33. qq_more (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)


Goggles doesn't make telephone, genius. Sprlling polic3 crackels me uppers.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 16:50 2

35. BioTek (Posts: 53; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


Thank you for calling me a genius. I already knew that, but it's still great to read.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 17:16 2

36. Mr.Best (Posts: 79; Member since: 17 Jan 2012)


Can you understand the statement?

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:41 13

4. itiswhatitis (Posts: 421; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


apple dont care nothing except their own pocket!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:53 3

7. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)


That is the whole point of having a business and producing a product in case you didnt know...

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 12:37 1

18. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


business is about making money but it doesn't make it right what these big companies are doing to get cheap labour.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 13:57 2

21. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)


it's what the us gov. is doing to make people get cheaper labor

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 15:26

30. rf1975 (Posts: 241; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


not only apple. MS, Google, HTC, Samy etc. all companies are there to care their own pocket.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 15:31 1

31. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)


thats why people start businesses dumb-ass

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 17:32 2

37. cheetah2k (Posts: 773; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


China must be laughing with Apple being so dependent on them for fabrication. This is the one and only linchpin of Apples entire organisation and holds Apple's future in the balance. Think of China as the hand that holds the iphone. Without China as the hand, Apple is litterally dead in the water (or dropped on the sidewalk so as to speak)...

With this in mind, you would have to consider that Apple's run of good fortune won't last for ever. Once the China labour costs normalise to near global prices (currently they're way below), Apple's massive profit margin will be screwed to the wall. It's only a matter of time TBH. China is a growing economy, and labour costs are constantly on the rise.

Aside from Apple's total stagation in design of both iPhone and iOS (much like RIM) I still forsee Apple as a dominant player in the future. You will see they're level of marketing and patent aggression increase 10x fold and in order to sell more units to keep the gravy train rolling.. Its only a matter of time..

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:49 3

6. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)


don't be fooled by all this hype. I've been over there and these apple jobs are highly desireable. There are people waiting in line for these jobs. Apple actually houses a huge percentage of its workers there also. They get room and board. The fact is it is cheaper to get things done there, than it is here. That's not the chinese peoples fault or apple for moving over there.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:44 6

14. itiswhatitis (Posts: 421; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


u have no idea how things are in china dont just imagined things and speak out,commenting as if you have ever been to one of those factories!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:00 1

22. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)


your right not the factory, but in china...lol you got me there

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 12:34 5

17. jd829 (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)


Yeah, room and board. Foxconn factories forcing workers to stay on site, crammed 8 people to a tiny dorm room after their 36 hour work shift for pennies an hour.

So I'm guessing those nets they install on the sides of the factories to catch workers who try and jump to their deaths are actually trampolines, placed there in a corporate wellness exercise program? Pull your head out buddy.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:01 1

23. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)


they do that to try and get more money for their familys. now they have to all sign something saying if they do jump they get nothing

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:44 6

26. Sniggly (Posts: 6846; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


You do realize that stating that workers commit suicide to get money for their families does absolutely zero to lend credibility to the idea that things in China are just fine for Apple employees?

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:52

29. cnwwyo (Posts: 125; Member since: 26 May 2011)


you do realize that facts are facts?

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 15:44 3

32. Sniggly (Posts: 6846; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Yep, like the fact that people in places or jobs that are working out fine for them don't KILL THEMSELVES TO GET THEIR FAMILIES MONEY.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 11:54

43. jd829 (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)


Maybe if they got paid more than 30 cents an hour for their 36 hour shifts they wouldn't have to jump to make sure their family gets paid?

As republican and capitalist as I am, cnwwyo, I'm having a hard time understanding how you can think things in that concentration camp of a factory are ok. Do some research from something other than chinese government talking point memos and you might see how WRONG all of this is.

Unless you're one of those proganda drones the communist Chinese government pays to moniter forums and post pro chinese comments (look it up, they totally do this)

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:56 5

8. TreyTreyTaylor (Posts: 309; Member since: 21 Dec 2010)


They make great products and have paved the way for all kinds of tech and i will always respect them. But I hate apple with a passion and will never buy a product from them. Its seems like there's no other company as evil as Apple. That being said money is money and they'll make it however they need to.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:23 1

11. itiswhatitis (Posts: 421; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


I agree with trey taylor, Brand Apple is just great and its not personal just business .. but would be nice if they take some social responsibility ...

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:11

9. buggerrer (Posts: 285; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)


I WANT THE GAME IN THE ARTICLE IMAGE!!!1!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:45 2

27. Sniggly (Posts: 6846; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


It's available for free on Android Market. It's called Phone Story.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:56 5

15. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


"A shocking revelation comes from a current Apple executive: “Right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.” Shocking not because it’s all that surprising, but because it comes from a current executive."

This statement is the one that rings true and clear, as it is fact. You think the morons that set up camp waiting for the next iPhone, iPad or iDevice to launch gives a flying horse about working conditions in some factory that builds Apples' devices. Nope they sure don't, in fact even if you told them that the device they were about to buy was made with illegal child labor and had video proof they would discount what you said and say you made it up just to keep their coveted iDevice and feel good about themselves. I mean what jackass would wait for something that long and then hear these stories and not want to save face and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Cult mentality at work, lol.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 12:12 3

16. Phoneguy007 (Posts: 218; Member since: 02 Jun 2011)


I some what agree with the article.....but some of the blame should be placed on the Government there in China and the Government here in the U.S, its not like the people working there dont want these jobs.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 13:32 5

19. andro. (Posts: 1936; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Apple doesn't care about conditions or the lives of the workers in the chinese iphone factories. Apple would gladly turn a blind eye if new procedures increased the death rate each month but also increase iphone production rate.

The shocking quotes from apple executives above should not be a shock as a result.
If Apple could have its own way then it'd have its entire ifans base assemble the very iphones themselves they intended on buying and market it as the 'Apple experience'

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 13:35 4

20. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1579; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


yep two words "corporate greed" perfect definition of Apple

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:02 3

24. Whateverman (Posts: 3189; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Seems to me the die-hard Apple fans are silent on this issue. As someone who loves and uses Apple and Google products I have to say this makes me re-think the Mac I was planning on buying. For an exec to say people care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China sounds like a complete lack of humanity in Apple's culture.

@Laden. Thanks for the links. I'all be sure to check them out and get Apple's POV.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 14:49 3

28. Sniggly (Posts: 6846; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Interesting that this comes out just as Apple is patting themselves on the back and claiming to be cracking down on its suppliers. Maybe that was a preemptive strike because they knew this article was going to hit? It's not like newspapers haven't ever delayed publication of news stories or quashed them entirely at the behest of powerful corporations or political figures.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 20:13

38. Slammer (Posts: 994; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


I'm not backing Apple. There is no doubt that conditions of this nature exist through Apple's practices. Just as with other companies of all industries. However, this information is coming from ex Apple employees and possibly one on their way out. I'm sure there is an ulterior motive for them to come forward and speak out. Descention if you will. What better time to try and discredit former employers, as legitimate questions are being imposed on this serious matter.

John B.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 20:42 1

39. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6278; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


And Apple don't even care for the people like FoxxCon that kill them selves putting together their precious Iphone together. please what do they know bout treating workers right. Don't make me laugh

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 03:44

41. Truth (Posts: 56; Member since: 15 Jul 2009)


People whom tend to use Apple products are the same people who tend to protest things of this nature. That is why you do not hear any protest on this matter from any outlet. This also pertains to many websites, blogging sites (many whom claim to be news sites but are really stating opinions) and most reputable news organizations. This contradiction in morals and preference of technology leads to a closed lipped reaction to the issues at hand. These individuals then choose to not respond to articles of this nature because they have no grounds to argue their point aside from, "Other companies do it too." Apple does have a responsibility to the world to enact more human rights policies in the factories that build their products. They are the largest company and hence should lead the way in solving issues of this matter instead of chasing profits by exploiting humans in developing countries.
If you do not use Apple products and complain about these issues you are labeled a fanboy and your opinions are not valued.
Unfortunately you will find it difficult to locate a unbiased Apple user or Apple employee. The executive quoted in the article does not reveal their name so credibility is in the eye of the beholder. It is great that an article like this was written. Like many articles in the pass pertaining to working conditions in factories that build Apple products, this will be lost in time.
You can protest about saving whales and the rainforest. You can protest about sweat shops that make clothes in developing countries. You can protest about the difference between the rich and the poor. The people whom organize the protest probably use an Apple product so don't you dare question their Apple product.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 11:28 1

42. itiswhatitis (Posts: 421; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


If they don't make money investors are gonna be behind their ass,so they'd rather kick someone's ass before investors do that....

posted on 29 Jan 2012, 16:31

44. Forsaken77 (Posts: 547; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


How about Apple stops giving China all the jobs and keep them here in America? Apple is an american company and should be proud to have the iPhone labeled as "Made in America." Yes, they'll have to pay more money but the amount of U.S. citizens it will help, especially in this depression, would be worth it. They'd be considered heroes.

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