Apple responds to iPod ‘sweatshop’ claims | iLounge News

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Apple responds to iPod ‘sweatshop’ claims

Apple has responded to the recent claims of poor working conditions at iPod factories in China, stating that it takes the allegations seriously and that it is looking into the charges. “Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible,” Apple said in a statement. The company said it is “currently investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the iPod manufacturing plant in China. We do not tolerate any violations of our supplier code of conduct which are posted online.”

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Comments

1

that was quick ...

Good jorb Apple.

Posted by mike in boston or toronto on June 13, 2006 at 10:49 PM (CDT)

2

Yeah Steve go!
Good Job!

Posted by hoho on June 13, 2006 at 11:06 PM (CDT)

3

Even if Apple knew this had been going on all this time, they’ll likely change it now in the interest of public image.
Which isn’t all bad really.

Posted by Joshdude in Long Beach, CA on June 13, 2006 at 11:07 PM (CDT)

4

Yeah I’m sure Apple is looking into just because they are SO noble. They are only doing this to save face. If had not been made public and investigation would have NEVER happened. I say good job to the person who shed light on this situation… not Apple.

Posted by JeremytheIndian on June 13, 2006 at 11:28 PM (CDT)

5

Quote by an acquaintance:

“Hmmm, i wonder where I-rivers, creatives, and sonys are made? But mysteriously this report only covers apple. “

Posted by Mr Mordred on June 14, 2006 at 1:38 AM (CDT)

6

The page (http://www.apple.com/environment/) doesn’t mention anything about how much workers get paid. It is all just about environmental factors, which the original article wasn’t concerned about.

Posted by ShowsOn in South Australia, AUSTRALIA on June 14, 2006 at 2:11 AM (CDT)

7

Hmmm, i wonder where I-rivers, creatives, and sonys are made? But mysteriously this report only covers apple

The top dog generally gets it first, particularly if they’re the ones making most of the profit. There’s nothing mysterious about that.

Just ask Nike. Or Wal*Mart.

Posted by flatline response on June 14, 2006 at 2:17 AM (CDT)

8

Dear ShowsOn,

http://www.apple.com/environment/materials/

Check the bottom of that page. The link to the Apple Supplier Code of Conduct is at the bottom. Or, if you don’t trust me, here’s the direct link to the CoC:

http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/10/107357/corpGov/AppleSupplierCoc111305.pdf

You fail at finding information.

Posted by A-Jay on June 14, 2006 at 3:32 AM (CDT)

9

Dear A-Jay,

That link is not on the page that Apple directed people to.

You fail at properly reading my post.

Posted by ShowsOn in South Australia, AUSTRALIA on June 14, 2006 at 5:24 AM (CDT)

10

ShowsOn,

Apple’s environment page doesn’t mention how much the workers get paid for a couple of reasons:

1.  It’s absolutely nothing to do with the environment.
2.  It’s not Apple’s business how much their supplier’s workers are being paid.
3.  They don’t know how much their supplier’s workers are being paid as that sort of information is CONFIDENTIAL.

I’m sure you’d like your supermarket to know how much you earn?  No, didn’t think so.

Posted by R3zonance on June 14, 2006 at 5:55 AM (CDT)

11

Do you think Apple will actually do anything? China is the home of human rights violations that go back to the actual government, so a few investigations here and there and this will be all forgotten. Yes it is bad, but that is life. If you are so insistent on saving the poor, go save the ones in your own coutry.

Steve Jobs is yet another faceless corporate mogul who’s only interest is himself and jumps to save things when only needed. I am sure he values fish and plants more than actual people. At least Bill tries to help third world countries with his own huge pocket change.

my 2 cents/pence/yen/yuan

Posted by Real Reply on June 14, 2006 at 6:18 AM (CDT)

12

r3zonance,

point 2. - it is any company’s responsibility to have a functioning and effective social policy. this means knowing exploitation does not occur in the supply chain.

point 3. - the salary for a particular position is not confidential. in fact in most situations is actively ADVERTISED. re-acquaint yourself with the job pages. an individuals pay history maybe confidential but is largely irrelevant.

“I’m sure you’d like your supermarket to know how much you earn” - unless showson works for a food producer or similar (which i can’t see how you would know) this point is meaningless to the point of absurdity. have a little think about what upstream and downstream might mean.

now everyone stop a) acting surprised, and b) thinking apple (or anyone else) is going to stop this sort of thing.

Posted by you_idiots on June 14, 2006 at 6:25 AM (CDT)

13

That sounds pretty friggin sweet, they sell it for 100-300 here in the bad ol’ US, but they pay these ppl peanuts.  Its bad but they aren’t holding a gun to their head.  Unless they are which apple has done before(google Apple mugging old ladies)  All in all Im glad there is cheap exploitable labor which makes it possible for us to be able to bitch about it on the internet.  Do you want to pay 5k instead of the 1-2k for your already

Posted by iSoxCox on June 14, 2006 at 6:26 AM (CDT)

14

As if Mr. Jobs and Apple didn’t already know exactly what was going on. This is a corporation which is paranoid about control and attention to detail.

Posted by Joshua on June 14, 2006 at 6:32 AM (CDT)

15

Unless Apple have scrambled to add a link to the PDF which A-Jay indicated since ShowsOn looked, it was there all along and you missed it (it’s on the bottom of the sidebar).

I don’t see anything in there about minimum wage or mandatory canteen fees, but it looks like this bit at least is being violated:

“Working Hours - Except in emergency or unusual situations, a work week should be restricted to 60 hours, including overtime…”

Posted by Beastie on June 14, 2006 at 6:56 AM (CDT)

16

What does Steve Jobs get *paid*? $1 a year?.........


And Chinese ‘sweatshops’ are not alone - child labour in India….
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/5059106.stm

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on June 14, 2006 at 6:57 AM (CDT)

17

Well, it is on the /environment page, on the right near the bottom. I think you have to say, though, that it is Apple’s business to know how much, or little, the workers are being paid and treated, as they say in the C of C. As for “Real Reply,” yes, I think they will do something if the charges have some merit. It’s not just Apple, though. Wal*Mart is the import apparatus of the Chinese state.

Posted by Jim H on June 14, 2006 at 7:10 AM (CDT)

18

Jeezus… some of the comments here… I wonder how many of the people here are from the APple marketing department!!! btw, I have a mac…

Posted by this is gross on June 14, 2006 at 7:58 AM (CDT)

19

The chances of any Chinese “factory” adhering to all of terms of the CoC are slim to none.

The only thing any company, including Apple, can do is to pull all business out of China. Of course, this will never happen as long as American consumers cry for cheap products.

Remember that China is in its industrial revolution and their labor conditions are several generations behind where we are. We have little political influence over China, so the only way we can bring about change there is in business dealings. The presence of U.S companies in China has resulted in HUGE changes in Chinese labor laws over the past 20 years.

In 2003, a typical professional employee made US$12,000 yearly, while typical factory worker made US$4,340. This is a 35% difference in salary between a professional and a laborer. This about the same difference between U.S laborers (at least 2x min wage) and a professional making about 65k a year.

While US$4340 may not seem like much to someone in the U.S, its buying power in China is at least equivalent to the salary for the same job in the U.S.

Most studies are claiming a 10-20% annual increase in wages in China. Wages will continue to go up due to labor shortages. We can only dream of that kind of growth in the U.S. My measly 4% raise this year was wiped out by a 15% increase in heathcare premiums. We offset that by increasing deductibles and increasing co-pays to break even at 4%. With increased energy costs, I have still have less buying power this year.

Posted by Bobo on June 14, 2006 at 8:42 AM (CDT)

20

Dear ShowsOn,
A-Jay is right.  The information was right there, on that page, near the bottom right all along.  I mirror his sentiments.  You FAIL at finding information.  Stop attempting to retort only to find yourself incorrect.  Look harder.

Posted by Nicholas on June 14, 2006 at 9:13 AM (CDT)

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