Apple CEO Tim Cook Defends the Company from 'Worker Mistreatment' Claims

on January 28 2012 8:24 AM
Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors that the Kindle Fire posed no threat to the dominant iPad Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to the employees, Thursday, claiming the company cares about the worker's welfare, after the New York Times published, Wednesday, a lengthy report about the terrible working conditions in the major Apple product manufacturer Foxconn.

According to the New York Times, the workers in the Chinese factory are under great working pressure. They work excessive overtime - sometimes even seven days a week, but they live in the dormitory. While working, the employees stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. However, they can only get extremely low wages.

The working condition is harsh - the workers are exposed to toxic chemicals. Although some explosions accidentally take place from time to time, the statistics and first person accounts suggest conditions have not greatly improved.

More terribly, the quote form a former Foxconn executive said, Apple never cared about anything other than increasing product quality and decreasing production cost. A former Apple executive also claimed, We've known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on.

Apple CEO Tim Cook now has broken the silence and has defended for the company, claiming, We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain, 9to5Mac reported.

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, Cook wrote in an email to the employees.

To refute the rumors which are reported by many media, Cook said, 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.

He also listed many things Apple has done for the worker's welfare, including improving the working conditions, educating workers about their rights and more.

Every year we inspect more factories, raising the bar for our partners and going deeper into the supply chain. As we reported earlier this month, we've made a great deal of progress and improved conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers. We know of no one in our industry doing as much as we are, in as many places, touching as many people, the email read.

We are focused on educating workers about their rights, so they are empowered to speak up when they see unsafe conditions or unfair treatment. As you know, more than a million people have been trained by our program, Cook continued.

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. You can follow our progress at apple.com/supplierresponsibility, the Apple chief added.

Nevertheless, the protest against Apple's alleged inhuman mistreatment of the workers in its Chinese supply chains is still surging wave upon wave.

The number of online petitions is growing, from having a couple of signees to a few thousand, according to www.change.org. People are demanding that Apple reform its practices and publish labor reports for the sake of transparency.

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