As we expected, Apple isn’t staying quiet after some worrisome claims by the BBC’s recent investigation into the company’s Chinese factory working conditions, which suggested the company had done little to improve quality of life for its workers.
In fact the company is taking it personal, according to a staff email acquired by The Telegraph. Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams stated he and Tim Cook are “deeply offended” by the allegations of worker mistreatment. “Panorama’s report implied Apple isn’t improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth,” he followed up.
Furthermore, Williams says Apple shared its own perspective on the matter with the BBC in advance of the documentary’s airing, but those didn’t show up in the final cut.
While Apple doesn’t deny that life at the factories isn’t ideal – Williams acknowledges that some of the tin used in its products may come from illegal mines, for instance – the company stands by its claim that it’s doing everything it can to improve these conditions. Something, Williams says, Apple does more than any other company.
It’s a delicate argument that could go either way: on one hand, you could argue Apple shouldn’t sign contracts at all with these factories. On the other, they would also likely just have another contract if they weren’t working with Apple, so perhaps having such a powerful client publicly try to make changes is good for enabling progress after all.
Whichever side you stand on, however, it’s clear no one is happy with things as they are right now.
➤ Apple goes to war with the BBC [Telegraph]