Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter. Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter.
Apple has updated its Labor and Human Rights page to detailing its efforts to curtail excessive work weeks in its suppliers factories, like Foxconn in China.
The updates include the fact that they are now tracking over 800k workers — up from 700K in July — to gather the data, and that their compliance was ‘sustained’ in August — holding fast at 97%. Apple requires that workers never work more than 60 hours in a week, which is in line with Chinese labor law.
Going deep into our supply chain, we are now tracking weekly supplier data for over 800,000 workers. In August, 97 percent of worker weeks were reported as compliant with the 60-hour maximum work week specified in our code, sustaining the 97 percent that was reported in July.
It’s a bit disappointing to see that Apple hasn’t made forward progress in this department since July, but I suppose no backwards travel is a good thing.
Apple factories in China came under scrutiny after a set of articles in The New York Times, including How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work and In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad. Joel Johnson’s 1 Million Workers. 90 Million iPhones. 17 Suicides. Who’s to Blame? article in Wired was also cited by many.
In January 13 of this year, Apple became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association, signing an agreement to let the FLA independently assess the quality of Apple’s supply chain. A report from the FLA in August noted that 284 items on its recommended changes list had been complied with and that some 76 remained.
This followed the launch of its new Supplier Responsibility website, which included a list of its official suppliers, the first time the company had ever publicly disclosed them.
At a conference in February, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that “No one is doing more to improve working conditions in China than Apple,” indicating that the company knew it should be doing more.
Apple’s supplier responsibility page tracks subjects related to the company’s supply chain like labor and human rights, worker health and safety, environmental impact and general ethics.
Image Credit: Apple
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