Technology giant Apple has been under fire in recent years for its labor practices in facilities around the world. In early 2012 The New York Times published a Pulitzer Prize winning series of report that exposed poor working conditions in factories that made Apple products.
The reports focused on iPad manufacturing in China, describing harsh labor conditions, safety concerns and difficult work environments. Living conditions, overtime demands and other egregious workplace red flags, like underage workers and falsified records were documented as well. The report did a lot to bruise the reputation of Apple. The tech giant is now taking steps to improve its track record.
To address the concerns in the Times piece – and the public relations nightmare – that stemmed from it--the tech company released the Apple Supplier Responsibility Report, and frequently updating the figures on that report to reflect recent developments. The report was first released in January of 2013 and has been updated every month since. Apple is touting its transparency in working conditions as a way to keep on top of a public relations nightmare.
In January, Apple found that 92 percent of the factories where its parts and products are assembled were in compliance with labor hour standards. Now, the company has released updated figures, indicating that 95 percent of its supply chain partners keep the employee work week under 60 hours. In fact, Apple has stated that the average workweek is under 50 hours.
The report is a result of nearly 400 audits conducted up and down the supply chain. Apple has increased the number of audits by 72 percent since 2011. To increase transparency, Apple has also opened its supply chain to the Fair Labor Association. It is the first tech company to do so.
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