Apple supplier responsibility report addresses Foxconn suicides, underage workers

apple supplier responsibility report addresses foxconn suicides underage workers 2011

Apple’s industrial operations overseas are notorious for their poor conditions, a fact that the company has openly acknowledged in its own Supplier Responsibility progress report, released Monday. In the report, Apple addressed the controversy surrounding its underage employees, and working conditions and suicides. The company audited 127 worldwide production facilities in the last three years, nearly all of which were the first time the locations had been investigated by Apple authorities.

According to the progress report, Apple found that 49 workers under the age of 16 were employed at its facilities. One particular location was responsible for 42 of those hires, and because “management [at the location] had chosen to overlook the issue and was not committed to addressing the problem,” Apple terminated its business there.

The report found that some of this child labor was caused by “unsophisticated” methods for verifying age, and instituted further training and consulting to amend the issue. However, it wasn’t entirely caused by naivety: In the extreme case concerning 42 child workers, a vocational school had purposefully forged student IDs and “threatened retaliation against students” who did not cooperate. Apple has reported the school to the Chinese government and also claims it has aggressively attempted to return underage workers to their families and education. The facility guilty of employing the children is required to pay for these expenses.

While combating illegal child labor is commendable, Apple still had to address the damage surrounding its Foxconn facility. The controversy began in 2009 when an employee committed suicide after losing a prototype fourth-generation iPhone. It was, unfortunately, not the last incident: 12 workers took their lives and one died of exhaustion after a 34-hour shift. According to the report, COO Tim Cook and other Apple execs, accompanied by Chinese suicide prevention specialists, traveled to Foxconn to “better understand the conditions at the site.” The document also states that Apple commends some of Foxconn’s efforts, including: “hiring a large number of psychological counselors, establishing a 24-hour care center, and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings to prevent impulsive suicides.”

Apple reports that Foxconn is taking measures to improve employee conditions and monitor mental health. Apple claims it will continue working (read: checking up on) Foxconn.

The report also states that all employees poisoned by toxic chemicals at its Wintek facility have been “treated successfully” and Apple continues to monitor their health until they are fully recuperated. Most of the affected workers are back at the facility.

Above all, the progress report certifies that Apple will be holding guilty parties responsible for their actions. How will it be doing this? From the sounds of it, facilities can expect the strict audits to continue, and will feel an increased presence from NGOs Apple will be collaborating with. The company also claims it wants to further empower individual workers, informing them of labor laws and their own rights.


Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.

MacBook Pro battery replacement: Everything you need to know

Looking for a new battery for your MacBook Pro? It's important you know what to look for, what model you have, and what options Apple gives you! We'll cover everything you need to know about Apple MacBook Pro battery replacement.

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.