Foxconn criticisms in NYT report get response from BSR consulting group


You heard from Apple‘s Tim Cook on Friday, responding to a New York Times report concerning the harsh working conditions employees reportedly face at China’s Foxconn manufacturing plants. The report speaks of excessive working hours, underage workers and flat-out unsafe working conditions. Cook defended his company’s relationship with Foxconn in a statement, and now BSR, a consulting group that promotes corporate responsibility, has stepped up to point out some inaccuracies in the NYT report.

The open letter to the newspaper is published on BSR’s website. The gist of the response relates directly to quotes in the Times report from an unnamed “BSR consultant,” which the letter states creates “a false impression that those views [expressed in the report] should be associated with BSR.”

The letter is followed by a summary of key points where the original report fails to match up with BSR’s own facts and views. They are as follows:

* It is untrue that Apple has consistently disregarded advice that BSR has provided about problems related to working conditions in its supply chain.

* The account of the pilot project in south China omits and obscures key facts. Despite the publication of a report that has been in the public domain for several years, there are errors in how you present the project conducted under the auspices of the World Bank, BSR, and three other sponsors.

* Your attribution of several opinions about Apple to BSR misstates the views of the organization. In several places, you attribute certain opinions about Apple to an unnamed “BSR consultant,” despite the fact that this consultant is unnamed, and are not affiliated with BSR. Associating these views with BSR is a serious misrepresentation, and should be changed.