Apple released their 2010 update on Supplier Responsibility today. And hey! According to Apple, Apple’s doing a great job! But given recent events, should they really have given themselves such high marks?
There’s no doubt that some of what Apple’s done with their supply chain is commendable. They’ve made efforts to protect juvenile workers and are actively protecting foreign contract workers from falling into forced labour. All of this should be commended.
But recent headlines have painted a different picture about conditions at Apple suppliers. A reporter was attacked last month outside a Foxconn plant for taking photographs. Workers at a Foxconn factory in Mexico burned the place down over the weekend to protest forced overtime. And just yesterday, reports surfaced that a worker at a Wintek plant died of N-hexane poisoning last year. To say nothing of the Foxconn employee who committed suicide over a leaked iPhone prototype late last year.
So while I’m sure the Supplier Responsibility Progress Report is going to go over great at Apple’s shareholder meeting on Thursday, and while they’ve definitely done admirable things to improve the conditions of their workers, I can’t help but think that there’s still a whole lot of progress left to make. [Apple]