Apple chief executive Tim Cook sent out an email to Apple employees Thursday after a New York Times article exposed some alleged abuses at Chinese factories in Apple's supply chain, calling the allegations "offensive."
From the email:
As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values. Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are.
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Interestingly, Cook goes on to say that Apple opened its doors to the Fair Labor Association for evaluations -- but it's the first tech company the association has ever monitored because it specializes in clothing and textile manufacturers. He also goes on to place the responsibility of change directly on the shoulders of workers. "We are focused on educating workers about their rights, so they are empowered to speak up when they see unsafe conditions or unfair treatment. As you know, more than a million people have been trained by our program."
Yes, workers who have been oppressed and intimidated into working for pennies, so much so that they want to commit suicide, are somehow going to "speak up?" Brother, please. That's taking a "blame the victim" mentality to a whole new level.
The reality is that Apple has to go into these factories and make changes and if the factories don't change, Apple has to cut them loose. Until Apple takes a hard line on labor abuses, the company is just as much to blame as the Chinese factories in its supply chain.