Last year Apple sent Tim Cook, acting CEO of Apple to Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. factory in China. The purpose of the trip was to make recommendations on how to improve working conditions for the company.
Tim Cook has stepped in as CEO for Apple, as Steve Jobs is taking time off work to deal with health issues. He visited the Shenzhen factory last June after nearly a dozen workers killed themselves, some by jumping from buildings. The suicides came as Apple launched their iPad tablet and struggled to keep up with worldwide demand.
Foxconn took Cook’s recommendations on board and his team always interviewed more than 1,000 works and evaluted Foxconn’s reaction to the events, which included establishing a 24 hour care center.
Apple have been under increasing scrutiny from environmental and labour groups which have been challenging their business practices. Apple, like many other electronics hardware maker, rely heavily on manufacturing partners in Asia to build their products.
To improve conditions Apple have audited 288 supplier facilities since 2007 and is expanding its initiatives to make suer their partners dont employ underage workers and that they appropriately train employees and pay fair wages.
Apparently several of the facilities failed to meet Apples guidelines and recommendations and they have terminated their relationship.
Apple also have said that they discovered 91 underage workers in facilities it visited and is working with their partners to better detect falsified identification papers and improve management oversight.
Apple are also taking action to ensure that minerals such as tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold are not purchased from smelters that get their products from regions where armed conflict or human rights abuses are known to be happening. They have also been helping to strengthen the rights of facility workers who are sometimes recruited from their home countries and then sent to work in factories in other countries. These immigrants can be forced to pay very high fees to work which can often cause them debt. Apple have forced these companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to foreign workers in 18 facilities over the last two years.
KitGuru says: Positive news from the Apple camp.