Longtime Apple critic gives credit where credit is due

Print Email

Tim Culpan was turned by Apple’s 2019 Supplier Responsibility Report.

From Bloomberg’s Apple Deserves Kudos for Doing Right by Workers:

I’ve been quite harsh toward Apple Inc. for a long time. Having covered the company for close to 15 years, first as a reporter and now a columnist, I’ve spent much time researching and writing about its supply chain and the myriad problems within.

Today, though, it’s time to give credit where it’s due.

Two of my major beefs with Apple relate to the issues of bonded and underage labor. In the first instance, employees working for the iPhone maker’s suppliers are required to pay upfront fees just to secure a job. This money is usually paid to recruitment agencies. The second is self-explanatory.

Both problems have almost been stamped out. According to the company’s annual Supplier Responsibility Report, just two cases of bonded labor were found last year, involving 287 employees. That’s too many, to be sure, but it’s incredible progress compared with two years ago, when 10 violations were uncovered. By employee numbers, it’s an 82 percent improvement from last year alone.

As for underage labor, just one case was uncovered, versus three a year prior. While even one is too many, cases of juveniles slipping into supplier factories are often a result of employees themselves faking documentation.

My take: This doesn’t happen often enough.

CAVEAT: Found at the bottom of the page…

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.