Apple CEO promises to ''dig deeper'' into supply chain issues

27 January 2012

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28 January 2012 | Adam Leach

Apple is tackling alleged problems over working conditions in the supply chain aggressively, CEO Tim Cook has told staff.

In an email to Apple staff obtained by the website 9to5mac, Cook said he wanted to directly address questions raised over the company’s values and told employees: “We are attacking problems aggressively with the help of the world’s foremost authorities on safety, the environment, and fair labour.”

His message came a day after The New York Times published an article that made a series of allegations about the treatment of employees at Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, a major contractor to Apple.

In the email, he said: “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.”

Also in the email, Cook pledged to continue to develop efforts to scrutinise supplier conduct: “We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues. What we will not do, and never have done, is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word.”

Earlier this month, Apple revealed that it had carried out 229 audits on suppliers in 2011, including surprise audits to catch suppliers off guard, which equated to an 80 per cent increase from the previous year. In addition it announced that it had reached an agreement to allow the Fair Labor Association to scrutinise its supply chain operations.


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