Transcript of "Apple’s manufacturing centers now have 69% fewer child laborers"
Apple’s manufacturing centers now have 69%
fewer child laborers
Few people think about where their smartphone or tablet comes from, but the truth is
the conditions in those places are usually quite terrible. What was once an inescapable
part of doing business in developing countries is slowly being dealt with, and Apple
appears to leading the charge after a recent audit revealed a drop in abuse and child
As one of the biggest technology companies in the world, and as though no other
company is guilty of these same things, Apple has taken a lot of heat over the past
couple of years regarding the working conditions of the factories where their devices are
made. There are a lot of reason to be concerned, compared to almost anywhere else on
earth these conditions are unlivable. Tales of suicide, child labor, noxious fumes, and
abusive behavior towards migrant workers are just a part of a long and terrible list, all
while Apple and other companies pull in record profits. Apple has released an audit
of the facilities that they contract to in order to compare the work situation from last
year, and it looks like things are slowly improving.
Last year, the manufacturing centers Apple contracts with employed 74 underage
workers. This year, those same facilities only employ 23 underage workers. On top of
this, the factories managed to enforce a 60 hour work week maximum 95% of the time
and all active facilities were using conflict-free minerals at the time of the audit. Apple
has also started requiring that fees be paid to supply brokers any time there are reports
of migrant worker abuse in the facilities they contract out to. Compared to last year’s
audit, there are significant increases in the quality of the work environment.
Things are still quite a ways away from perfect. That same report identified 106
facilities that did not pay night shift workers correctly for holidays, and 105 facilities
that didn’t provide social insurance. There are also still 23 underage workers at these
facilities, and while that number is a great deal lower than last year it’s still a big
problem. Progress like this is difficult, and with Apple leading the change it is likely
that other companies will follow suit with their manufacturing centers, which in the
long run will be good for everyone.