The New York Times is reporting that Apple knew about, but ignored, the labor abuses of its manufacturer's workers in China.
An anonymous Apple executive told the Times in a report published yesterday,
"We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on. Why? Because the system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”
The report comes as Apple announced its highest earnings to date, $13.06 billion from a revenue of $46.33 billion, and as the iPhone 5 gears up for production.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that the amazing sales figures can be credited to a combination of “breathtaking customer reception as well as pent-up demand from a particularly long gap between new iPhone releases” but we're thinking that insane Chinese labor management has something to do with it.
Cook, in an email obtained by 9-to-5 mac, addressed the issues raised by the New York Times, which includes reports of explosions and deaths at plants.
"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," Cook wrote.
"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.
"Cook said Apple inspects more factories every year, raising the bar for its partners and going deeper into the supply chain. He stressed that the company has made a "great deal of progress" and improved conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers. He said he was convinced that no one in industry was doing as much as Apple in this regard.
"We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues," Cook wrote. "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."