Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly called recent reports on Apple’s attitude toward its supply chain “patently false and offensive” in a new e-mail sent internally to Apple employees. Cook’s remarks came the same day The New York Times published a lengthy feature about the “human cost” of our iPads, iPhones, and other gadgets. That report, based on sources and interviews conducted by the Times, made the assertion that many of Apple’s executives are willing to look the other way when it comes to unsafe conditions and worker abuse because of the pressure to keep gadget costs down. Apple declined to comment for the Times story.
In Cook’s e-mail, which is published in full at 9to5Mac, Cook indirectly referenced the Times report by opening with, “some people are questioning Appleâ€™s values today, and Iâ€™d like to address this with you directly.” He went on to describe any accident that happens with Apple’s suppliers as “deeply troubling,” and addressed Apple’s employees who work at supplier sites around the world by saying they’re “as outraged by this as I am.” The remainder of the letter describes Apple’s supplier inspection initiatives and its recent relationship with the Fair Labor Association.
“Any suggestion that we donâ€™t care is patently false and offensive to us,” Cook wrote. “As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. Itâ€™s not who we are.”
The Times report in question is worth reading in full; it’s full of quotes sourced from former and current Apple executives about the company’s view of supply chain problems in China and elsewhere. The prevailing message appears to be that Apple cares to a certain extent, but can pretend certain reports don’t exist until there’s a PR disaster to deal with (such as the aluminum dust explosion at a Foxconn plant that killed several workers in 2011).Â
It’s clear that Cook feels strongly about the new story, and he claims that Apple is committed to improving worker conditions overseas. “What we will not doâ€”and never have doneâ€”is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain,” he wrote. “On this you have my word.”
from Ars Technica