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Apple CEO Tim Cook Responds to Reports of Worker Mistreatment

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January 28, 2012 9:16:36 PM

I wonder if other companies who have their stuff made in China (pretty much all of them) will respond in a similar manner?

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-5
January 28, 2012 9:16:42 PM

..it is changing people’s lives." Yes it did, to those workers that jumped from the roof.
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29
January 28, 2012 9:19:22 PM

This is why the WinTel platform will continue to be the mainstay of computing, simply because it is dynamic enough to purge any undesirable "problems"

Apple will have problems with exclusivity the bigger it gets. Why? There is no easy way to describe it, but to use as an example is government: The larger, more complex, and rigid it is, the more inefficient it will get...

Besides, the only reason why apple is alive today is because they managed to find a niche in the gadget market... to consider them a computer manufacture, is a joke, it's their secondary product now... They might as well just say they are a phone company............
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13
Anonymous
January 28, 2012 9:20:31 PM

Dear Tim Cook,

You are a liar. If you cared that much, you'd have your stuff made in the US. K thx.
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33
January 28, 2012 9:22:59 PM

"We are focused on educating workers about their rights, so they are empowered to speak up when they see unsafe conditions or unfair treatment. As you know, more than a million people have been trained by our program."

Too bad in China where most of the harm is being done, educating yourself on your rights won't change the fact that the government doesn't care and you wont get anywhere except put in prison or be fired. It's typical of somebody in a position of power to make a broad statement about the problem without any real substance to shoot down the claims of mistreatment. Until things change i will believe the people on the ground before I believe somebody in a comfortable office chair in the U.S.
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29
Anonymous
January 28, 2012 9:33:41 PM

Seriously, what the hack has Apple to do with employees of other companies? What are people shooting to Apple when the local government does not care? The answer is simple - because Apple is successful! So this all is either sh*tty try to increase read stats (not by TomsHw, but original issuer) or envy feelings to Apple's earnings - or simply both.
Thats my opinion - not going to force anybody to agree or disagree.
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-23
January 28, 2012 9:58:43 PM

As long as the most consumers and analysts are concerned on cost first and foremost, abusing cheap labors will remain rampant. Apple, Samsung, Sony, WD, LG, and the most electronics/computer hardware companies face the same challenge. It's like typical game theory situation. Unless you are sure other competitors will comply with the same rigorous standard, you dare not even try.

I don't condone the practice, but simply want to point out why they let their supply chain abuse labors. It's not because they are evil, but because they are compelled, and believe they are doing their best to fulfill their duty: to maximize profit for stakeholders. This is the capitalism of modern day.
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4
January 28, 2012 10:06:15 PM

Whlist Apple are still enjoying the fruits of abused labour (bear in mind that made $13 in the last quarter alone) I feel Tim Cooks words are hallow and to have a pop at a dead man - Steve Jobs didn't seem to give a toss either that other humans were suffering when he was in-charge so long as Foxconn could still keep up the volume and reliability.

The fault isn't just with Apple (or IBM or Sony etc) but us the consumers. If were being honest how many of us goes into a store picks up an MP3 player or new phone and asks the retailer how the well the people are treated who made these products? It seems for western consumers ignorance is indeed bliss just so long as we get cheap affordable electronics. I for one want to see tech companies adopt an equivalent of the fair trade stamp you see on foods so we can buy with confidence that people don't have to live in a room shared by 9 other people and that workers don't have to work in factory full of aluminium dust and aren't forced to work for 70 hours a week.
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16
January 28, 2012 10:15:33 PM

Jumped from roofs years earlier, Apple obviously improved conditions as they proceed to continue trying to jump.

I smell corporate BS to save face. This guy should be well placed politician.
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15
January 28, 2012 10:20:31 PM

etteddyDear Tim Cook,You are a liar. If you cared that much, you'd have your stuff made in the US. K thx.

Actually with the unbelievable profit margins they have, they might actually be still profitable (although to a lesser degree) even if they shift the manufacturing to US, or simply keep the manufacturing in China but provide workers with better work conditions and facilities.
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22
January 28, 2012 10:20:50 PM


"etteddy 01/29/2012 12:20 PM
Dear Tim Cook,

You are a liar. If you cared that much, you'd have your stuff made in the US. K thx."

...and an iphone, instead of $500 or whatever it is, would cost $2000 and have worse quality control...
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-21
January 28, 2012 10:22:33 PM

memadmaxThis is why the WinTel platform will continue to be the mainstay of computing, simply because it is dynamic enough to purge any undesirable "problems"Apple will have problems with exclusivity the bigger it gets. Why? There is no easy way to describe it, but to use as an example is government: The larger, more complex, and rigid it is, the more inefficient it will get...Besides, the only reason why apple is alive today is because they managed to find a niche in the gadget market... to consider them a computer manufacture, is a joke, it's their secondary product now... They might as well just say they are a phone company............


A phone is a computer you newb.
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-16
January 28, 2012 10:30:48 PM

"We are focused on educating workers about their rights, so they are empowered to speak up when they see unsafe conditions or unfair treatment."

I highly doubt the Chinese government will ever take action to protect the workers who are brave enough to do that. President Roosevelt sent in the National Guard to protect striking auto workers from company henchmen, many of whom were local police officers. I don't see that kind of support from the Government ever happening in China.
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19
January 28, 2012 10:36:48 PM

Introducing Air Castles with the Apple logo in the middle around the Foxconn factories,
can expect many changes in the course of their working lives.
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0
January 28, 2012 10:42:09 PM

etteddyDear Tim Cook,You are a liar. If you cared that much, you'd have your stuff made in the US. K thx.


Dear etteddy,

You have been living under a rock for the last year. Things apparenty aren't any better in the US otherwise there would be no "occupy" movement. Your welcome.
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-18
January 28, 2012 10:43:35 PM

What makes me question this public statement is how Cook refers to the problems as existing in Apple's "supply chain" and not its own factories. Your own factory is not a "supply chain", it is YOU. If you have problems in your factory, you either didn't meet your own standards or didn't have much in the way of standards to begin with.

The fact is, people build things in China because it is cheap to do so. One of the reasons it's cheap is because the standards for employee care are so low. Raise the standards, raise the cost. Apple is there because, bottom line, they think it makes them more money. They don't want their cost to go up. I suspect they'll do all they can - unless it costs "too much".
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11
January 28, 2012 10:50:48 PM

Quote:
Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.


The word Apple and the word patent can't stay away from each other.
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15
January 28, 2012 10:50:55 PM

Marcus52What makes me question this public statement is how Cook refers to the problems as existing in Apple's "supply chain" and not its own factories. Your own factory is not a "supply chain", it is YOU. If you have problems in your factory, you either didn't meet your own standards or didn't have much in the way of standards to begin with.The fact is, people build things in China because it is cheap to do so. One of the reasons it's cheap is because the standards for employee care are so low. Raise the standards, raise the cost. Apple is there because, bottom line, they think it makes them more money. They don't want their cost to go up. I suspect they'll do all they can - unless it costs "too much".


They are not apples factories however, they are foxconns. Apple does not own, manage, pay the employees etc. Apple pays foxconn for a supply of product. It is no more Apples factory then when you purchase food from a market. That does not make it your farm.
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-2
January 28, 2012 11:14:07 PM

deanjoThey are not apples factories however, they are foxconns. Apple does not own, manage, pay the employees etc. Apple pays foxconn for a supply of product. It is no more Apples factory then when you purchase food from a market. That does not make it your farm.


But they assemble the iPads, iPhones, Mac's, etc... in China. Maybe not at the Foxconn factory, but they must to do it somewhere. They even ship directly from China when you order something from Apple.
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2
Anonymous
January 28, 2012 11:38:34 PM

APPLE HAS KNOWN ABOUT THIS SLAVE LABOR FROM THE START WHICH IS WHY THEY CHOSE THAT PARTICULAR FACTORY!

APPLE = OVER PRICES UNDER-PERFORMING ICRAP BUILT BY SLAVES!
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15
January 28, 2012 11:39:16 PM

"Team,

let's pat ourselves on the back, we are doing a great job (we are making millions off these underpaid workers so our bonuses grow larger every year).
There is no reason to bring these jobs to the US, because it would undercut our obscene profits (which, BTW, go in the CEO's pockets, not yours). It would mean we'd have to cut into our huge bonuses (again, the few up here, in the rarefied world of CEOs and COOs) in order to pay some decent salaries the average worker.

Tim"

there, Mr Crook, fixed it for ya.
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16
January 28, 2012 11:40:54 PM

extremepcsBut they assemble the iPads, iPhones, Mac's, etc... in China. Maybe not at the Foxconn factory, but they must to do it somewhere. They even ship directly from China when you order something from Apple.


That still is not their factory. They are a supplier to apple. There is a difference. Foxconn also manufactures for several other companies and their factories are retooled several times to fit what the customer (as in Apple, MS, MSI, Nokia, etc) is requiring for them to be built for them. It is no more their factory then you owning the utility company that you pay your powerbill to.
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5
January 28, 2012 11:43:07 PM

Heck it wasn't even apples product or assembly line where the mass suicide threat took place. That was on the xbox assembly line. Where are they with their investigations?
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7
January 28, 2012 11:43:30 PM

deanjoThey are not apples factories however, they are foxconns. Apple does not own, manage, pay the employees etc. Apple pays foxconn for a supply of product. It is no more Apples factory then when you purchase food from a market. That does not make it your farm.

So you claim Apple is pretty much the same as one who buys stolen goods. The fact one could be seriously hurt or even dead is none of your business, right?
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3
January 28, 2012 11:47:37 PM

K2N haterSo you claim Apple is pretty much the same as one who buys stolen goods. The fact one could be seriously hurt or even dead is none of your business, right?


Nope, that would be the end user. The same person that buys the iPads, the Xboxs, Zunes, MSI laptops, etc etc.
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3
January 28, 2012 11:51:26 PM

ICRAP SLAVE LABORAPPLE HAS KNOWN ABOUT THIS SLAVE LABOR FROM THE START WHICH IS WHY THEY CHOSE THAT PARTICULAR FACTORY!APPLE = OVER PRICES UNDER-PERFORMING ICRAP BUILT BY SLAVES!


Slaves don't have a choice of remaining there. Everyone at foxconn is free to quit and leave at any time on their own accord.
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-8
January 29, 2012 12:27:42 AM

Hahaha, apple prices are super overpriced and their products are being made wherever it's the cheapest. Moving production to the US = 3000$ ipads, 5000$ macs and 1500$ iphones. GL & HF
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-5
Anonymous
January 29, 2012 12:52:54 AM

Quote:
deanjoSlaves don't have a choice of remaining there. Everyone at foxconn is free to quit and leave at any time on their own accord.

If Foxconn workers were free to quit whenever they see fit, why do several dozen workers chose to commit mass suicides?

If a factory worker does quit, his or her name will be tarnish from ever working again in any job in China. So to quit Foxconn, is to commit suicide alone in the streets of Beijing.
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7
January 29, 2012 1:03:16 AM

Anyone else read crook first?
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5
January 29, 2012 1:04:06 AM

"As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values. "

Well yes. Yes you are. That is why I resent you.
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17
January 29, 2012 1:40:40 AM

deanjoSlaves don't have a choice of remaining there. Everyone at foxconn is free to quit and leave at any time on their own accord.

Easy for you to say. A worker there can't just quit a job and expect to find one the next day like you would in other places. Besides, where else are they gonna go anyway? If not Foxconn it's another factory that's gonna abuse them just as much.

the real mr bHahaha, apple prices are super overpriced and their products are being made wherever it's the cheapest. Moving production to the US = 3000$ ipads, 5000$ macs and 1500$ iphones. GL & HF


You should read the NYT articles, they mention the price would only increase by about $65 (other sites have posted a similar amount as well). And that's $65 more the price to day, meaning Apple would still be getting about the same profit. The problem here is that Apple get TOO MUCH profit, they have close to $100 billion in cash as we speak. The product shouldn't even be allowed to be the price it is today and yer we allow them to. This will now serve as an example for the rest of the corporations in the tech industry and other industries and that's gonna be a huge problem in the coming years. Read about corporatism.
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16
January 29, 2012 1:43:16 AM

Everything made in china is made in a crappy factory. if you have ever bought Msi, intel, asus anything at Walmart or target you are guilty of continuing the trend of the maxing out profits. Either throw everything out you have ever bought from china and never buy anything in china again or STFU.
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4
January 29, 2012 2:05:58 AM

Apple and many other tech companies: "Is it cheap, does it work, is it reasonably safe to our customers? Why is there blood and tears on this batch of smartphones? Ah nevermind, just clean it up. I'm going to go buy my 5th yacht."

Foxconn and other suppliers: "Don't worry slaves, we can always replace you with little disruption to our production. That's why we gave you starvation wages and suboptimal working conditions. I'm going to go buy my 5th yacht"
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13
January 29, 2012 2:06:53 AM

stratplayaI wonder if other companies who have their stuff made in China (pretty much all of them) will respond in a similar manner?


Nope. People that buy HP don't give a Sh**. Apple is in the unique position of having lots of do-gooder liberal customers.
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4
January 29, 2012 2:41:38 AM

etteddyDear Tim Cook,You are a liar. If you cared that much, you'd have your stuff made in the US. K thx.

In Tim Cook's defense, he's only been CEO for a few months. He has absolutely no clue that Steve Jobs ignored these issues for his entire stint as Apple CEO.
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-9
January 29, 2012 2:53:16 AM

I find it offensive that people are saying that Apple hasn't worked to improve conditions at the factories. They put a net out to catch them!
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7
January 29, 2012 2:54:35 AM

Dear Tim, you sound like another exec who does not have a clue what it is like in the worker class. Your words are thin and empty. If you care to get a clue about what it is like to work in those factories, work in one of Foxconn's factories, one of those factories where workers committed suicide, for three months doing what the average worker does. You just might have a clue of what it is like after the experience.
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14
January 29, 2012 3:44:13 AM

SpaceExploSeriously, what the hack has Apple to do with employees of other companies? What are people shooting to Apple when the local government does not care?

Let me put it to you in a way you might be able to understand...
Take for example, stolen property. Lets say stolen laptops. If you knowingly buy a stolen laptop, you are breaking the law. You did not steal the laptop, but by buying the stolen laptop at 30% it's original price, you are creating a market for the thieves and supporting their activities! So even though the thief is the main criminal and faces jail time, you will at the very least get a fine!
Foxconn is stealing people's lives and souls (their workers), and Apple is creating the market for Foxconn and supporting their way of doing business! Get it now? Of course, it's not only Apple that is doing this. But since it is apparently the most successful business in history (that's what another toms article said, not my opinion), it's the one that can best afford to lose some of it's profits in the interest of improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers that are being abused to create such high profits for Apple. Only a soulless person would be happier to pay $20 less (just a guess on the numbers) for his $500 (less than 5% savings) Apple product, even if this saving will mean some kid in China can't go to school cause he/she is staying home to take care of his younger brother/sister, while his mom and dad are slaving away at a Foxconn factory to barely earn enough money for food, until their (the parents) life is so crushed out of them that they feel their only salvation is death.
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10
January 29, 2012 3:50:10 AM

wiyosayaDear Tim, you sound like another exec who does not have a clue what it is like in the worker class. Your words are thin and empty.

I am pretty sure he has a much better idea of what is happening than you and I do.
But he is simply lying. People do that.. Not nice people of course. But no one is under the illusion that anyone running Apple (and most major companies) is nice, right? They wouldn't be where they are if they were nice and honest. So ya, he knows exactly what he is lying about... it's called propaganda. You can't reason with these people. All you can do is try to use the law to FORCE THEM to do the right thing. Which is very hard to do, since with the profits they make, they get to afford lawyers that are even less nice... grrr..
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9
January 29, 2012 4:33:25 AM

memadmaxThis is why the WinTel platform will continue to be the mainstay of computing, simply because it is dynamic enough to purge any undesirable "problems"Apple will have problems with exclusivity the bigger it gets. Why? There is no easy way to describe it, but to use as an example is government: The larger, more complex, and rigid it is, the more inefficient it will get...Besides, the only reason why apple is alive today is because they managed to find a niche in the gadget market... to consider them a computer manufacture, is a joke, it's their secondary product now... They might as well just say they are a phone company............



You appreantly don't get out much. You might also want to expand what you read so your are not so single minded. Good luck!
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-4
January 29, 2012 5:04:32 AM

So China cant do anything itself and needs US intervention?!? lol
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-4
Anonymous
January 29, 2012 5:16:10 AM

What the hell is Tim Cook talking about? The moment Apple went to a monopolistic form of commercialization is the moment the values disintergrate and cash flow begins. dumbasses...
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3
January 29, 2012 5:53:26 AM

sykozisIn Tim Cook's defense, he's only been CEO for a few months. He has absolutely no clue that Steve Jobs ignored these issues for his entire stint as Apple CEO.

Tim Cook's been the executive in charge of supplies for a very long time under Jobs. He's almost directly responsible for this situation.
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9
January 29, 2012 8:39:39 AM

billybobserJumped from roofs years earlier, Apple obviously improved conditions as they proceed to continue trying to jump.I smell corporate BS to save face. This guy should be well placed politician.


Remember they installed safety nets so they couldn't jump to death at work, its an improvement for the statistics - They commit suicide at home instead and that don't attract the media so we never hear about it. Thats an improvement for Apple!
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5
January 29, 2012 9:02:08 AM

deanjoThey are not apples factories however, they are foxconns. Apple does not own, manage, pay the employees etc. Apple pays foxconn for a supply of product. It is no more Apples factory then when you purchase food from a market. That does not make it your farm.


So by that logic if a company purchases its products from a company that is known for its version of modern age slave working conditions and thus add to the slave-driving-company's business, that makes the purchasing company not accountable?

I think not, they still gained the extra profit by literary walking over corpses of the workers who produced their goods and they know it! Few human beings would go to that length but apparently Mr.Crock and many other hardware companies Ceo's do, all for that little extra in the wallet of their "poor" shareholders. What a bunch of nice people - The need of the few outweighs the need of the many! Speak about selling the soul to the devil for some fast cash earned by others suffering.
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3
January 29, 2012 9:36:28 AM


All he is doing is damage control. Like what the Nazi's did with the press.. or the Red Cross when allowed to visit.
No, we are not killing them or being mean. We are real nice people. And after the inspectors left so did the food and warm blankets and their lives.
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1
Anonymous
January 29, 2012 10:32:32 AM

I think what a lot of people are forgetting is that this is an entirely different country with different values and rules. Suicide in China/Japan/Etc is not viewed nearly as negative as we do over here in the US, I'm not agreeing it's all puppies and sunshine it sucks but once again, different country, different values, and to be honest we have no business trying to change it.

All the good will, blankets, food, or money won't make a damn bit of difference in the long run. If you want to make a difference the only thing you can do is stop buying things made in China.

With any nation experiencing growth like China there are going to be growing pains. The US went through it with the strike breakers/national guard, and we eventually made it out okay. The root cause is the fact their government treats them a certain way because they are massively overpopulated. If there wasn't 1000 Chinese people clamoring to fill 1 job position then maybe the gov/company wouldn't be able to pull half the things it's been pulling.

You may not like it but the simple fact is China is it's own country and has to find it's own way, the fact that everyone wants to stick their nose in and tell them how to run their own game is pretty offensive. I don't agree with how they run their stuff but I also realize it's none of my damn business to begin with. Either stop buying Chinese crap or pray there is some revolution/evolution in worker treatment, but stop getting in everyone's face about it.
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-8
January 29, 2012 12:05:55 PM

Tim Cook should be named Dim Crook for being such a bad liar. At least conartist Steve Jobs had some pizzazz when he would lie to his congregation of incarxerated clueless zombies.
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3
January 29, 2012 12:25:04 PM

Tim Cooks statement = Sugarcoating a farce
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4
!