Apple Inc. Strikes Back At BBC’s Allegations

Apple  has been accused again of allowing the factory workers who build its products in China to be mistreated. Apple executives went on the defensive immediately, saying they are “deeply offended” by the BBC’s allegations.

Apple Inc. Strikes Back At BBC's Allegations

BBC probes Apple’s factories

The BBC’s Panorama conducted an investigation of Pegatron Corporation, sending undercover reporters into the Chinese supplier’s factories just outside of Shanghai. The reporters claim to have found that workers were being treated poorly and that Pegatron was breaching government standards on how many hours employees worked.

According to the BBC’s report, workers fell asleep while working 12 hours on building iPhone 6 smartphones. The TV network also alleged that employees were required to work 18 consecutive days without a day off even after they repeatedly requested a day off. Those requests were allegedly denied.

Apple responds to the BBC

The Telegraph reports that Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said he and CEO Tim Cook are “deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain or mislead our customers in any way.” He added that the BBC’s report suggested they aren’t doing anything to improve the working conditions at the factories of its suppliers, claiming “nothing could be further from the truth.”

The Apple executive said they had spoken with the BBC before the program aired but said the TV network omitted the “facts and perspective” they had shared from the program.

Apple claims to defend workers

Williams also said they had been tracking more than 1 million workers’ weekly hours and that Apple’s suppliers have an average of 93% compliance with the limit of 60 hours per week so far this year. He also said they could do better and that they will continue working to improve conditions at their suppliers’ factories.

He also said they don’t know of any other company doing as much as they are doing to make sure that the working conditions in their suppliers’ factories are “fair and safe” and to investigate any issues and fix them. About 1,400 people in China work to manufacture Apple’s products.

Other claims from the BBC

Panorama also said its reporters investigated a factory in Indonesia. The program claimed to have found children to be working in a factory where tin from illegal mines could be getting into Apple products through the supply chain.

Williams said they already revealed that tin from Indonesia does get into their products and that some of it probably comes from illegal mines. He also explained that they have two options. One is to ensure all of their tin comes from mines that are outside Indonesia but he said that wouldn’t improve the conditions for Indonesian workers. He said instead they decided “to stay engaged and try to drive a collective solution.”

Pegatron said in response to the BBC’s allegations that it is investigation and intends to take all of the actions it deems necessary to deal with them.

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  • Dara

    oh please try!

  • r l

    your analogy is repugnant and so are you, apple does more than any other company and that’s a fact. your dumb a** just sits at home and judges without doing anything, until that changes, you have no place to criticize them queenie

  • r l

    moron, you didn’t even read my post…yesh

  • common sense

    Please you do not get a right to commit murder if someone else commits murder. Someone or even everyone else doing it is not justification for you to do it. You do not let a murder go free because there are 10 other murderers you couldn’t catch. If the allegations are true, Apple needs to step up. If Apple does not dispute the allegations and Apple can do something about them, it’s Apple’s fault for not doing enough.

  • r l

    be quiet you rotten turd

  • baligeko

    Ask the Chinese workers if they prefer to work for this company, or some other Chinese hell hole company.
    Guess what their honest answer will be.

  • baligeko

    Maybe someone should investigate how the BBC exploits its journalists? Making them go on long trips to the other side of the world. Did they fly business class? How high was their Per Diem? Did they get double time on the weekends?

  • baligeko

    Ask the Chinese workers if they would rather work for Pegatron, or another Chinese factory from hell which is totally unregulated, and guess what their honest answer will be.

  • baligeko

    I am a stupid European, and resent your comments. Please change to “stupid Brit”.

  • Searcher5

    Dara, not sure what I did to rile up, since I didn’t even respond to your question. What I was trying to say is that there are many companies here in the U.S. that work the same hours and more. So, if hours are the main push, there isn’t any sympathy from me. I still work equal and more hours, and have no issues with it. As for your anger, you have an issue with Apple, that’s apparent. Put it all out here since you like throwing names at people you don’t even know. Are you paid by Samsung to go around throwing insults at people that have Apple products?

  • Dara

    hmm you’re obviously illiterate then. And I wasn’t asking you that question so please stick a sock in it my little iTard friend.

  • Dara

    Very impressive comment, if I estimated your age correctly: 6?

  • r l

    i understand your points, they are very good. however, what other company that makes products in china, all electronics are now, have you heard of that are even monitoring these issues? probably none. because apple is the largest and is trying to make a difference they are the one that is targeted for these “investigations”. the fact they are trying to improve these conditions is i think unique. that there are problems, is undisputed even by them. but to say they are solely responsible seems like a oversimplification. pegatron is the direct employer here and bares an equal share of the responsibility. and what is the alternative? must apple install monitors in every plant at every one of their suppliers for every shift in every country? i think some common sense and restraint is called for.

  • r l

    absolutely correct. not a single company in world has EVER driven their vendors to provide benefits or risen pay for their workers like apple has. they are the very reason that pay in china has been rising so fast for the last few years…APPLE. this d*uche dara is some samesung troglodyte that needs a life

  • r l

    you’re full of s**t and can be sued for slander

  • r l

    that you’re a moron

  • r l

    you sound like a stupid european that has been completely left behind in the new economy. you haven’t a clue what innovation is. apple is one of the few true innovators in the world, you stupid moron. go back to your socialist gov provides everything life that you have the US to thank for, jacka**!! you wouldn’t know an idea or innovation if it bit you in the a**, loser. you’re a victim because you want everything handed to you so you don’t have to WORK!

  • Dara

    Ok go look at them and let us know if you find anything.

  • Dara

    It’s not just falsified payroll stubs, Apple is stealing stock options from former employees’ accounts and also doing options-laundering using inactive accounts of employees (especially foreign employees) It’s been going on forever. The US courts know about it, but in a law of the jungle country where money runs everything, they continue to get away with. The worse that will happen is something like a “$100 million fine”…sounds impressive until you compare it against how much Apple has been stealing. Media contacts please reply to this comment for more information.

  • Dara

    what are you trying to say?

  • Dara

    It’s all true. These Apple cretin are all the lowest, most vile a-holes in the entire value added re-seller business. And that includes how they are treating and swindling people at their US offices, not just in east Asia. I am not sure where this attitude comes from…Get it through your heads Apple: YOU ARE A BUNCH OF HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT THIEVES THAT STEAL IDEAS AND ROB FROM UNSUSPECTING VICTIMS…and nothing more

  • Searcher5

    12 days, 18 in a row before a day off? Hmm, sounds like when I was in the Army. While that is a tough schedule, is there that much that Apple can actually do about it? Apple can push standards, but non compliance I’m sure would be fairly rampant. If you think those conditions are hours are bad, I remember when Motorola built a plant in China. The companies that were performing the work were incredibly abusive, and everyone seemed fine with it. I would take it as a culture issue which can only change gradually over a long period of time. Just my thoughts. As for the BBC doing a report, issues can be found anywhere, just pick a company and investigate.

  • Malcolm Tucker

    I suggest you watch the video when it’s broadcast on BBC America. I saw it last night…

    Apparently, a week ago, the BBC investigator was “Invited” to Apple’s Cupertino Office, knowing that BBC had been working on this documentary for 6 weeks.

    Sure, Top people at Apple, possibly including Tim Cook, already knew of the report. The report investigated falsified payroll stubs, leading to what is a fake audit trail. It’s all appauling. During “training”, which was cut from 24 to 3 hours… Test answers for training were broadcast on Public Address systems.

    The worst part was in the mines, where 12 and 14 year-old children were mining for Tin (used to make solder in Apple devices). One lady is twice a widow due to the unsafe mining conditions.

    You should watch it and make your own conclusions, perhaps on BBC America. It’d be particularily helpful if you bought Apple products or shares on the belief that Apple is ethical. The reality is that paperwork (busywork) was created, but its value is a hill of beans. It seems that was just hype and marketing.

    Still, if 15 issues with Apple’s “Supplier Responsibility” Documents can be found in a 6 week undercover investigation, someone at Corporate isn’t leaving the office, or working very hard in the factories.

  • mds

    Let’s look at the Chinese and Korean brands. If anyone thinks AAPL’s suppliers are mistreating workers after seeing who other are using; they don’t know what mistreatment is. I have been there and seen many Chinese factories..