Apple responds to BBC report in internal letter – says facts were ‘clearly missing’

Apple is “deeply offended” by the report released by the BBC, allegedly revealing the Cupertino firm’s supplier Pegatron violating labour laws in China in a factory that makes the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

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In an internal email, obtained by The Telegraph, sent to around 5,000 Apple staff in the UK, Jeff Williams, senior vice president of operations at Apple, said that both him and Apple CEO Tim Cook were “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.”

Williams added, “Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Williams claims that facts were “clearly missing from their programme.”

If you haven’t seen the report from the BBC, you can check it out below:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSvT02q4h40&w=640&h=360]

Williams said that Apple tracks the weekly hours of more than a million workers in its supply chain, claiming its suppliers achieved an average of 93% compliance with the 60-hour workweek limit this 2014.

Williams said, “We can still do better. And we will.”

Speaking about the 1,400 workers Apple employs in China, Williams said that they were “talented engineers and managers who are also compassionate people, trained to speak up when they see safety risks or mistreatment.

“We know of no other company doing as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions, to discover and investigate problems, to fix and follow through when issues arise, and to provide transparency into the operations of our suppliers.”

The report also claimed a supplier from Indonesia that uses children to work in illegal mines could soon enter the Cupertino firm’s supply chain.

Speaking about the subject, Williams said, “Apple has publicly stated that tin from Indonesia ends up in our products, and some of that tin likely comes from illegal mines.

“Tens of thousands of artisanal miners are selling tin through many middlemen to the smelters who supply to component suppliers who sell to the world. The government is not addressing the issue, and there is widespread corruption in the undeveloped supply chain. Our team visited the same parts of Indonesia visited by the BBC, and of course we are appalled by what’s going on there.

“Apple has two choices: We could make sure all of our suppliers buy tin from smelters outside of Indonesia, which would probably be the easiest thing for us to do and would certainly shield us from criticism. But it would be the lazy and cowardly path, because it would do nothing to improve the situation for Indonesian workers or the environment since Apple consumes a tiny fraction of the tin mined there. We chose the second path, which is to stay engaged and try to drive a collective solution.”

Williams concludes, “We know there are a lot of issues out there, and our work is never done. We will not rest until every person in our supply chain is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

Pegatron said that it is investigating the BBC’s claims and will take “all necessary actions.”

Do you think Apple is doing everything in its power to prevent its suppliers from violating labour laws, or do you think it simply doesn’t care? Share your opinion through a comment on our Phones LTD Facebook page.

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