Apple's Supply Chain Workforce Monitoring Expands

on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In an effort to pursue better working conditions, Apple has made it a priority to address the issue of excessive work hours in their supply chain. Despite the allowances that some local laws permit in terms of not having any maximum amount of hours employees can work, Apple has taken proactive, voluntary steps to ensure compliance with basic labor standards. According to Apples recent supplier responsibility pages update, 88% of November workweeks were less than the 60 hour maximum allowed by Apple’s code of conduct, with the majority of excess work hours assigned on a voluntary basis during peak periods.

Apple has historically had decent numbers in maximum total work hours per week being at or below the 60-hour threshold, with a high of 97% being reached earlier this year in July and August of this year. Being the first technology company to be admitted to the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Apple’s transparency and 3rd-party auditing of its supply chain workforce are a responsible first step towards protecting its workers. As a part of that initiative, Apple continues to monitor its workforce by implementing weekly supplier data checks on hours worked for over 1,000,000 (one million) employees worldwide, up from 900,000. These voluntary undertakings towards pursuing responsible labor practices come on the heels of an expanding program geared towards addressing environmental and working conditions.

As the workforce for all major suppliers increasingly relies on a global infrastructure, it’s increasingly important that companies pursue responsible and ethical labor practices even when not mandated to do so. American leadership has historically been determined in part by efforts to promote human rights and a culture of equality in our domestic and international approaches. Business ethics should be no exception to this rule, and making sure labor practices are transparent is a key first step in that direction.

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