A recent report from The Information has once again put Apple under the spotlight. The report revealed that it took three years for Apple to stop sourcing from its suppliers who violate its policies.
The report says that seven years ago, Apple found out that Suyin Electronics, a China-based company that made parts for MacBooks, employed two underage workers. An audit was carried out by Apple three months later and it found more underage workers employed by the company.
Nevertheless, Apple did not immediately cut ties with Suyin for violating the ethics policies. Suyin continued to produce different parts for Apple products for three years. It took more than three years for Apple to finally stop sourcing from Suyin, according to The Information.
The case with Suyin was not the only one. Apple had been hesitant to move suppliers who breached the rules. The shifting and removing the old ones with the new ones would cause delays and incurred higher costs. Ten former members of Apple’s supplier responsibility team told The Information that it would hurt Apple’s business.
Despite the violations, Apple still sources from Pegatron and Wistron. The Information wrote that in 2013 and 2014, Pegatron was attacked by labor activists for workers’ abuse. While, Wistron has been under the spotlight for underpaying the wages, irregular hours, and poor working conditions. Apple then placed its contract with Wistron on probation and will not give any new order until the company takes “complete corrective actions”.
Apple has similarly refused to cut ties with Biel, a supplier of glass screens for iPhone. It was reported that there was a significant number of accidents and injuries. Biel did improve its condition but afterward, it did not get additional orders from Apple, The Information wrote.
Apple claimed that it has “the strictest standards in the industry” The Information wrote. Apple also said that 9% of its new suppliers did not receive any business from Apple as they failed to comply with Apple’s ethics policies.
The report also listed many other violations done by Apple suppliers, such as students employed as temporary labor under the guise of an internship, failed to provide official social insurance benefit to workers, and employed temporary workers more than 10% of the factory workforce.