This week was a milestone for Apple. As its stock continues to rise, its market cap exceeded $700 billion—the largest valuation ever achieved by any U.S.
Notwithstanding some areas of actual progress, working conditions in Apple’s supply chain remain grim for many workers. The claims made by Apple in its latest supplier report are often misleadingly rosy, presumably designed to deflect attention from the serious labor rights violations that even its own data suggest remain common—and which independent reports continue to find with dismaying consistency.
The third and final verification assessment by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) of remediation steps at three Foxconn factories making Apple products led to a raft of stories with headlines touting the progress on worker rights at Apple’s largest supplier Foxconn.
As the size of Apple’s cash reserves continues to mount, the company has come under increasing pressure to return more of those reserves to shareholders, through dividends and/or stock buy backs.
The hot debate over whether the new iPhones incorporate substantial improvements, or will spur even larger profits for Apple, misses a fundamental point.
On February 13, 2012, Apple announced that it would be relying on inspections by the Fair Labor Association as a path to ending labor rights abuses in its supply chain, leading to front page coverage in the New York Times.
Over the past year, discussion of the conditions faced by workers in Apple’s supply chain has focused almost exclusively on what changes have, or have not, occurred at certain factories of its largest supplier, Foxconn.
Read in isolation, the second verification assessment by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) of remediation steps at three Foxconn factories making Apple products might lead one to think that essentially all labor rights violations have been addressed.
Apple’s exceptionally large cash reserve led it to recently announce that it would expand the amount of funds to be returned to its shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases.
The latest issue of the Boston Review features a thought-provoking essay by MIT Professor Richard Locke entitled “Can Global Brands Create Just Supply Chains,” as well as a series of responses (including one I authored that this blog draws from).
In conjunction with its April 23 quarterly earnings report, Apple issued a separate announcement that it is doubling its “capital return program” and will return $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015.
For more than a year, there has been a high-profile debate over what Apple should do with its enormous cash reserve, now amounting to $137 billion.
The Hong Kong based group SACOM released a report today of a new investigation of working conditions at three Apple factories in China.
Apple's latest report on working and environmental conditions in its supply chain confirms that many workers continue to work in deplorable situations and that Apple has not yet spurred many of the fundamental reforms necessary to protect workers’ basic rights.
To its credit, Apple is now posting monthly information tracking the extent to which employees in its supply chain are working less than its standard of 60 hours per week.
The New York Times and the reporters of its Dec. 26 story—“Signs of Changes Taking Hold in Electronics Factories in China”—deserve much credit for raising the profile of the abusive conditions faced by the workers making Apple products, helping to spur promises of reform.
An undercover documentary report recently aired on France’s public television station found disturbing new evidence that the living and working conditions of the factory workers making the iPhone 5 are grim.
In August 2012, the Fair Labor Association released an interim assessment of the progress made by Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn, in improving conditions for its factory workers in China. This briefing paper concludes that the FLA’s rosy view of developments in Apple’s supply chain is unfounded.
The budget plan of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney includes large unspecified consequences; these are tallied here, and the complete implications of the plan are briefly illustrated.
With the issuance in August of the fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for cars for model years 2017–2025, the Obama administration may have now put forth the last major Environmental Protection Agency rule of its term.
The latest red flag that all is not well with iPhone 5 production is the overnight riot that occurred at the dormitory of one of Foxconn’s plants in China that “makes parts for Apple’s iPhones and hardware for other companies” (quoting from NPR).
“It is disappointing that no matter how advanced the technology introduced by Apple is, the old problems in working conditions remain at its major supplier Foxconn.” — SACOM, Sept.
As our blog noted Tuesday, the 47 percent of Americans that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney dismisses as “dependent” on government because they don’t pay income taxes includes many elderly households.
Apple’s key Chinese supplier is Foxconn, made famous by the rash of suicides committed by its employees, who live packed into dorms, far from home, working brutal schedules of overtime (sometimes as much as 80 hours a month, on top of the core 160 hours), subjected to verbal abuse and humiliating punishment by supervisors, and systematically cheated on wages.
Equipment and software investment1 has increased more in the first three years of this economic recovery than in the comparable period of the three prior recoveries.
The claim that an excess of regulatory activity is stifling the economy and jobs growth continues to ignore the roots of the economy’s problems (the collapse of the housing and financial sectors) and the reality of current economic trends.
China Labor Watch just released a new report investigating working conditions at 10 of Apple’s suppliers in China, including the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen.
Apple’s latest “blowout” quarterly report, as well as an examination of its executive pay levels, underscores how easy it would be for the company to improve the working conditions of the Foxconn workers in China assembling Apple products.
This analysis compares the compensation of Apple’s top executives to the compensation received by the Chinese workers of Apple’s supplier Foxconn.
On April 11, EPI hosted an authoritative panel of Chinese researcher-activists and international labor leaders to discuss the labor practices of Apple, Inc., and its suppliers around the globe. Five important themes emerged.