NY Times on Apple overseas?difficult but crucial facts for Apple fans

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    Posted: 26 January 2012 04:48 PM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2&pagewanted=all

    Far too many grievous situations exist to justify or mitigate by saying that “most companies overseas do the same thing.” The writers go back and forth from clear abuses and negligence to reasonable, responsible interventions. I admit, it’s hard to know exactly what all happens, especially given Apple’s closely-kept secrecy in its relationships with suppliers.

    As a stockholder, I realize I need to convey my concerns to Apple. They can change this. They can lead in worker safety just as they lead in product innovation.

         
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    Posted: 27 January 2012 12:27 PM #1

    Just after sharing this yesterday, another friend sent me this from two weeks ago: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-joins-fair-labor-association-2012-01-13

    “In 2011, the FLA (Fair Labor Association) worked with Apple to assess the impact of Apple’s training programs which help raise awareness of labor rights and standards among workers in its supply chain. Like all new affiliates, Apple will align its compliance program with FLA obligations within the next two years.? ‘We welcome Apple’s commitment to GREATER transparency and independent oversight, and we hope its participation will set a NEW STANDARD for the electronics industry.’ “

    Apple reigns as undisputed leaders in design, innovation, creativity, implementation, and just doggone FUN in use of the products. Now they’ve *begun* moving toward what I hope will become worldwide leadership in these tremendously complicated realities of the 21st century global economy.

    This IS *EXACTLY* the kind of first major step I had in mind! It gives me something *affirmative* to recognize, and encourage MORE of, as I prepare my own statements to send quickly, to add to the big picture at the Feb. 23 stockholders’ meeting.

         
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    Posted: 28 January 2012 01:34 AM #2

    I’m curious.

    Say the FLA does its thing, takes a careful look at Apple’s commitment to supplier responsibility, and FLA’s 2013 report is to the effect of “of course there’s problems, but damn if Apple isn’t the quiet and effective leader it says it is in this space.  We’ll keep looking and pushing, but Apple is doing so much better than its peers.  It deserves to be lauded for its efforts.”

    To put it in perspective, the FLA has roots with Bill Clinton.  Let’s take FLA at face value and presume its longevity and stature exists for a reason.

    Then NYT or some publication has another hard-hitting article with former and current anonymous Apple executives to that says something like nothing much has really changed.  And maybe without saying so directly or even mentioning FLA, implies that the FLA is more an industry lapdog than a watchdog and Apple’s basically joined some independent entity for hire to rubber stamp its ongoing indirect abuses/inertia towards improving workers’ conditions with its contract manufacturers, etc.

    Who would you believe then?  NYT or FLA?

    [ Edited: 28 January 2012 01:39 AM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 02 February 2012 12:51 PM #3

    I agree, Mav. It’s impossible to know what it all REALLY means in actual procedures. Likewise with, say, the FDA, EPA, and any other government or industry agency given oversight. All we can do is try to get a reasonably broad spectrum of information, make a reasonable judgment, and act thereupon.

    Hence my second post, especially in “It [participating in FLA] gives me something *affirmative* to recognize, and encourage MORE of…”