Following the airing of a BBC show depicting poor working conditions in the Pegatron factory making iPhones Apple CEO Tim Cook said the situation was misrepresented, and that he's "deeply offended." The report showed factory workers forced into extended shifts and ongoing safety issues.
Tim Cook says BBC misrepresented Apple's efforts to improve iPhone factory working conditions
BBC's Panorama placed undercover reporters in the Pegatron's factories where iPhones and iPads are built, then documented their findings. They said Pegatron's management told employees how to answer on safety quizes and what to say on worker condition reports, then refused requests for days off. In some cases, employees were forced to work 18 days without a break.
In a memo to 5,000 Apple UK employees, senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said he and Mr. Cook were disappointed with the show, and that the company has been working hard for better factory conditions. In the memo, obtained by The Telegraph, Mr. Williams said,
Panorama's report implied that Apple isn't improving working conditions. Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.
He added that Apple has been following weekly hours for over a million factory workers in its supply chain, and that it been able to hit a 93 percent compliance with China's 60-hour work week limit. That isn't, however, good enough and Mr. Williams said Apple
can still do better. And we will."
Apparently Apple talked with Panorama about its commitment to human rights and efforts to improve working conditions in the factories that make parts for its products. None of that information made it into the show, according to Mr. Williams.
Despite Apple's open disappointment with the show, the company sees the claims as a serious issue and is planning on conducting its own investigation to see where additional improvements can be made. Pegatron representatives said they're looking into the reports as well and will takke "all necessary actions."