Apple admits its suppliers make life hell for workers

Cupertino has finally come clean and admitted that its shiny toys are made by suppliers who abuse their staff.

After years of saying that Chinese workers making iPads and iPhones had a good life and were closely monitored by Apple to make sure they were happy, it has finally admitted the opposite was true.

According to AFP, after a couple of years of reports of Chinese workers killing themselves rather than making another iPad, Apple admitted some of its suppliers continued to overwork and underpay employees.

Recently, workers for Foxconn, which makes Apple gear, threatened a mass suicide after the supplier reneged on a pay deal, because it felt like it.

The problem for Apple is that while Chinese suppliers were cheap, it was doing its image as a young, trendy, green, liberal company no good to be seen making its gear in sweatshops which polluted the Chinese environment. In 2010, Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, denied that the company supported worker-abusing sweatshops in a cross my heart and hope to die sort of way.

Red-faced Apple has since admitted that an annual internal audit of its supply chain showed that just 38 percent of the company’s suppliers adhered to Apple’s own standard of a maximum 60 hour work week and minimum one day off per week.

One third of its suppliers were negligent in managing hazardous substances, and the same portion were below standard in injury prevention practices. On the plus side Apple “believed” it has eliminated child labour among its final assembly suppliers. Wow, welcome to the 20th century.

The figures pour cold water on Apple’s claims that it has closely monitored its suppliers, but now it is turned out that has not been enough. To solve the problem it has divulged its list of suppliers and said it would allow an outside labour rights group to monitor them.

Apple also divulged, for the first time, a list of 156 suppliers who provide 97 percent of its materials and manufacturing services by value.