A media report in The First Post on 1 March 2010 includes some good news and some bad news.
Apple has addressed some child labour concerns in several Chinese factories that manufacturer its products – the good news. The bad news is that children were allowed to work in these factories in the first place.
This illustrates not only the importance of policies on contractor management, supply chain responsibility and corporate social responsibility but the vital significance of auditing and enforcement.
Apple’s Supplier Responsibility 2010 Progress Report is available online.
A curiosity in the media report is the mention of maximum working hours. Apple sets a maximum working week at 60 hours. The Chinese Government applies a 49 hour week. To which “law” does a company comply? Should a supply company be in a position of choosing? Should Apple even consider setting a working hour for its workers that exceeds the limit set by a country’s government?