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BSR says NYT look into Apple-Foxconn pact has inaccuracies

updated 05:15 am EST, Sun January 29, 2012

BSR partly corrects look into Apple supply chain

Corporate responsibility consultant firm Businesses for Social Responsibility (BSR) has published an open letter partly correcting the New York Times on its investigation of Foxconn factories. CEO Aron Cramer didn't object to the core of the article, which highlighted the problems Apple and others would have in improving supply chain work conditions, but did object to how it portrayed BSR. A BSR consultant was quoted several times but wasn't representing the whole company when he did, Cramer said.

What if any differences in attitude from the consultant to the company weren't explained. There were nonetheless "several important inaccuracies and misleading information," BSR's leader said, suggesting that the final result would be noticeably different.

The CEO partly defended Apple and said that its problems were of "immense importance" to all companies, not just the iPhone designer. He gave a generic set of fixes, including collaboration between corporate and government bodies.

While possibly toning down the implications of the article, BSR's message didn't touch on the main accusations that Apple knows and could act tougher against worker rights abuses but has purportedly chosen not to. Apple is in a tough position, since very few if any companies could take on the assembly jobs at the scale Apple needs. Foxconn as a result has many of the bargaining chips.

by MacNN Staff



  1. gprovida

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No good deed goes unpunished!!

    NY Times article highlights the dangers of 1. being proactive about labor conditions and 2. making the actions and progress public. Similar to Apple's work on environment, criticism is intended to take Apple to task for not doing anything, not enough, or worst merely being hypocritical.

    I can understand Cook's being upset regarding the reporting on Apple's efforts [unique in the industry] as if Apple is doing the "blood diamond game." Selling products with near utter and certainly hypocritical indifference to the working conditions of its supply chain.

    Can and should things be improved, certainly, but it would more useful to require all US [and other major companies] doing business in China to collectively get the level Apple is at. This will drive change, Apple albeit big, is small potatoes in the huge Asian Supply chain.

    Try to find any product in Walmart, Target, Sears, and Amazon that is NOT manufactured in China or Asia. Rather than celebrating Apple's leading the charge to improve the supply chain, it gets pilloried for its leadership in this regard.

    The other sub-plot that this disregard is a major factor in why Apple [and other] products are not made in the US. Again false, the supply chain is a complex web of companies [ask any VC regarding IT limited to Silicon Valley, 128 beltway, and perhaps one or two others in the US].

    If we were so hot to trot on getting American manufacturing running we would open the flood gates for immigrants to build the foundation of a manufacturing renaissance that could support an entire pyramid of good paying jobs from workers to supervisors to white color workers.

    Again, NYTimes had a lost opportunity to make visible the challenge and opportunities.

  1. facebook_Bob

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012


    NY Times: America's Socialist Newspaper

    The New York Times cannot be trusted to print accurate information unless it causes controversy. It's what they do...take something that isn't a problem and make it into one with partial truths, just to give it a slight believability factor. The Times is no longer relevant to truth or does it contain accurate information.

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