Labor Group Slams NY Times Report on Apple, Foxconn

Apple has not ignored worker problems, BSR CEO claims

By on January 30th, 2012 10:47 GMT

Non-profit organization Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has sent a letter to the NY Times, pointing out to several inaccuracies in their piece on Apple and their Chinese gadget assembler, Foxconn.

The report in question, published last week, included quotes from former Apple executives and an anonymous consultant at BSR. Per the NY Times piece, this person had alleged that Apple was aware of Foxconn mistreating its workers, and that it had ignored this situation.

“The narrative you present is an inaccurate picture of the work we have done with Apple, of the role Apple played in the worker hotline project, and of BSR’s views of Apple,” wrote Aron Cramer, president and CEO, BSR.

In his letter to the American publication (available for download in PDF format), Cramer said “This article shines a light on important supply chain issues that are a crucial part of the global economy—one of the sustainability challenges BSR has worked on with business and other stakeholders for 20 years.”

“Unfortunately, the article mistakenly attributes several quotes to an unnamed ‘BSR consultant’, presenting a false impression that those views should be associated with BSR.”

He admits that the story does a good job at pointing out to the immense importance of “the question of conditions in global supply chains”, but adds that “There are several areas where the text you provided us is inaccurate and therefore presents an inaccurate account of events you aim to describe.”

For example, the BSR disagrees that Apple has consistently disregarded its advice.

“It is untrue that Apple has consistently disregarded advice that BSR has provided about problems related to working conditions in its supply chain,” reads one bullet point.

Another draws attention to an account regarding a pilot project in south China which “omits and obscures key facts.”

The BSR analyzed said account and concluded that “there are errors in how you present the project conducted under the auspices of the World Bank, BSR, and three other sponsors.”

Finally, the paper’s attribution of several opinions about Apple to BSR doesn’t do justice to the non-profit organization.
Chinese workers assembling Apple products
   Chinese workers assembling Apple products
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