Cook responds to Apple contractor factory worker reports

Mark Gurman for 9to5Mac, quoting from Tim Cook:

“As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values. Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain.”

Apple PR hasn’t responded publicly to the New York Times’ recent allegations about Foxconn working conditions, and I don’t expect they will. I do believe that Cook and Apple PR knew full well this letter would find its way out the door, however.

Apple isn’t Foxconn’s only customer, just its highest profile one at the moment, thanks to the popularity of Apple’s products and its remarkable profits. Apple doesn’t have direct control either over the way Foxconn does business or Chinese fair labor standards. But we can hope that the company – along with many others – continues to use its influence as a major customer to positively affect working conditions there.

Also, it’s worth underscoring that Apple is much more transparent about the standards it employs for measuring supplier responsibility than many other consumer electronics makers.