Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Come on Apple!

You can do better than this.

Reports from the New York Times have shown awful work conditions at Foxconn, one of Apple's major suppliers in China.

Apple is sitting on $100 billion. Just sitting there. Collecting nothing but interest.

While they sit around and think about what to do with it, perhaps they can invest 0.001 percent in upgrading their supply chain. $100 million could go a long way to fixing these problems.

Firstly, it is impossible to know what the agreement is like between Foxconn and Apple. But I am sure there are some provisions within the contract that mentions working conditions. If not, Apple has all of the leverage in the world to make those changes immediately.

Look, I have no problem with Apple outsourcing their work to China or wherever they choose to do so to maximize their business opportunities. But the public relations hit that Apple is taking is not going to be worth it in the long run, unless they make some sweeping changes.

They can immediately fire Foxconn and go with other suppliers in China or some other location. This would be the most dramatic change and likely erase the negative press they are getting. Obviously there are huge logistical challenges with this, especially with significant supply chain disruptions, but they may be able to pull it off.

What they will probably do is force Foxconn to make changes to how they treat their employees. It will likely cost Apple money in increased enforcement of working conditions and wages, but it would just be the right thing to do.

The company won't miss the money, they can make the lives of thousands of workers better and improve their image with customers and potential customers around the world. Step up Apple. Do the right thing.

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