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December 22, 2014

Apple ‘deeply offended’ over BBC Panorama expose

BBC exposed poor treatment of Apple workers at company's Chinese facilities.

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has said that he is ‘deeply offended’ over the BBC’s claims that the iPhone maker maltreats workers at its Chinese facilities.

As part of the Panorama programme, BBC has reportedly exposed poor treatment of workers and routine violations of standards on employees’ working hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers.

The breaches reported by the BBC involved issues at Pegatron facilities on the outskirts of Shanghai, in addition to concerns at the bottom level of the supply chain in Indonesian tin mining operations.

Panorama’s editor Ceri Thomas said: "While Apple did confirm earlier this year that it gets tin from Bangka, it had never been confirmed whether illegal tin was entering their supply chain."

"We got the first evidence of this on our trip."

"We told Apple what we had found almost two months ago. Although Apple was happy to give us a non-attributable briefing, we were disappointed that the company wasn’t prepared to explain its position on camera."

The report also alleged that employees fell asleep during the 12 hour shifts on the production-line for iPhone 6 and had been made to work 18 days consecutively after repeated denied requests for a day off.

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The Telegraph cited Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams’ as saying: "Panorama’s report implied that Apple isn’t improving working conditions."

"Let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth."

"We know of no other company doing as much as Apple does to ensure fair and safe working conditions, to discover and investigate problems, to fix and follow through when issues arise, and to provide transparency into the operations of our suppliers."

"Apple has publicly stated that tin from Indonesia ends up in our products, and some of that tin likely comes from illegal mines."

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