NYT admonished by workers’ rights group over Apple China story

by Kenny Hemphill on January 30, 2012

The New York Times has been criticised by an organisation which promotes the rights of workers over a story it ran last week which contained devastating accounts of the treatment of employees at factories in China where Apple products are made.

BSR, a group which promotes corporate responsibility and the rights of workers was unhappy with the way it was portrayed in the Times article. In a letter to the Times, BSR President and CEO, Aron Cramer, wrote ‘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.’

BSR did commend the Times for shining a light on ‘important supply chain issues that are a crucial part of the global economy’ but added that ‘It is untrue that Apple has consistently disregarded advice that BSR has provided about problems related to working conditions in its supply chain.’

The Times story was widely discussed on Twitter and reported in UK newspapers over the weekend. And a report in the Observer linked it to columns in the LA Times and Forbes under the headline ‘Apple hit by boycott call over worker abuses in China’ The Times article focused on the Foxconn plant in Shenzen, which makes products for Apple along with electronics appliances for many of the world’s biggest consumer electronics companies.

Apple publishes a supplier responsibility report annually. It can be read here: Apple Supplier Responisbility.

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