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Tim Cook on Labor Conditions: We Care About Every Worker

Tim Cook on Labor Conditions: We Care About Every Worker

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Tim Cook addressed the working conditions within the company’s supply chain. The matter has seen a lot of attention from the media, but Tim Cook delivered a pretty good response:

We take the conditions of workers very seriously. We care about every worker. I worked in factories, I worked at a paper mill. We understand working conditions at a very granular level. I realize that the supply chain is complex, but my commitment is very, very simple. We believe that every worker has the right to a fair and safe work environment, free of discrimination, where they can earn competitive wages, and voice their concerns freely.

Cook also spoke about the value of education among their workers, stating that education is “the great equalizer”:

We provide free classes at many locations in our supply chain, and partner with colleges to provide courses. More than 60,000 employees have attended these classes. It would be a campus population larger than Arizona State, which is the largest state campus in the United States.

He went on to emphasize that Apple has a strict stance against underage labor, calling the practice “abhorrent”:

We think that the use of underage labor is abhorrent. Our top priority is to eliminate it entirely. If we find a supplier that intentionally supplies underage labor, it’s a firing offense.

Cook then wrapped up his thoughts on labor practices by stating that Apple is expected to lead the pack when it comes to worker safety and responsibility, and will continue to strive to do so. The company will also begin publicly posting monthly updates on worker hours, overtime, and working conditions on their website.

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