Apple CEO Tim Cook has followed up on the New York Times story about the human cost of manufacturing iPhones, iPads, and Macs in China with an email to Apple internal employee. In short, he takes issue with the Times.
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. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are. For the many hundreds of you who are based at our suppliers’ manufacturing sites around the world, or spend long stretches working there away from your families, I know you are as outraged by this as I am. For the people who aren’t as close to the supply chain, you have a right to know the facts.
Cook went on to note that Apple wants to educate workers about their rights. Apple wants to empower them to speak up when they are unfairly or mistreated. Cook claims more than a million people have already been trained under Apple's program. Cook was also sure to mention that it's his belief that no other company has taken more or better steps than Apple has with their workplace efforts.
The employee emails were semi-frequent under the late Steve Jobs and they've been regular under Tim Cook as well. Jobs was also fond of the open letter. Perhaps we'll start to see those from Cook as well, and this incredibly important issue will get the attention and publicity it deserves.
You can read Tim Cook's full email sent out to Apple employee's via the link below.