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Apple reports on Foxconn, supplier workplace standards

Apple's latest supplier report details actions taken to help Foxconn with worker suicides and other facilities with underage workers.

Jim Dalrymple Special to CNET News
Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.
Jim Dalrymple
2 min read

Apple today released a new report detailing the progress of its suppliers in maintaining high standards in social responsibility.

An unnamed worker on Apple's 'Supplier Responsibility' Web page. Apple

In its latest report, Apple said it conducted audits of 127 facilities throughout the world. Ninety-seven of those were first-time audits and 30 were repeat audits.

Although many consumer electronic companies around the world use these same suppliers for their products, more than 40 percent of the suppliers audited said Apple was the first company to ever have audited their facilities.

Perhaps one of the most publicized among Apple's suppliers is Foxconn due to the worker suicides that facility experienced last year. To address the situation, Apple COO Tim Cook was joined by suicide prevention specialists for a visit to the factory.

Apple says its team worked with Foxconn's management to make sure measures were put in place to prevent more suicides. An independent review was also commissioned for the facility. Reviewers spoke to more than 1,000 workers about their quality of life at Foxconn. According to the report, Foxconn had no involvement in the independent study.

In addition to auditing the facilities, Apple said more than 300,000 workers and 6,000 supervisors have been trained over the past two years in worker rights, labor laws, and safety, among other topics.

Apple says it's been "aggressive in helping underage workers return to their families and get back to school."

If underage workers are discovered, Apple said it requires the supplier to pay for education expenses, a living stipend, and lost wages for six months or until the worker is 16, whichever is longer.

The report, available from the company's Web site, details what its auditors found from facilities around the world.

Updated at 2:09 p.m. PT: to fix a typo in Tim Cook's name.