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Apple Supplier Code of Conduct Engineering Assignment (Essay Sample)


This PAPER reviews the major changes in apple supplier code of conduct over the years.


Apple Supplier Code of Conduct
(Author’s name)
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In the year 2014, the Apple Company was faced with a significant scandal when it was accused of failing to protect the workers from its suppliers in China. A report into the company’s Pegatron factories revealed that the company had routinely backtracked on its promise to protect workers as the standard on workers dormitories, work hours, ID Cards and juvenile workers had been significantly breached by the Supplier (Nova, & Shapiro, 2015). Another factory owned by Catcher technology a supplier of metal casings for Apple’s iPads was also faced with accusations of ignoring the welfare of the workers as they were forced to in very poor conditions.
In response to the increasing cases of worker neglect, the Apple Company undertook efforts to ensure that the supplier code of conducts is stringently implemented. The Apple Supplier Code of Conduct is a detailed report that contains guidelines o how Apple’s supplier are expected to conduct themselves.
At its core, the supplier code of conduct holds that all Apple suppliers are expected to provide their employees with safe and conducive working conditions, treat the workers with respect and dignity, act ethically and fairly, and utilize environmentally friendly practices when performing services or making products for the Apple company. To ensure that the Supplier Code of Conduct is up to date, the company releases new code of conducts every year. This paper will list some of the major changes in the organizations Supplier code of Conduct and provide a discussion on the changes.
Changes to Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct
Working Hours
One major Area where the Apple Company has implemented significant changes is in its working hours. In its 2014 Supplier Responsibility report, the company reduced the workweeks from 95 hours to 60 hours inclusive of overtime (Nova, & Shapiro, 2015). The company also required that its suppliers provide their workers with at least a day of in a week. In the reforms the company indicated that regular workweeks were not to exceed 48 hours and suppliers were required to comply with all the working hours’ policy (Nova, & Shapiro, 2015).
This change was quite significant in helping to improve the welfare of workers. An investigative report indicated that prior to the changing of the work hours, workers in Pegatron’s Shanghai assembly plant worked past the 60 hour limit to the extent that tired employees dosed off while in the production line (Nova, & Shapiro, 2015). Following the changing of the working hours, a 2017 Supplier responsibility report indicated that 97% of the company’s suppliers complied with the newly established working hours a 5% increase from that of the year 2014 (Apple Supplier Responsibility 2017 Progress Report, 2017).
Working Conditions
Following threat of Suicide from over 100 of Foxconn , one of Apple’s major Suppliers, employees due to poor working conditions and abuse from the employers (Nova, & Shapiro, 2015). The Apple Company ventured to implement a number of changes touching on anti- harassment and abuse and on working environment. In its 2015 Supplier Responsibility Report, the company required that all its suppliers shall commit themselves to providing a workplace that is free of abuse and harassment.
The suppliers are expected tot to threaten their workers with, or expose the workers to inhumane or harsh treatment that includes and is not limited to harassment and verbal abuse, physical and mental coercion, psychological harassment and sexual harassment. The report also required that the supplier provide all workers with clean and reasonably accessible toilet facilities and water. The suppliers are also expected to provide employees with clean and safe worker dormitories that have reasonable living space.
Mineral Sourcing
Another key area where the Apple Company has made significant changes is with regards to its mineral sourcing. In an effort to comply with international best practices the organization has ventured to ensure that all the minerals that are utilized in the creation of its products like tin, tungsten, gold and tantalum do not in any way finance conflict.
Because of this, the 2008 Supplier Code of Conduct report by Apple required that all mineral refineries and smelters in its supply chain undertake the necessary measures to ensure that the minerals supplied to the company are conflict free (Nova, & Shapiro, 2015). In its 2015 report, the company indicated that all identified refineries and smelters that were operating in its supply chain were participating in third-party conflict mineral auditing programs that were coordinated independently by relevant bodies.
Student Worker Protection
The Apple Company has also made significant changes with regards to its student worker protection requirements. Investigative reports into the operations of Apple suppliers have revealed that some of the suppliers place students in production duties that are not in line with their area of study and subject the students to harsh working conditions. In response to these revelations the company requires that all suppliers ensure that they comply with proper student worker management practices.
This is achieved through efficient maintenance of the student worker records, protection of the student’s rights as per the applicable laws and placing the student workers in areas that are in line with what they are doing. The changes also require that student workers should not be treated like ordinary workers and are not expected to comply with the company’s stringent work hours (Apple Supplier Responsibility 2017 Progress Report, 2017). The suppliers are expected to provide student workers with appropriate training and support.
Freedom of Association
The organization has also made significant changes with regards to its freedom of association policies. The freedom of association policies is those that provide workers with the opportunity to f...
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