updated 05:15 am EST, Sun January 29, 2012
BSR partly corrects look into Apple supply chain
Corporate responsibility consultant firm Businesses for Social Responsibility (BSR) has published an open letter partly correcting the New York Times on its investigation of Foxconn factories. CEO Aron Cramer didn't object to the core of the article, which highlighted the problems Apple and others would have in improving supply chain work conditions, but did object to how it portrayed BSR. A BSR consultant was quoted several times but wasn't representing the whole company when he did, Cramer said.
What if any differences in attitude from the consultant to the company weren't explained. There were nonetheless "several important inaccuracies and misleading information," BSR's leader said, suggesting that the final result would be noticeably different.
The CEO partly defended Apple and said that its problems were of "immense importance" to all companies, not just the iPhone designer. He gave a generic set of fixes, including collaboration between corporate and government bodies.
While possibly toning down the implications of the article, BSR's message didn't touch on the main accusations that Apple knows and could act tougher against worker rights abuses but has purportedly chosen not to. Apple is in a tough position, since very few if any companies could take on the assembly jobs at the scale Apple needs. Foxconn as a result has many of the bargaining chips.