CREDIT: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/marc0047/6697653863/" target=_blank">Marc Phu</a>
CREDIT: Marc Phu

Prakash Sethi on Apple's Labor Standards

Apr 11, 2012

Does Apple's number one status mean that it has special responsibilities for the labor practices of its Chinese manufacturers? And to what extent is one company, even one as dominant as Apple, capable of affecting labor standards in China's vast economy, not to mention the rest of Asia?

Over the past few months, Apple has been receiving unflattering media scrutiny for the labor practices of its Chinese manufacturers. Programs like This American Life and the Daily Show have joined The New York Times and other traditional outlets in detailing long hours and harsh working conditions at Apple-contracted factories. Most recently, the Fair Labor Association, or FLA, a monitoring group that Apple belongs to, seemed to ratify these reports.

Like a presidential candidate, Apple seems to be inviting media attention because it's on top. But does being on top mean Apple has special responsibilities to address the labor conditions in its the factories it contracts in China? And to what extent is one company, even one as dominant as Apple, capable of affecting labor standards in China's vast economy, not to mention the rest of Asia?

To read the interview transcript, please download the document below.

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Factory workers assembling fiber optics systems in China. CREDIT: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/52581560/" target=_blank">jurvetson</a>

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