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Apple must learn from Nike and get tough on causes of supply chain abuse

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Apple

The biggest lesson from Nike is that all this monitoring has its limitations

US Outlook We're ready for your close up now, Mr Cook. Say cheese. Tim Cook's photo op last week, when the Apple boss visited the firm's Chinese supplier, Foxconn, was timed neatly to coincide with the Fair Labor Association's audit of three Foxconn factories, which concluded health and safety violations were on the way down and the company was jacking up wages so that workers don't need to do such punishingly long overtime shifts that their legs swell up. This is good news.

But one day's photo op doesn't amount to much, given the size of the challenge for Apple in bringing down the human cost of the gadgets we love.

Each subsequent step will be harder – not least for Mr Cook, because it means ripping up the very achievements for which he is so feted in the electronics industry. It also means ripping up the way Apple designs its gadgets. Happily, he need not look far for advice, since Mr Cook is also on the board of directors at Nike, which became a lightning rod for protests about the use of sweatshop labour in the clothing industry in the Nineties.

Like Apple, Nike bore the brunt largely because it was the industry leader and, like Apple, it hated the unfairness of being so targeted. Read more on The Independant...

 

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