Apple Realeses List of Suppliers:

 Apple released an extensive list of its suppliers for the first time ever on Friday along with its annual report on labor conditions at contract manufacturers around the world. The move reflects an apparent sensitivity to increased public criticism of the company’s level of accountability and transparency regarding where and how its gadgets are manufactured.

The data depicts a company that is moving toward better working conditions, but that still makes many of its high-cost products in environments that would likely be considered untenable in many of the places where those gadgets are used.

For example, the portion of suppliers in compliance with Apple’s regulations on working hours climbed to 38% in 2011 from 32% the year before. But a success rate of less than 40% would be considered a failure in, say, Cupertino — especially with the maximum manufacturing workweek set by Apple at 60 hours.

The 2012 report says that more than half of workers at 93 of the audited facilities exceeded the 60-hour limit at least once during a 12-week sample period. Apple says that it addressed the issue by beginning weekly tracking of hours at “facilities where excessive work hours were commonplace,” requiring facilities to “make changes to their work shifts,” and hiring outside consultants to provide training “on factory planning to avoid excessive work hours.”

The audits also found 67 facilities that used pay deductions as a disciplinary measure and 108 facilities that neglected laws regulating overtime pay.

The 2012 report says that more than half of workers at 93 of the audited facilities exceeded the 60-hour limit at least once during a 12-week sample period. Apple says that it addressed the issue by beginning weekly tracking of hours at “facilities where excessive work hours were commonplace,” requiring facilities to “make changes to their work shifts,” and hiring outside consultants to provide training “on factory planning to avoid excessive work hours.”

The audits also found 67 facilities that used pay deductions as a disciplinary measure and 108 facilities that neglected laws regulating overtime pay.

Explosions fueled by aluminum particles injured employees at two plants in 2011, according to the report. An explosion at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu killed four employees and injured 18 more, while a blast at a Pegatron factory in Shanghai injured 59 workers. Apple says that in response it enacted new requirements for handling combustible dust that include regular airflow and ventilation testing, better fire extinguisher availability and more thorough inspections of ductwork.

In other findings, Apple reported that 72 facilities lacked management procedures for labeling hazardous waste, 74 facilities lacked procedures for disposing of hazardous waste and 125 facilities lacked procedures for the handling, movement or storage of hazardous chemicals.

Also on Friday, Apple released a list of suppliers representing 97% of its procurement costs, its most extensive disclosure in history. The list of more than 150 partners includes major companies such as Intel, Samsung and Seagate, the embattled Foxconn, and a host more obscure names.

Lastly, Apple announced that it will become the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association. The Fair Labor Association is a non-profit network that monitors working conditions around the world. It was co-founded by Nike after the athletic company endured a wave of criticism and boycotts over its sweatshop manufacturing centers in the ’90s.

For Apple’s complete list of suppliers, click here. To read Apple’s entire 2012 supplier responsibility report, click here.

(via mashable)

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