The New York Times has posted a lengthy report on the conditions in factories that make Apple devices, and it isn’t pretty.
“Apple never cared about anything other than increasing product quality and decreasing production cost,” said Li Mingqi, who until April worked in management at Foxconn Technology, one of Apple’s most important manufacturing partners. Mr. Li, who is suing Foxconn over his dismissal, helped manage the Chengdu factory where the explosion occurred.
Apple is probably one of the better companies working with Chinese suppliers, since they have a supplier code of conduct that they audit, and they issue a yearly report about those audits. But, even though other companies might be worse, Apple is certainly the most profitable, having just reported that they made $13.2 billion last quarter. It would not have been a tragedy if they had made $12 billion or $11 billion and treated workers a hell of a lot better.