) announced this week the Fair Labor Association (FLA) would
voluntary audits of the company's international
at the company's request.
Apple has come under fire from human rights groups and even some
members of its rabid fan base in the wake of news reports that
noted some of the
giant's suppliers had broken labor rules. The Cupertino,
-based company's supply chain has been the focus of intense
scrutiny over the past few weeks and its response has been swift
and uncharacteristically open, as it released previously
confidential information about many of its international suppliers.
Apple said Monday the Fair Labor Association would conduct special
audits of working conditions at Chinese factories that produce the
iPad and iPhone, among other products. Apple also said the
organization had already begun to investigate Foxconn, one of its
biggest suppliers that famously erected nets after a number of
employees reportedly committed suicide at its expansive factories.
"We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and
fair work environment, which is why we've asked the FLA to
independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,"
Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a statement. "The
inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics
industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA
agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in