Apple Puts a Stop to Unfair Labor Practices, Woz Embarrassed by jOBS

Have you watched Horrible Bosses?  It’s a movie about three men who plot to kill their bosses, taking advice from the wrong people and scrambling to save their wayward plans.  But in the end, they got what they wanted, presumably living a content and happy life.

In real life, there are lots of us who have horrible bosses (fortunately, I’m not one of them!).  A horrible boss can be the person you directly report to, or in some cases, an evil company that enslaves workers to 100 hours of labor a week, hire underaged people, or pay far less than the minimum wage.

There may be some companies who practice these unfair labor practices, but Apple is not one of them, or at least trying not to be one of them anymore.

In Apple’s Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, the company stated that it is doing everything it can to monitor labor practices from its abundant suppliers and if something unfit was discovered, it is quickly reported.  Apple conducted 393 audits in 2012, which is a 72 percent increase compared to the year before, covering more than 1.5 million workers.  The audits include 55 focused environmental audits, 40 specialized process safety assessments to evaluate suppliers’ operations and business practices, and 27 targeted bonded labor audits to protect workers from excessive recruitment fees.

Apple became the first technology company to join the Fair Labor Association (FLA) in 2012, and requested the FLA to do its own independent audit of Foxconn, Apple’s largest final assembly supplier, which has received a lot of negative attention for poor labor practices.

The company is now tracking over one million employees weekly to monitor work hours, which Apple publishes on its site.  Apple achieved a 92 percent compliance with a maximum 60-hour work week.

In 2012, 1.3 million workers and managers received Apple-designed training about local laws, their rights as workers, occupational health and safety, and Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct, and increased the Supplier Employee Education and Development program, which offers workers the opportunity to study business, computer skills, languages, and other subjects at no charge.

Apple has also required suppliers to reimburse $6.4 million in excess foreign contract worker fees in an effort to protect employees that moved from their home countries to Apple’s suppliers’ factories.

Woz not a big fan of jOBS

In other Apple news, jOBS, the biopic based on the late Steve Jobs’ life, did not please Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, particularly the scene where Jobs and himself were arguing about the value of a computer.  Woz says the scene never happened in real life and the personalities portrayed by the actors (Ashton Kutcher played Jobs while Josh Gad played Woz), were wrong, though he did say Gad play his role a little closer to him.

“Totally wrong. Personalities and where the ideas of computers affecting society did not come from Jobs. They inspired me and were widely spoken at the Homebrew Computer Club. Steve came back from Oregon and came to a club meeting and didn’t start talking about this great social impact. His idea was to make a $20 PC board and sell it for $40 to help people at the club build the computer I’d given away. Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed… he always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs (this was the 5th time),” wrote Woz in an e-mail to Gizmodo.

Woz also added that he and Jobs never looked like professionals, since they were both kids and their relationship was different from what was portrayed.  He added that if people wanted to know what really happened, they should read his book, iWoz.  Still, if people found the movie fun and entertaining, he says it’s okay, but he is embarrassed by it.

You can catch jOBS when it hits theaters on April 19, 2013 – the 37th founding anniversary of Apple.