Apple Tells Employees ‘We Care’ About Supply Chain Workers

Apple's reaction to the New York Times exposé about brutal working conditions at its manufacturing partners' plants in China had a primary target in mind: Apple employees. In a lengthy e-mail delivered to all employees on Jan. 26, CEO Tim Cook criticized the article and highlighted the numerous efforts and initiatives the company is undertaking to improve the working environments of laborers overseas.

Cook described Apple’s efforts in ensuring better working environments for employees at manufacturing plants overseas. These include yearly audits and inspections of factories, as well as worker education and training programs.

Apple's decision to communicate only internally is a message in and of itself: The company wants it understood that it considers its employees to be its primary stakeholders.

“We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are,” said Cook in the e-mail, which was published by

The e-mail also serves as an indirect, outward-facing statement. So when Cook says, “What we will not do—and never have done—is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word,” he is, in effect, announcing to both his employees and the world that Apple acknowledges problems in its supply chain and that it is constantly working to rectify them.

Follow Sahil Patel: @sizpatel

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Measurement Conference 

prmeasurement2015-180x150Join PR News at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago on Nov. 18 for the Measurement Conference, where you'll learn how to focus on measurable media relations, social media reputation-enhancing and crisis management programs that clearly affect your organization's bottom line.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook


Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.