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Apple releases 2013 supplier responsibility report

Apple's annual supplier responsibility report has proved to be a key insight into the company's labor practices, especially as scrutiny over working conditions in its supply chain grows. The 2013 report, quietly released Thursday night, gives insight into how the company is dealing with issues such as underage workers and excessive work hours.

Highlights in the report include a 72 percent increase in audits over 2011. Apple conducted 229 audits in 2011 and 393 in 2012. Of those, 55 audits focused on environment, 40 on specialized safety processes and 27 on bonded labor.

Apple also says that 92 percent of its suppliers now comply with a 60-hour work week. It also discussed the company joining the Fair Labor Association and the subsequent independent audit Apple asked it to conduct. Suppliers were also made to reimburse US$6.4 million in excessive foreign contract worker fees.

As noted by AllThingsD, Apple also discovered a case where 74 underage workers were employed by a supplier that produced circuit boards. Apple severed the relationship with the supplier and turned the hiring agency that had forged documents for the workers over to the government.

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