Combating Human Rights Abuses in the Production of Company Products
Role of the Board
The Board oversees the Chief Executive Officer (the “CEO”) and other senior management in the competent and ethical operation of the Corporation on a day-to-day basis and assures that the long-term interests of the shareholders are being served. To satisfy its duties, directors are expected to take a proactive, focused approach to their position, and set standards to ensure that the Corporation is committed to business success through the maintenance of high standards of responsibility and ethics.
Despite this focus on ethics as an integral role of the Board, there is not even one mention in our bylaws or committee charters about human rights and your duties to preserve those rights.
Our resolution is asking the Board of Directors, not management alone, to take an active role in setting the strategic direction of our company as an ethical corporate citizen by overseeing and governing issues around human rights raised by our company’s activities. We need the Board to be a fiduciary; agents for us as principals.
The full text of HII’s resolution
Why having management policies aren’t enough
Apple has a supplier code of conduct, issues an annual supplier responsibility report, and conducts its own audit; all in hopes of moving toward creating a more responsible supply chain. Despite these efforts, consistent violations persist including;
- 60+ hour work weeks
- Pregnant women working 11 hour days, 6 days a week
- Required overtime
- Child labor
- Ethnic discrimination
- Harassment by supervisors
- Women who are pregnant by wedlock are not allowed maternity leave
- Factories fixing records for audits
- Harmful chemical exposure
Victims in the supply chain
- Lai Xiaodong was a college educated manager who was planning to marry. Mr. Lai’s face was burned off along with the skin on 90% of his body thanks to a May 2011 explosion at an iPad factory caused by a well-known problem — an abundance of aluminum dust — where he managed a team of workers polishing iPad screens. Mr. Lai took two days to die of his burns
- Ming Kunpeng started working at ASM (also called ASMI), a longtime Apply chip supplier factory in Shenzhen, when he was 19 years old. He was required to handle benzene on a daily basis, without his knowledge, and without training or protective gear. In 2009, at age 24, Ming Kunpeng was diagnosed with occupational leukemia. Obtaining this diagnosis took a great deal of time, tests, and effort. Requests to ASM to pay for Ming Kunpeng’s treatment were ignored and refused. Despite the enormously supportive efforts of his entire family to get him ongoing care and treatment, on December 28th 2013, Ming Kunpeng gave up and committed suicide by jumping from the roof of his building. His fight is one that is fought by thousands of benzene-poisoned leukemia patients.
- Zhang Ting Zhen was electrocuted when trying to fix a spotlight at Foxconn. He is now living with half his brain removed. Foxconn did not have the protective gloves for Zhang Ting Zhen to use. The factory has refused to pay compensation, leading to his father being arrested after protesting this injustice. Below Zhang Ting Zhen’s father speaks about the tragedy that has befallen his son.
Who Pays” Documentary
How to get involved