In response to allegation of iPod Cities — massive Chinese sweatshops of hundreds of thousands of employees, toiling away in squalor — Apple put together an independent audit team to take a look at conditions and see if it was as bad as everyone feared.
It wasn’t. In fact, by squalorous Chinese sweatshop standards, iPod City sounds like a decent place to work. Apple’s report, posted on their company web site, reads remarkably like a company that is being open and forthcoming. While the report is quick to point out things Apple is doing wrong, or complaints the employees made, but overall, it seems as if initial reports were wildly blown out of proportion: for example, although the cities can accommodate up to 200,000 workers, in practice only a tenth of that space was being used. Employees main gripe seems to be they can’t work more overtime.
Of course, it’s still China we’re talking about, so the standards don’t exactly inspire coveting. But iPod cities seems humane and largely considerate. Good on Apple for getting to the bottom of this and sharing the results so publicly.