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REFILE-Apple finds supplier problems as its audits expand

From Reuters - March 7, 2018

(Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said on Wednesday that it had found violations of its labor and environmental policies for suppliers, such falsifying work hours data, as it expanded the scope of its annual audit of conditions of workers making its iPhones and other products.

Apple runs one of the largest manufacturing chains in the world, but most of the work is done at factories owned by contractors.

Apple audited 756 suppliers in 30 countries, 197 of which it was auditing for the first time.

Apple said in its annual supplier responsibility report that the proportion of low performers, or suppliers scoring less than 59 points on its 100-point scale, fell to 1 percent in 2017 from 3 percent in 2016 and 14 percent in 2014. High performers with scores of more than 90 rose to a record high of 59 percent from 47 percent the year before.

Apple found 44 so-called core violations of its labor rules in 2017, double the previous year. Those included three instances of employees forced to pay excessive fees for a job, a practice Apple banned in 2015.

In one case, over 700 foreign contract workers recruited from the Philippines were charged a total of $1 million to work for a supplier. Apple said it forced the supplier to repay the money.

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