Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company is committed to working with manufacturing partners that offer its employees a "fair and safe work environment."
"Where they can earn competitive wages and they can voice their concerns freely. Apple's suppliers must live up to this to do business with Apple," he said.
Cook also laid out Apple's initiatives to educate workers about their rights. He claims that more than 60,000 employees from the company's "supply chain" have attended these free classes.
"If you take all these employees and move them to one location, it would be larger than Arizona State — which is the largest college in the United States. This is a powerful stepping stone for workers looking to enhance their careers and their lives," he said.
"No one in our industry is doing more to improve working conditions than Apple," Cook said. "We are constantly auditing facilities going deep into the supply chain, looking for problems, finding problems and fixing problems."
Cook claims that his company "reports everything" because he believes transparency is important in this area. He added that companies they work with who hire underage labor will face "immediate dismissal," and that the company is working hard to eliminate 60-hour work weeks.
The Fair Labour Association is currently auditing Apple's final assembly vendors – mainly Foxconn'asmassive plants in China. Cook describes this audit as "the biggest audit in manufacturing in history."