It's no secret that Tim Cook isn't happy about the recent New York Times piece on Apple's labor practices, but Apple isn't alone in disputing the claims and conclusions of the report. Aron Cramer, the CEO of BSR, a company which consults Apple and hundreds of other major companies on corporate responsibility, has come to bat for Apple in an open letter to the New York Times:
My BSR colleagues and I view Apple as a company that is making a highly
serious effort to ensure that labor conditions in its supply chain meet the expectations of
applicable laws, the company's standards, and the expectations of consumers and other
A "BSR consultant" is quoted heavily in the middle of the NYT piece, but BSR officially disputes the claims made by that anonymous source, and says that person is, in fact, not affiliated with BSR. That and other clarifications were sent to the NYT before publication, but Aron says that while some changes were made, "several important inaccuracies and misleading information remained."
Unfortunately, while it's good news that BSR is going to bat for Apple, as it stands there's plenty left in the Times piece that remains unrefuted — BSR's tangential involvement in the piece has mostly to do with trial programs that Apple was never participating in anyway. The hardest thing to brush away are the harsh quotes in the piece from unnamed former Apple executives, which claim that Apple has the ability to improve worker conditions, but simply isn't doing what it takes.
What's clear from the BSR response is that the New York Times report isn't the final word here, but what's also clear is that this is an important issue that's not going away.