Apple rejects call to form human rights committee
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Wednesday 27 February 2013
Shareholders at Apple's annual meeting have voted down a proposal to create a board committee on human rights, in the wake of a string of scandals at the company's Taiwan-based supplier, Foxconn.
Tough working conditions at Foxconn's Chinese factories have led to suicides and riots, and in October the firm was found to be employing children as young as 14 at one plant.
However, Apple's board argued that its suppliers were already subject to a code of conduct, and that a human rights committee would simply "distract" the board.
Another shareholder proposal, by which executives would be required to retain at least 33 per cent of their Apple shares until retirement, so as to keep them focused on the company's "long-term success", was also voted down. Such a rule, said the board, would "restrict the executives' ability to diversify their portfolios".
The meeting at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, saw all eight of Apple's board members re-elected. In a Q&A session afterwards, the chief executive, Tim Cook, was asked to address his company's share price, which has fallen 35 per cent in the past few months. "I don't like it either," he said. "Neither does the board or management … but we're focused on the long-term."
Apple remains the world's most valuable tech corporation, but the plummeting share price has led to demands from investors that it share more of its $137bn (£90bn) cashpile. The hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who has led such calls, was not present.
Mr Cook pointed to the company's $24bn sales in China, which he said was "larger than any technology company in the United States that we're aware of". He also hinted at new product launches, claiming Apple "has some great stuff coming".
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
Greek hospitals cannot afford painkillers, scissors or sheets as budget cuts bite
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Bulgarian seaside resort Sunny Beach is cheapest for beer
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...