In honour of International Action Day “Time to bite into a fair Apple – Call for sustainable IT” on 7 May, organised by makeITfair and GoodElectronics, Dutch political parties ChristenUnie (orthodox Christian party) en GroenLinks (left wing greens) asked questions in parliament to Minister Bleeker of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.
They questioned the minister on the problematic labour conditions in the production of iPods, iPads and iPhones. The questions have now received an answer. They show that Bleeker not only pledges his support to the campaign of makeITfair, he also recommends submitting an OECD complaint. The refusal of Apple to disclose requested information to the Dutch government is reason for the Dutch government to have a meeting with Apple about transparency and dialogue later this year.
Bleeker refers to the OECD complaints mechanism: “Violations such as described in the SACOM report are frowned upon by us. The OECD guidelines for Multinational Companies, and the ILO conventions that they are based on, apply to companies in the United States too, and serve as a framework for their international operations. Any alleged breaches can be reported to the National Contact Point of the USA.”
Apple also refused to answer the Dutch government regards the claims of labour rights violations as presented by makeITfair and GoodElectronics. This leads the government to additional questions such as how does Apple interpret CSR elements such as transparency and dialogue? The government will conduct a meeting with representatives of the company from the USA later this year.
Bleeker pledges his support to the makeITfair campaign: “Via makeITfair, abuses can be addressed at the companies concerned. Initiatives such as makeITfair are a vital part of the social discourse such as the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation is conducting about corporate social responsibility.”