A top equity research firm has downgraded Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) based on concerns about how the California-based company’s overseas suppliers treat their employees. Standpoint Research downgraded Apple from a Hold rating to a Sell rating on Monday, reports StreetInsider.
Standpoint Research analyst Ronnie Moas outlined the reasons behind the downgrade in a research note obtained by StreetInsider. “For Apple Computers to pay their workers $2 an hour while they have $150 billion in the bank is nothing short of obscene,” wrote Moas. “They have workers who are doing back-breaking and eye-burning work in depressed states of mind and in many instances have already committed suicide. Instead of treating their employees like human beings, they are treated like animals.”
Moas appeared to be referencing a series of employee suicides that have taken place at various Foxconn facilities since 2010. Apple joined the Fair Labor Association in 2012 and implemented a compliance-monitoring program after the incidents. The FLA recently said Foxconn had resolved almost all of its factory safety and worker condition problems, although the Taiwan-based manufacturer is still having difficulty in reducing its workers’ weekly hours.