Entries in Plants (6)


Apple to Inspect Working Conditions in China

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- After years of complaints about poor working conditions at its supplier factories in China, Apple has announced an outside organization will be coming in to investigate the plants at the company's request.

In a statement Monday, Apple said the Fair Labor Association (FLA) will be conducting audits of its final assembly suppliers, interviewing employees about working and living conditions, and inspecting manufacturing areas, dormitories and other facilities.

“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the FLA to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.  “The inspections now underway are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”

Apple said the first inspections began Monday morning at a factory in Shenzhen.

The first report of the investigation will be released early next month.  Audits are expected to continue through the spring.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dig for Discounts When Gardening

Chris Clinton/Lifesize/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With summer just around the corner, gardeners are basking in the warmer weather and sprucing up the landscapes that were ruined earlier by harsh winter weather.

But if you need to re-plant most of your garden, the costs can pile up.  So how can you go about saving some green while flexing your green thumb?

Low prices are not the only thing to consider when buying plants.  Your best bet may be buying ones that last a long time, like perennials.

"If you want to save money, perennials are a good way to go," says Sue Perry of Shop Smart magazine.  "You buy them and they come up every year.  They're really great if you have little bare patches and you want a really quick instant pop of color."

And remember to time your garden according to the seasons.

"Think about keeping the seasons in mind so that you have something that comes in the beginning of the season kind of mid summer, later summer," Perry says.

Growing your own food is also another way you can save some money.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Toyota Cutting Back Production in North American Through June

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(ERLANGER, Ky.) -- Toyota announced Tuesday it plans to cut back on production at its North American plants through early June due to parts shortages stemming from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.

The Japanese automaker said it will continue to suspend production on Mondays and Fridays -- a schedule the company started on April 15 -- through June 3.  During that time span, production at the North American plants will operate at half capacity on the days they are open -- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Production will also be suspended for the week of May 23 in Canada and for the week of May 30 in the U.S. to observe the Victoria Day holiday and the Memorial Day holiday, respectively.

Toyota said no layoffs are planned during this adjustment in production, and that it will determine its production rate beyond June 3 at a later date.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Toyota Denies Reports It's Shutting Down American Plants in April

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Despite reports that Toyota will close down all of its North American plants later this month, the Japanese automaker has denied these claims, saying that no such decision has been made.

In a statement released Monday, Toyota said, "Contrary to recent headlines, nothing has changed from our update from March 23 regarding our North American operations."

That update stated production interruptions at its 13 North American plants are "likely" but that it was "too early to predict" where the interruptions will take place and how long they will last.

Toyota added that it continues to assess their supply base in Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Toyota 'Likely' to Curb Production in North American Plants

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amid a shortage of auto parts in Japan resulting from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Toyota announced Wednesday that it plans to curb production at its plants in North America.

In a statement, the Japanese automaker said, "We continue to assess our supply base in Japan following the earthquake/tsunami.  Today, we communicated to team members, associates and dealers here that some production interruptions in North America are likely."

Toyota added that it's "too early to predict" where the interruptions will take place and how long they will last.

Overtime at the automaker's 13 North American plants had previously been curtailed in an effort to conserve parts coming from Japanese suppliers.

Toyota also said Wednesday that its "dealerships continue to have an ample supply of vehicles," and that its "ships continue to deliver vehicles to North America."

Meanwhile, in Japan, although the production of vehicles remains suspended, plants have resumed the production of parts.  Toyota has not yet announced when vehicle production will resume in the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Toyota Halts Production at Several Plants Over Heavy Snow

Photo Courtesy - Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Toyota Motor Corp. announced it would temporarily suspend operations at nearly a dozen plants in central Japan Monday as heavy snow moves into the area, disrupting auto parts delivery.

The plants affected are all in Aichi Prefecture and include facilities that assemble the Prius -- Toyota's popular hybrid vehicle.  The automaker said it will add extra working hours to make up for the delay and plans to resume production on Tuesday.

Monday's suspension is the first time Toyota has halted production at this level since 2005.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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