Before I dive into my opinions on the podcast and the thought provoking ideas behind it, I just wanted to point out that I thought it was extremely engaging. I think Mike Daisey told the stories beautifully and didn’t lose my attention once throughout it. I had never heard of him nor his play that will be playing in NYC before this podcast and it definitely made me interested for more.
As far as the content is concerned though, I personally was extremely informed, but not very surprised. I have never really researched to a great extent the working conditions in China. I most likely had the same basic knowledge as most people: that the conditions were not nearly up to par with most of the western world and that wages were extremely low.
The stories and descriptions from Mr. Daisey were horrible and really opened up my eyes to the labor situation in China. Like I said though, as horrible as they were, the stories did not surprise me. In a country as strict and rigid as China, one would expect factory conditions to be below standard, wages to be extremely low, and child labor to be present. I don’t believe Mr. Daisey tried to sway the facts to prove his own personal opinion, but was merely telling it how it was.
The thing about the entire story/podcast that bothered me the most were the unanswered questions. Such as:
- Exactly how much knowledge of these conditions did/does Apple posses?
- If these conditions and suicides are common knowledge then why aren’t more western companies trying to put an end to them?
- If the inspectors are aware of the fact that some factories try to fool them, why don’t they have more thorough inspections?
Many of these questions were asked by Mr. Daisey himself and I completely stand by his curiosities. It’s amazing where the United States is today and what we have gone through to get there. It seems to me though that many companies believe that the rights and freedoms in America don’t apply to affiliations in other countries. These Apple products are being enjoyed all around the world…why shouldn’t the workers that are supplying this enjoyment be rewarded just as factory workers in America are?
In short, the story was shocking, yet not surprising. I do believe though that there are are things going on behind the scenes, whether within Apple or in China that are being witheld from the public. I personally would like to know more details about each one of those questions.