skeptical, and disappointed

I was disheartened when listening to Mr. Daiseys commentary on the working conditions in Chinese factories however I was not surprised.  I briefly glanced over the news of the suicides at Foxconn several years ago, which put in my head the idea that their working conditions had to be very harsh.  One thing that really surprised me in the podcast was the use of the neurotoxin for screen cleaning.  That seemed to me the most flagrant violation ethical work standards.

I guess the big question all this brings up, and the question I find myself asking is to what extent does apple really know about this, and to what extent are they trying to change things.  In the end of the podcast, they talked about the reports apple issues each year, and the auditors they send to change the conditions.  So in response to my question, I think first it’s important to say- THEY MUST KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS.  If me, as a consumer can read on BBC, or through a podcast about the working conditions in these factories, then people whose job it is to maintain apples public image definitely know.  Furthermore, as Mr. Daisey said explicitly, the factory executives will show potential investors anything they want to see in the factory.  With that said, its nearly impossible that the numerous executives that liaised with factories were unaware of their conditions.

With this in mind, the final question that comes up is, “is apple ethical?”  To this, I would unfortunately have to say no.  This is simply because from what little I’ve heard, it seems apple did not investigate into the working conditions in their outsourced factories until the news of employee suicides reached the mainstream media.  The massive campaign that followed then seemed superficial considering there was absolutely no way apple discovered these conditions along with the rest of the world.  There are businesses out there that genuinely try to make a social impact along with reaping economic gains.  Apple however, seems to me much more concerned with the financial aspect, and only seems to incite social change when faced with harsh criticism from their consumers.


3 responses to “skeptical, and disappointed

  1. I also agree with the fact that the neurotoxin for screen cleaning was absolutely horrific. That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. If these Chinese companies are so worried about turning profits and getting the most from their employees, then why would you put them in physical danger where they will eventually become “useless” to you? As their bodies are damaged and their condition worsens, the company will have to waste time and money finding and training a replacement for the injured workers, instead of bettering the work environment and having the same workers say for a longer duration and become experts in their crafts. Not very good business practice.

  2. I agree with the last thing you said. As Spahr said in another comment, Apple has so much money they don’t know what to do with it. Maybe they should use it to remedy the situation of harsh labor conditions in Foxconn. This would shed better like on their image as well.

  3. I agree with your opinion on Apple and their questionable ethics. It seems as though they are trying to hide how much they really know, which comes off to me that it is as if they really do not care so long as their profits continue to grow. I do like the suggestion in the comment above about Apple using their profits to help the labor conditions in Foxconn. However, I really just do not see it happening since they have not made any moves in this direction already (and this has been going on for awhile)

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