As much as I enjoyed Mike Daisey’s theatrics in the first podcast (not sarcastically), I really enjoyed this podcast even more. It was absolutely enlightening and put me through a roller coaster of emotions. Last week I was completely gung-ho and ready to stand up against Apple and voice my opinion on the working conditions in China. I was ready to get out and try and make a difference in the world and go to China and put an end to this (well maybe not that extreme).
Turns out though…that most of it was either enhanced or a lie. So what should we believe and what shouldn’t we believe? I think it’s safe to say that I will be taking anything Mike Daisey says from now on with a grain of salt; as most people probably will. Of course I am going to side with the professionals who have actually done the research.
Listening to this podcast though almost gave me the general feel that because so much of this story was fabricated, that I really shouldn’t pay much attention to it. That it was all “theatrics” according to Mike Daisey. That was my first instinct. Instead I push passed this fact and did some research on top of it and have concluded something, that to me, means a great deal.
Say what you want about Mike Daisey, but the fact of the matter is he brought to light an issue that many people had little knowledge about and made people care. Of course I feel lied to and cheated, but before these podcasts I didn’t know much about the situations over in China. Despite most of his false claims, the working conditions in China are still very poor.
I did some research of my own to see what I could find on the situations in China and in the Apple factories. I found a fairly recent article posted on The Guardian‘s online site on March 29th, 2012. In the article they stated that the FLA (Fair Labor Association) did what some call a “full-body scan” of Foxconn, the exact factory that Mike Daisey visited in his story.
This audit asked 35,000 employees to fill out anonymous forms so that they could get some real information about the working conditions in Foxconn. Turns out…they’re awful. There were health and safety breaches, overworked employees, underpaid staff, abused interns, as well as explosions and suicides in the past.
This I feel is not something that should be looked over. I feel very strongly about the statement that was made in The Retraction: “We have exported harsh working conditions to another nation.”
So, say what you want about Mike Daisey, but he made many people, including myself, informed, concerned, and made me care about the working conditions in China, specifically with Apple.