“Mr. Daisy and Apple”

I reevaluated my consumer habits upon listening to the podcast, “Mr. Daisy and Apple.” I can’t help but feel a sense of guilt as I listen to half of the podcast on my Mac laptop and the other half on my Apple iPhone. My sense of guilt climaxed when Mike interviewed a worker who works on the assembly line, yet has never seen a finished iPad. I regrettably admit I usually don’t think twice about the factories where my possessions are manufactured and the conditions, since I feel far removed as a consumer. Although I have heard about Foxconn, I never realized the extremity of the factory and how they treat their employees.

The working conditions in these factories seem appalling. I imagined a factory with many loud machines producing Apple products, but according to the podcast the factory is quiet since thousands of fingers assemble products. Hands are overworked at a young age, causing workers to injure their bodies when they are older.  I was appalled by the age of the workers and the number of hours worked. An 8 hour workday was unheard of, instead shifts usually lasted from 12 to 16 hours. Someone even worked to his death after a 34 hour shift! I belive these statistics are inhuman and inexcusable. An Apple product is not important and worthy enough to take some innocent worker’s life. Furthermore supposedly only 32% of Apple’s suppliers follow their codes and regulations, but Apple won’t disclose the other 68% suppliers’ names. These suppliers may be deceiving the auditors, but Apple seems to be turning a blind eye to these injustices and in turn deceiving their customers as well.

I am now hesitant to support Apple and purchase their products, but I also feel powerless. Apple is such a big company, so what impact will I make if I stop buying their products, while the majority of people ignore these facts and continue to support Apple? Poverty is addressed at the end of this podcast. Factories produce opportunities and jobs for people which helps fight poverty. Many workers risk losing their jobs if Apple cuts off these suppliers. However as humans, I agree we have some obligation to make sure innocent people are treated right and working in safe factories, with acceptable working conditions. I believe there definitely needs to be a change in the way Apple products are produced, but I also believe this is going to be a very complex and difficult process.


One comment on ““Mr. Daisy and Apple”

  1. You raise a very important point about the system of audits and other accountability mechanisms. As well-intentioned as they may be, they offer further layers of reporting, evasion, and Potemkin villages. Know what a Potemkin village is? Look it up!

    To me, this is where ethics versus simply following rules can play a part. If a firm wants to actually address workplace safety or humane conditions, then they do not rest easy at the appearance of everything being under control that one can get from reading reports.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s