As was mentioned at the end of this radio podcast, many people are not particularly surprised by the poor working conditions and the presence of child labor in sweat shops and factories overseas. Just like many others, I was already aware of these issues, however, Mike Daisey made some very thought provoking points in his monologue and brought to light certain issues that I hadn’t necessarily thought of before.
For example, when speaking with one of the workers outside of the Foxcon factory, Daisey asked her how old she was and she said that she was only thirteen. Daisey then explains that there were many underage workers at the factory, some as young as 12 years old. He then asks the question “do you really think Apple doesn’t know about this?” As a company obsessed with details, it is almost impossible to believe that they are not aware of the child labor occurring in their factories. It is more likely that they are simply seeing what they want to see.
Apple also claims that they are taking care of the poor working conditions overseas but when asked about specifics they cannot provide an answer. Apple wants their stakeholders to trust that they are doing the right thing but it is easy to become skeptical about their actual commitment to solving these problems. This also raises the question of whether corporations have an obligation to treat their workers fairly in a way in which their stakeholders feel they should be treated, even if it may not be the most cost effective method.