Do you really think Apple doesn’t know?

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.


3 thoughts on “Do you really think Apple doesn’t know?

  1. You bring such an interesting point to the table. In the shareholder versus stakeholder debate, it may be beneficial to everyone to treat workers well. If Apple is so concerned about image, why can’t it be the front-runner in social responsibility policy? Why can’t it be the face of fair wages and working-conditions? With a large audience being younger, tech-savvy, and very cognizant of the environment and social implementations, you would think it’s in Apple’s best interest to be proactive with social responsibility…even if it is just for an image boost.

  2. I too also really like that you saw the stakeholder vs. shareholder debate. It is crazy to think that people are so dependent on the technologies that Apple is providing that they cannot begin to start to protest the company until they are clearly working toward doing the right thing. I think it is a scary concept that the company has so much power, power over people’s morals and values, because of this dependancy. Also, in terms of Apple having so much cash on its balance sheet, why can’t they work toward make conditions better, even if it is not most cost effective. The excess of cash seems silly and cruel to hold on to because of what is occurring overseas. “Code of Conduct”… they could at least do more to investigate into their suppliers and truly do something about it.

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