After listening to the This American Life “Mr. Daisey and Apple” podcast, I am in utter disbelief over the working conditions at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China. It is amazing to me that Apple, a successful American company with piles of money to its name, permits the disgusting and inhumane factory conditions that exist at Foxconn.
Daisey’s description of the factory throughout his monologue had me cringing. First of all, the nets surrounding the building immediately signal to outsiders that suicide is a common occurrence among employees. Hearing this sent a chill up my spine. The working environment seems so uptight and serious that I cannot even imagine how uncomfortable employees must feel. Being surrounded by video cameras, not being able to take breaks throughout the day, standing on foot eight hours a day, living in crowded dormitories…and the list goes on.
During the podcast, Daisey poses an interesting and valid question in reference to Apple: “Do they just see what they want to see?” He goes on to explain that Apple must know about the working conditions at Foxconn, and clearly they have not made any moves to improve them. As an owner of multiple Apple products, it saddens me to learn about what lies behind the brand’s name and image.
I truly hope that factory conditions in Shenzhen improve. No human being should be required to work in this type of environment in order to earn a living and support a family. Perhaps Apple needs to step forward and initiate some changes. Until that happens, I will have a completely different perception of this “successful” company in my mind.