It’s no secret that Foxconn workers don’t like how they are treated. It doesn’t sound like a great job. Most of what we hear are stories of people committing suicide and wanting to quit. It’s reported that they work long, hard hours and aren’t allowed a life outside of their days off. One employee said that she works, goes to sleep then wakes up and gets ready for work again. Either way, the situation doesn’t sound good.
What’s Apple Doing?
Apple is investigating Chinese factories and saying that they want to ensure that workers are treated fairly. As someone on the outside looking in, it’s hard to say exactly what Apple’s purpose for this is. Perhaps they truly want fair treatment. Maybe it’s just good PR. Either way, it’s happening, and the end result may be that workers are treated more fairly. Of course this isn’t an Apple-only problem. Most of the popular gadgets and devices we use are built in China.
Protestors Sign Petitions, Go to Apple Stores
Protestors are going to Apple Stores and leaving signed petitions. They are doing it peacefully, and asking that the iPhone 5 be created ethically. The petition was launched by Change.org, and mainly consist of fans of Apple products who don’t want to continue on knowing that their iPhone was made by some gal working for less than a dollar a day to build a few hundred iPads. The petition thus far has pulled in nearly 200,000 signatures. The cause is nice, but the problem is that it’s difficult to change it in the immediate future.
Hackers Hit Foxconn
Not completely related to working conditions, but the a new group called SwaggSec has also decided to take on Foxconn. They wrote the following, “So Foxconn thinks they got ‘em some swagger because they work with the Big Boys from Intel, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple? Fool, You don’t know what swagger is.”
The group clarified saying that they are not doing this because of working conditions even though they “are considerably disappointed in the conditions of Foxconn.” They are just doing it for fun. Still, the timing is interesting.
It doesn’t seem like things will change in the immediate future. It’s difficult to say whether they ever will. There would be a lot that has to change. Costs would likely increase, workforce may actually be reduced as it becomes more expensive to pay employees. There are likely many factors to be considered. We’re not saying we’re for it or against it, we just think that there is more to it than immediately apparent.