If there’s one thing I’d like to see Apple address, it’s their involvement with Foxconn. Sure, Foxconn works on most major technology devices, but Apple’s claim of thinking different sets them apart from the rest of the industry. I’m not naive, and I certainly don’t have blinders on, and I know where my favourite consumer technology comes from, but something needs to be done.
Yesterday, a 12th Foxconn Employee jumped out a window in an attempt to commit suicide, and the young women became the 10th to succeed. CEO Guo Tai-ming can flap his silver tongue about the suicide rate at Foxconn being under the national Chinese average, but someone needs to start to do something. Until companies start threatening to leave Foxconn behind, the company won’t change. Apple needs to start looking somewhere else, or at the very least, start demanding better working conditions for the people building their devices.
Apple has a long history of philanthropic work in the US (Prop 8 is a recent example), so it’s only logical that they start spreading their ideologies internationally. If they really believe in equality for mankind, it’s time to show the world that those principle extend beyond the US borders.
An average Foxconn employee makes approximately $1,560.00 per year. How much does a family get if an employee dies on the job? $16,000. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s going on here. Foxconn can say they aren’t a sweatshop, and they can show off their olympic sized swimming pools all they want, but no one’s going to buy it.
We’d like to throw a challenge to Mr. Gou Tai-ming: How about you spend a year working in your own factory, at the same wage as your employees?
Who are we kidding? He wouldn’t last too long.