Mike Daisey: Apple in China

Submitted by sarah1994 on Mon, 2012-02-13 11:17

I listened to the NPR program where they had Mike Daisey as their guest for the show. Mike Daisey went to China and visited the factory FoxConn, which is a supplier for American companies such as Apple. Here he tried to interview employees and to paint a picture as to what their working conditions are like. The Chinese city Shenzhen has said that they will do whatever it takes to have an economy like America which means many of the people will work long hours for low wages. Mike Daisey stood outside of FoxConn and interviewed any employee who would talk to him. The outside of the building has nets to stop the suicides from happening as workers had been jumping from the top of the building.

Factories are the easiest place to get work because the factories are constantly hiring and firing workers who are not fast enough or are not meeting the qualifications of the workplace. Many of the workers get overuse injuries that would easily be avoidable if they rotated jobs. Also unions are strictly prohibited and therefore secret unions are formed that often have no effect because if a worker is fired they are put on the black list and it is very hard for workers to get another job. Many workers also believe that the factories are fine to work in because the conditions working in the rice fields are much worse. There were 12 suicides at FoxConn in 2010 but compared to the national average of 88 suicides for every 4,000 workers this number is much lower. Apple has made FoxConn made pay for underage workers to go back to school and has even forced some factories to accommodate workers' needs by leaving factories that were not accommodating. Apple has audited factories every year but whether this has an affect is debatable as they have not released their findings every year.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and...