How many of you have an Apple device?
How many of you look at it as more than a piece of technology but as something to be revered? I have heard many people call their mac or iPhone their “baby”. But have you ever considered how it is made or where it comes from?
Today companies are all about their corporate social responsibilities. It is so important to be green. To have workers who are happy, challenged and engaged in their work. To give back to the community. Indeed, it has been argued that these factors are no longer USPs but necessities if a company is going to succeed.
But the great new-age “religion” that is Apple has somehow managed to avoid this and, quite literally, got away with murder.
Mike Daisey’s monologue, entitled “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”, relates his experiences of visiting the factories where Apple products are made in China. Without resorting to overly emotive language, it clearly conveys the human suffering that is inflicted in these factories. A fact that we are hardly aware of at all.
Shenzhen is the third biggest city in China with a population of 14 million people. It was designated as part of the Special Economic Zone in China in the 1980s by Deng Xiaoping and companies were given almost free reign over it as long as they delivered “modern China”. Almost all of our electronic materials come from there but it isn’t a pretty sight. Mike Daisey aptly describes it as looking “like Blade Runner had threw up on itself”.
Contained in this vast sprawling city are the factories of Foxconn, who produce 50% of the electronic goods in the world, including nearly all of Apple’s products. It is here that Mike Daisey discovered the harrowing truth of how we come to have these beautiful, sleek Apple products.
20,000 – 30,000 workers all in one huge space who are not allowed to talk. Monotonous jobs that involve hand making all Apple products. Minimum 12 hour shifts with very few breaks. Dormitories of 12 foot x 12 foot full to capacity with bunk beds. Chemicals used to clean the glass of these products which contain a neurotoxin that causes the shakes. Suicides. Lots of suicides.
This is only half the story but see Mike Daisey’s monologue to learn more.
Just doin’ ma duty,
Old Bushel Britches x