Apple’s troubling relationsip with Foxconn
ARGUABLY, most technology firms use companies to make their components that aren’t exactly nice. Giant hangars of workers soldering away like battery hens enable us to have nice, tiny gadgets. However, Apple have a rather troubling relationship with a company called Foxconn, which has seen underage workers and suicide getting too many depressing column inches.
Foxconn are the world’s largest contract electronics maker, and they have admitted using students as interns as young as 14 in their Chinese factory. Workers have been pushed so hard that suicides have been alarmingly prevalent, to the point where Foxconn saw fit to install a net around the building to stop employees from throwing themselves off the top of the factory. Recently, there have been riotous breakouts.
As such, employment rights activists in China have protested against Foxconn for their practises.
“Our investigation has shown that the interns in question, who ranged in age from 14 to 16, had worked in that campus for approximately three weeks,” the company said. “This is not only a violation of China’s labour law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions.”
These findings have only come about after Apple ordered their own investigations under increasing pressure from a variety of groups.
Foxconn continued: “We recognise that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologised to each of the students for our role in this action.”
Is that good enough for Apple, who persevere with Foxconn? The company make most of the world’s iPads and iPhones, and the 2010 suicides didn’t stop Apple’s association with them, and numerous reports of employment abuses, didn’t put the iPad makers off either.
Is it case of not caring one jot?
The fact is, while most big businesses have skeletons in the closet, it is a worrying sign that Apple – one of the most idealistic companies in history – should show such little regard for a company than continually shows a complete disregard for human beings.
Should Apple consumers be more accountable for what they are contributing to?