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Monday, January 16, 2012

HARD CHOICES IN THE TECH WORLD


I’ve always loved Apple products.  I mean for quite a few years. I’ve been an admirer of their ability to provide products that are way ahead of the curve.  They’ve always been able to bring items to the market even before customers knew that they needed or desired them.

In the last five or so years we, as a nation have become addicted to our iphones, MacBooks, ipads, etc. These products have become a way of life.

For the first time ever Apple has released a list of their suppliers.  In addition, they also graded each one. Many of them did not receive a favorable grade.

One, in particular Foxconn appears to be especially egregious. Just imagine 12 to 14 year old kids working 70 hours per week in massive factories.  They don’t even go home after work. They go back to their dorms on the company campus. 

These kids contemplate suicide on a regular basis. In 2010 ten Foxconn factory workers committed suicide by jumping off of factory rooftops due to the unbearable working conditions. 

These companies also test their employees for STD’s.  They also give the females pregnancy tests. They don’t want their employees to have any relationships or sex because that could affect productivity.

The company’s response? They installed nets to prevent future jumpers.

As an Apple consumer would you feel like an accomplice in allowing human rights violations to take place worldwide?  Would this information make you think about this when you’re using your Apple products?

Hearing stories of children being separated from their families and being forced to work long hours has to impact your feelings.  But will it affect you enough to alter your purchasing decisions?  As an Apple devotee that’s a really hard choice.

The way I see it we as consumers have two choices: Demand a change regarding the working conditions where these items are manufactured or start purchasing our high-tech products from other companies. 

I know this is really hard but what does your moral compass tell you to do?  As for me, I’m going to have to think long and hard about making future purchases from the company that I’ve always admired.



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