Thursday, September 19, 2013

Apple in China

An important topic in the conversation of human rights falls into the issue of human labor. People are entitled to fair hours, fair pay and fair working conditions. A place where this issue is scrutinized quite frequently is labor in China. The problem of people being mistreated in terms of labor has been in the spotlight for quite some time now. The main culprits are enormous American companies running factories in China because of the huge work force and cheap cost of labor. The most recent case puts Apple on blast. As a result of them releasing a new wave of Apple products this fall, most importantly the new iPhone 5S, labor has seen a great spike.
One plant in particular under scrutiny is a Jabil Circuit plants located in Wuxi, China. They are producing the new cheaper iPhone 5C. Laborers are working 69 hour weeks and being paid so little that to match the average salary, theyd have to work 100 overtime hours. With that alone, the workers are being mistreated. Working that many hours and still not being able to properly provide without working extra is unjust and unfair. Workers should be paid at least enough to be able to make it by with out working every hour of their lives. The other concern brakes, which every worker is entitled to, is an afterthought in these factories.
The hours and pay arent the only problem, the working conditions are horrible. Exposure to chemicals, dangerous machinery, lasers and improperly trained employees spell a recipe for disaster.
The controversy is that Apple claims is provides a safe working environment and fair treatment to its laborers in its factories when reports say otherwise. Apple is such a large and powerful company that it would be difficult to penalize them, therefore this problem is hard to solve. Apple's products are used everyday by millions of people, so they have to produce millions of products. Its not a bad thing necessarily to find a cheaper source of labor, but doing so it is important to protect human rights.

1 comment:

  1. This is so sad to me. We see this so much in the US, a country for things to be cheap and fast. Often we dont' even question where or how something was made. We only ask "how much" and "how efficient." We are addicted to deals. Unfortunately, these cheap and fast things are produced at the expense of people with few rights and less-than-desirable working conditions.