I’ve been following the ups and downs in this news story about how a Foxconn factory in China, responsible for producing iPod Shuffles and other electronics for Americans, has been treating its employees like indentured servants. They’ve now admitted to over-working their employees by 80 hours per month which is probably really bad since Chinese labor laws probably allow for a LOT of hours compared to countries in the West. The worst part, though, are the dorms that they live in while employeed by the company, pictured above. Granted these are probably adequate or possibly even better than where they’d be living if they didn’t have this job. However, seeing this picture, coupled with the knowledge of the conditions there make me feel tremendous guilt for ever purchasing any electronics created under these conditions let alone an iPod. How ridiculous is that? Because I want to have a little box that plays music be afforable to myself, I allow these companies to exploit these people by remaining ignorant of the situation and buying A LOT of gadgets. And obviously it’s not just the electronics industry that perpetuates the problem but any type of good. I suppose this affects me strongest because I connect most directly connect myself to it.
Am I never going to purchase an iPod again? I don’t know about that (not so much unabashed selfishness as honesty) but I will be following this story to see if Apple takes measures to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t go unchecked in the future. Whether or not actual change occurs should matter but will obviously be difficult for an individual like myself to ascertain. I suppose news of action could end up simply serving as justification in my purchase of the next cool toy.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this?