“And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.” Made by an Apple executive, the end statement of a new investigative piece from yesterday’s New York Times perfectly sums up the problem.
Like many people in our country and around the world, I love my Apple products. This article, however, raises some legitimate concerns about the working conditions found in manufacturing facilities in China that supply and produce Apple products, like the iPhone and iPad. With large-scale business, the economic forces push for the production of products faster and cheaper, which can result in worker abuses (long work hours; excessive standing; chemical exposures etc.). The article explains how Apple’s described culture of secrecy (involving the need to surprise the public with the next “latest and greatest” technology) may contribute to the unknown and hidden working conditions at some of its supplier facilities in China.
The public–and potentially even myself–may not want to hear about these potential issues. Ignorance is bliss when using your glossy, new iPhone. While it does appear Apple engages in a good amount of oversight of its suppliers, this article hopefully will shed further light on any potential issues and push Apple to make sure all its products are produced in facilities that protect and value the safety of its workers.