Sunday, 6 June 2010
I've been following the story about the high rates of suicides at Foxconn in China - the electronics plant that makes iPods, iPhones and other gadgets. I heard from Michael Netzley via FIR that Foxconn is getting workers to sign non suicide affidavits that allows the company to send them to a mental asylum if they try to commit suicide.
I know there are cultural differences and local factors to take into account when you are a westerner looking in onto a situation, and I know that it's not right for us in our comfy lives to pass judgement on others' lives, but this is wrong by anyone's standards, isn't it?
The fact that a factory, which in effect is a live in compound where workers sleep in bunks and work 80+ hours a week, has an extremely high suicide rate is bad enough. But that workers are made to promise not to top themselves other wise they get locked up, is even worse.
However, the scary thing is: what will I, and people like me, actually do if Apple don't do something about the conditions under which their products are produced? Will I ditch my iPhone, iPod and Mac? Will I refuse an iPad given to me by my IT dept to test out?