I'm a music lover. So when Apple introduced the first iPod, I eagerly bought one. Several years later, I also bought an iPhone and an iPad. I love Apple so these were easy purchases. But when I learned about the suicides and slavery conditions at the Apple factories in China, I rethought my purchases, and started doing some research about these allegations.
Foxconn is the manufactory of Apple Inc. in China where workers are subjected to unlawful and dehumanizing working conditions. According to Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), workers are often forced to work 6-7 days a week, resulting in a monthly overtime 2-3 times over the legal limit. Many times these employees are enclosed and forced to work overtime until they reach their daily productivity goal. Furthermore, when this goal is not met, the workers are at the mercy of the abuse of the managers, which is so brutal that Foxconn has been forced to acknowledge this problem.
Even more disturbing are the suicides where exhausted workers jump out the factory windows. There have been reports that Foxconn employed couselors in order to support the workers with the intensive work pressured to avoid more suicides during labor hours. Addionally, I found some reports that jumping nets were placed outside windows.
There were also reports of unsafe exposure to dangerous chemicals and operation of machines without proper training and safety procedures, which often result in injuries that are not compensated.
Due to their low wages, workers are forced to live inside the factory. Sometimes these dorms are not only partially built, but they also of lack of electricity and water; and shared by 5-20 people. However, most damaging, it is workers’ restriction of forming unions and selecting their representatives in order to advocate for better working and living conditions.
SACOM has been evaluating and monitoring Apple promises for years now, but little or not improvement for these workers has been achieved. I have attached some of their reports and video in this petition.
As longtime Apple consumer, I feel responsible for supporting a product at such a high human cost. My Apple products are a big part of my life, but at what cost? I want to buy products made with dignity, not out of suicides and exploitation.
For that reason, I'm asking you to join me and tell Apple Inc. and Foxconn to stop this corporation malpractice. We want to see the workers in a safe work environment according to law, with all the requirements that a human being needs in order to be healthy, safe and live and worthy life.
Image: Leïla La Très Sage
We the undersigned are asking Apple Inc. to provide a safe, healthy, and worthy work environment for the employees at Foxconn manufactories.
As much as we, the consumers, like the Apple products, we are not wiling to compromise the dignity of other human beings. We are aware that the employees at Foxconn are forced to work long hours that exceed the legal overtime in China, and even without a meal and a break in order to meet the daily production goal. We are also aware of the abuse that the employees are subject by the managers in order to meet the expected production target. Furthermore, workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals, and operate machines without proper training and safety procedures, which unfortunately often results in injure that are not compensated.
Another issue is the low wages, which forced workers to live inside the fabric. In dormitories that in most cases, are not adapted for a decent and comfortable living. In many factories, the dorms are partly built, restricted from washing clothes, and electricity and water are limited.
For this reasons, we are asking Apple to remedy the labor conditions at Foxconn by:
1. Allow workers to have a break and lunchtime, as the law labor requires in China.
2. Allow workers to select representatives and organize unions according the Trade Union Law in China.
3. Provide compensation due to injuries and rights violations to workers.
4. Allowing an independent third party to monitor Foxconn labor polices.
As clients of Apple Inc., the quality of your products is equally important as the treatment of the workers at your overseas manufactories. Here in the USA, Apple Inc. has an outstanding service, and we would like to see that vision transcending to the manufactories in China by eliminating the slavery sweatshops conditions. Therefore, we are advocating for collaboration between Apple and Foxconn in order to meet the goals above.
For the last years, Apple has delivered the best technology, but now it is time to deliver the best lawful work environment for the employees at Foxconn, whom after all, are the ones that have made all this success possible for the company by manufacturing quality products.