Apple should convince their manufacturers in China to stop underpaying and mistreating their workers.
In 2010, a manufacturing company in China making products for Apple recorded all-time high annual revenues of $79.1 billion, even higher than Microsoft, Nokia or Dell. This company is called Foxconn, and it wasn't because of luck that they earned so much money. Foxconn uses the 'cheap, desperate labour' of the families in poverty around the area to earn money for themselves and manufacture products for Apple, and guess what? This has been going on for years.
Factory workers are organised into fixed seating or standing positions along production lines for a typical shift of 12 hours. They are made to produce at least 6,400 pieces per day without break and sometimes without any time to eat or go to the bathroom. One employee even says that they are even faster than machines because they cannot stop even for a minute in fear of not reaching the required amounts of parts. This is only a thin slice of life inside an Apple factory.
Many migrant workers live in factory-provided dormitories, because they are too poor to afford even a small apartment, and have strict rules and regulations to follow. Whether married or not, inhabitants have to live with strangers, they are not allowed to cook, they cannot see friends or family and they have only a sheet between each bed for privacy. These conditions and strict, restraining rules consequently make for a depressing and tense working environment which has an affect on workers' mental health.
A startling 18 Chinese migrant workers attempted to commit suicide at Foxconn production facilities. During the suicides, Foxconn themselves hung up 3 million square metres of safety nets around outdoor stairways of buildings and called them 'Nets with a loving heart'. Of course this description is absurd and is only so that Foxconn don't get into any more trouble.
These suicides weren't just because employees wanted to escape the hell of the work that they were doing, but it was protest for the sake of other workers to take back their dignity. This is where we turn to you, all of you out there with a computer and a big enough heart to believe that Foxconn's ways are wrong, we want you to sign our petition and ask Apple, ask Foxconn, to stop the injustice and robbery of rights. So please, stop the growing roll-call of deaths and sign our petition to take another step towards workers reclaiming their human rights.
- CEO of Apple Inc.
Please keep to the promises you made about improving working conditions in Foxconn production facilities. I am appalled to hear that factories have breached multiple rules set by Apple, putting more stress on workers and taking more time out of the scarce breaks available in between shifts. This has to stop. All employees of Foxconn should be treated with respect and each and every individual should be given the proper human rights, but this is not happening. Foxconn Technology Group are putting workers in torturous environments to create your products and Apple, although trying to improve conditions, are not stopping Foxconn from blatantly breaking several rules. I understand that Apple products are in extremely high demand, but it is not right to solve such an issue by letting your manufacturers off once in a while. Keep in mind that the well being of humans are at stake here and please reconsider how your products are being manufactured.
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