For all the reasons mentioned I don't want to buy any Apple product and I haven't any my whole life. But where can I find a list of manufacturers that have their products " made in safe working conditions by people paid a living wage" ?
It's true that Apple is not the only company that does business this way in electronics or beyond. Apple may in fact be getting and undue share of the criticism simply because it took the step of joining FLA and commissioning this report.
But just because it's done in other industries doesn't make it right.
As to your point that the consumer doesn't seem to mind, I agree 100%. But I believe moral consumers should rethink that (or think about it in the first place) and send a message to Apple and other firms that we aren't going to buy products unless we have reasonable assurance that they were made in safe working conditions by people paid a living wage.
@NiwotSteve- you allude to the fact that many Foxconn workers come from rural China and have few other jobs prospects. That's true as far as I know.
No, no one is pointing a gun to anyone's head and making them work at Foxconn. I believe we would call that forced slavery. But giving a job that doesn't provide safe conditions or a livable wage to someone who has few options and is desperate enough to take it is what we would call, I believe, exploitation. I understand that the two are different, but I don't believe either one is right.
As consumers, we can and should insist that the products we buy are made under safe working conditions by people paid a living wage.
@Brutus_II-"praise" may have been an imperfect word choice. If I could do it over (in Tuesday's newsletter), I would say "credit." But yes, I think you have to give Apple some acknowledgement for being the first electronics firm to join the FLA. Do you disagree?
How is Apple different from any other company that makes their goods overseas? I have to seek out a soccer ball that was not made with child labor. I guarantee you the Honduran/Sri-Lankan/Guatemalan ladies that stitched my Polo/Izod/Dockers shirt don't get a coffee break and 'downtime'. Developed economies love nice things at low prices... I agree that Apple has a lot of money but the consumer doesn't seem to mind.
I must have missed it in the article. Clearly, someone must be holding a gun to the heads of Foxconn employees and forcing them to work for Foxconn and preventing them from working for another employer. Or maybe it is the case that the people work for Foxconn because that employer offers them higher wages and better working conditions than scratching a living on a poorly producing farm or somewhere else in the Chinese economy in a job that befits the skills they walked into Foxconn with.
If there is coercive force in the labor market, then identify the perpetrators and put pressure on China to prosecute them. If employment at Foxconn is strictly a free market agreement to sell labor at a price and given working conditions, then who are the editors of EE Times or any other do-gooder to interfere with a private, freely entered and continued relationship?