I was pleasantly, rather unpleasantly, surprised by the points made in this podcast. Particularly, I found the beginning of the podcast when the host asks siri, “where are you manufactured?” to be hilariously ironic. I mean hilarious in its exaggerative meaning, where we know that under the surface this device is hiding something from us and all we can do is brush it off with an awkward laugh. As Daisey begins to take us on his journey into Apple’s manufacturing conditions we can hear about the grim nature of the working conditions in the photos. Immediately, I began to think about all of the Apple products that play a part in my life. I have 3 iPhones, counting the previous models that I own, an IPad and a Macbook computer; I know that each member of my family has at least 3 apple products if not more. It is hard to comprehend that such an influential and central organization is responsible for the struggles of so many mistreated workers. I would like to think that the products that provide me with satisfaction can create satisfaction for their manufacturers by giving them jobs. However, Daisey explains that this is far from the case.
It is shocking to hear about the poor working conditions, from the vehement of other journalists to the 14 year olds seen working at the Foxconn factory. It is even more amazing that many of these workers committed suicide as a result of the poor working conditions, as a matter of fact, these workers organized a mass suicide to protest the working conditions at the factory. This alarming discovery makes me wonder how many other corporations use these kinds of manufacturers who can bypass regulations by merely having a large share of the market. The problem is no longer creating rules to avoid poor working conditions but that these corporations who employ poor conditions are too big to collapse or stop production. The majority of Americans would be outraged to learn that no new IPhone is being released, or that the new computer model is being delayed by a year.
This podcast made me angry; not necessarily because Foxconn is mistreating workers, or because the workers are committing suicide, or even because Apple has lied to us. I am angry because Apple, just like any organization, claims that it exists to serve the consumer, us. By giving this reasoning, the Foxconn workers can’t blame Apple for their huge demands and the resulting poor conditions, they blame spoiled Americans and families who would work just as hard as the Chinese had they not been told any different. Apple isn’t just an evil corporation for lying but they are evil for making anyone who buys their products a bad person too. If these mishaps don’t send a message, then I have no idea what will. Shenzhen truly sounds like a dystopian city that made a deal with the devil, however, in this case the devil is Apple and other US corporations. Daisey raises an interesting point when he asks the question, “does Apple know about these child workers or do they see the same thing we do, what we want to see.” At the end of the podcast I was in disbelief so I asked siri on my IPhone, “are you the product of child labor?” Of all the witty answers that siri has stored it simply replied, “No comment.”