The workers of Foxconn report in the thousands, and most share an equivalent role on the assembly line of Apple products. The Foxconn workers complain of harsh management and repetitiveness throughout their daily routine of constructing electrical consumer products for Apple. These working conditions lead to depression and suicides. The workers find themselves at the bottom of the Apple structure, with minimum wages and an army of Chinese citizens waiting outside the factory for a job offer to replace them. But without the massive foxconn opportunity of work, fueling the manufacturing sector, would life for the average Chinese worker be worse?
From the view of the workers, individualism is not an option. Every worker is expendable. Any sign of injury or laziness leads to replacement. The process of Foxconn leads to a damaged culture. The strategy to pay workers minimum wages to build the Apple products, is technically most optimal for Apple’s shareholders. But then comes the moral dilemma of human rights in a desperate yet efficient situation. Apple proceeds to get away with this due to the external culture, since thousands of desperate Chinese citizens needed jobs. There’s a depressed culture within the factory, since workers are paid minimally, treated harshly, and under severe pressure to keep their jobs. The process of hiring workers creates a dark culture within Foxconn, and the external culture provides the resources (unlimited supply of workers) for the process to continue.
I’d love to hear the response from Apple’s management. There’s two sides to every story, but Mike Daisy provides appalling first hand evidence into the process and feelings of the workers at the bottom of Apple’s structure of labor. The desperate 16 hour work days of manual labor also correlate to the reason why Apple is on top. If they follow moral standards, their products would no doubt increase in price and suffer within the consumer market. Regardless, this story calls for someone to take a stand and place this moral issue above profit.