Whilst Apple is often synonymous with innovation and influence, the words ‘mistreatment’ and ‘neglect’ do not always spring to mind. But an undercover investigation taken by BBC’s Panorama may cause us to think otherwise. The report reveals the poor treatment of workers in Chinese factories, with some even working daily 16-hour shifts for 18 days.
Unlike my fellow peers, I have not succumbed to the Apple bug. I do not own an iPhone or a MacBook (even though I am using one to write this!). This is not down to my dislike of Apple as a company itself, butmorefrom the unattractiveness of their products. However this is about to change.
These findings by Panorama bring an inevitable question that we have to ask ourselves; what do people really sacrifice to bring us the latest goods in 2014?
The undercover BBC reporters brought to light the dismal working conditions of Apple’s Chinese workers. Many worked 16-hour shifts nonstop, and were forced to do unpaid overtime in spite of it being voluntary. Exhausted workers were filmed sleeping through their long shifts as a clear result of the inhumane treatment. Another reporter was housed in a dormitory where 12 workers shared a cramped room.
Is it me or does this sound familiar?
Tales of Apple’s disregard towards its workers takes us back to 2010 when 14 workers killed themselves at Apple’s biggest supplier, Foxconn. Although Apple was quick to respond through its publishing of new working standards, four years later we can vouch that on the factory floor nothing is law.
I believe that we should all follow the motto ‘give credit when credit is due’, so I applaud Apple in quickly realising their faults and wanting to move forward; “We are aware of no other company doing as much as Apple to ensure fair and safe working conditions…we work with suppliers to address shortfalls…but we know our work is never done.”
Yet this applaud is indeed short lived.
How long do we have to wait for another shortfall from one of the biggest and highly sought brands to ever exist? It seems much easier to forgive and forget when we have the latest iPhone in our hands.
As we all rush to find hidden presents left under the tree to open, lets spare a thought for those workers at Christmas who struggle to open their eyes for another working day.
Come on Apple, it’s time to clear up those blood, sweat and tears.
Watch the report here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHRD4C-Bk-4