Sunday, March 11, 2012

Apple's labor problems

All users of Apple products should be more concerned about how those products are made. In fact, all users of all computer products should be, since Foxconn makes computers and other products for Dell, Samsung, and many other  manufacturers.  Among the best story tellers on the issue is Mike Daisey, and he takes David Pogue to task for his whitewashing of Apple in a good blog here, noting in passing that since Pogue has several books on Apple products, he has a conflict of interest. The problem is, we all do, since we all use their products. Daisey is great because he is an  unabashed Apple fan. I'm a Pogue fan, but I am disappointed by his Times column on this, and Daisey does a great job of tearing Pogue's excuses apart.  It is good that this issue is getting more and more exposure, because only when shoppers start thinking about it, and demanding changes, will changes be made by Apple. But are we really willing to pay more for our gadgets?  Other good links include this Henry Blodgett conversation on MSNBC, and most dramatically, an episode from January on This American Life featuring the one-man show on Apple by Mike Daisey.  The SACOM petition on Apple is here. Most people will feel that they can't make a difference, but then when you hear about labor organizers taking huge risks in China, how can we who believe we live in freedom not do things to support them?

1 comment:

JB said...

This story has become more complicated and more interesting. Mike Daisey, it turns out, had not seen or talked to the underage workers, or those who used n-hexane, and took some liberties in creating his meetings with them. He lied to Ira Glass, host of This American Life.

The original program has now been retracted (see here: ); you can read about the controversy on the BBC website ( )and a theatre review in the New York Times ( ).