business / Culture / Economy

Apple Employees Work like Slaves!

Last week, I had a really bad virus on my computer. I had been on facebook, chatting with some friends, when my screen went suddenly black. I couldn’t do anything! Fortuantely, I have some really good friends, which I contacted imidiately. So glad they could help me!

Why am I telling that story? Easy answer: One of my friends I had asked for help, said the following:

“Well, what did you expect? If you had an Apple, that would not  have happened to you!”

Ever since, I cannot get this sentence out of my head. A few days later, I talked to Lucy about her recent post, the workplace bullying in the US. Somehow I got the topics mixed up in my head and I started wondering: Most people have high trust in the Apple philosophy of working freely and modern, but is that apprpriate? Can I trust Apple more than other  companies? During my research I made some interseting discoveries:

Apple + Trust + Working Conditions = even worse than in other companies??

Doing some research I was shocked! This is not what I had expected!!

Apple employees work like slaves

17.12.12 apple 2

What’s going on?

Todd Hasselton, writer and Senior Editor of Mobile for TechnoBuffalo, offers an intereting summary of the current situation on his (

  • 2 years ago: 140 workers were ingured at  Apple factories  Foxconn in China using a poisonous chemical for cleaning iPhones
  • 1 year ago: two explosions killed 2 workers and injured at least 75
  • In Febuary 2012 the Fair Labor Association inspected Apple factories  Foxconn in China and discovered enormous health and safety violations. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple,  visited the factory and promised to improve working conditions.
  • In May 2012 the Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) found out that employyes were still treated inhumanely and Reuters agrees:

 “The frontline management continue to impose humiliating disciplinary measures on its workers,  Apple and Foxconn have not turned over a new leaf.”

  • In December 2012 China Labour Bulletin member Geoffrey Crothall agrees

“At the moment they’re just tinkering around the edges and doing PR stunts, I don’t think there’s a short term fix to the situation at Foxconn.”

Is it really that bad?

Mark Dull, answers this question, supportimg Todd Hasselton’s statement: Apple’s workers are forced to work overtime without a single day off. 20 hour – shifts are a general rule.  Workers are forced to live together in crowded dormitories, sometimes they have to stand so long, their legs swell and walking gets difficult, even impossible. The moral working conditions are not even on the border of bullying, they are way ahead of it. Workers, arriving late are not only urged to write confession letters but also face banners, presenting the warning:

17.12.12apple 1

” Work hard on the job today or work harder to find a job tomorrow.”

18 wokers attempted to commit suicide over the last two years.

Mr Li, investigator of the New York times agrees:

“Apple never cared about anything other than  increasing product quality and decreasing production cost. Workers’ welfare has nothing to do with their interests.”

What is Apple doing against it?

Sources, which do not want to be mentioned claimed that Apple has had knowledge of factory abuses over a couple of years and has even covered another explosion in Shanghai in 2011.

Nicholas Ashford, work safety expert, explains:

“What’s morally repugnanat in one country is accepted business practise in another, and companies take advantage of that.”

Steve Jobs himself disagreed by expalining that the company tries really hard to make things better. He emphasized that many factroies have restaurants, cinemas, swimming pools and even hospitals.

Still, there is rumour about bad working conditions at factories, especially in Foxconn, China, and the following statement by a former Apple executive cannot convice me.

“We are trying really hard to make things better, but most people would still be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhones come from.”


3 thoughts on “Apple Employees Work like Slaves!

  1. Hey Caro! Sorry to hear about your computer. Also sorry that I hadn’t read this post until today! I actually did a post about the working conditions over at FoxConn, the Chinese factory where most of the world’s must-have technology is produced (including iPhones).

    It covers a lot of what you talked about, but did you know that the way they are “improving” conditions is by replacing their cheap labor with machinery? Pretty crazy, right?

    By the way, anyone who tells you Apples can’t get viruses are full of it. Truth is, most hackers don’t bother creating malware for Mac because most businesses run on PC- and that’s where the money is. But there are still plenty of viruses out there, just not as many as for PC (yet).

    All in all, a very interesting and exciting post. Good work bringing light to a topic a lot of people are willing to forget when buying their new tech.

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