An article came out yesterday (Putting a Human Cost on the iPad by Steven Musil) about the death of four employees due to the explosion of a factory in China that makes parts for the many Apple devices such as the iPad. Apparently, this isn’t the first explosion of this kind, and dozens have already been injured in the past year alone. It also tells the story of Lai Xiaodong, a 22 year old degree holder who moved to China and ended up working for one of these manufacturing hubs as a repairman with a salary of only $22 a day—far less than minimum wage. And although Apple’s Supplier Code of Conduct states that plant workers are not to work for more than 60 hours a week, it wasn’t long before Lai was working 12 hours a day, six days a week. To make matters worse, housing arrangements weren’t exactly standard. At the end of the day, Lai would come home to a room that was just big enough to house his bed. But even then, he is considered fortunate since most others had to be crammed in company dorm rooms where there was hardly enough room to sleep.
Taking into consideration that Apple reported $13 Billion in profits earlier this year, it makes you wonder what that amount is truly worth. And although I cant say that I don’t own an Apple computer and that I don’t love how it has made my life so much easier, nothing should ever be worth anybody else’s liberty, and even more so, his life.
Joni R. Gomez, Entry # 6