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People Have Died Over Your iPad

If you knew that Chinese workers at one of Apple’s main suppliers, Foxconn, were overworked, underpaid, and committed suicide over your iPad, would you still want one? At least 14 workers at Foxconn have already killed themselves within the last 16 months due to horrible working conditions.

Employees are banned from talking, must work 12-hour shifts and often work 65 hour weeks, every week. Employees earn a daily wage of $9 for the entire day and must sleep in dormitories when their shifts are over. Although Foxconn claims that all overtime is voluntary, employees are humiliated when they choose not to work overtime. During peak periods of the iPad, workers had only one day off in 14 days.

So many of these hard-working employees have died or have attempted suicide that Foxconn now makes employees sign a “no suicide pledge.” Of course, even if Steve Jobs of Apple is aggressive with meeting demands for American iPad consumers, one must put one’s foot down when it comes to conditions like these. This is precisely what Business Ethics is all about. Instead, Chinese response was to put anti-suicide nets around the building rather than addressing the problem. My only question to Steve Jobs is “What will you do about this situation?”

Photo Courtesy of Sigalokos
Photo Courtesy of Yuan2003