Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Apple vs. human rights - How unaware are you?

Eight suicide attempts seen at iPhone manufacturer in Q1 2010
     Already 8 new suicide attempts among the iPhone manufacturers at Foxconn in Cina in 2010. Six attempts have been successful. Its most publicized such death came in 2009 when a worker, Sun Danyong, 25, jumped off his dormitory roof after losing one device out of a set of iPhone prototypes
     Sure losing one iPhone prototype might not strike you as a big deal... well China is one big place where Apple goons can enforce company policy on  employees without being mediatized - or so they thought.

      According to the reports, Sun was given 16 prototypes by his superior. A few days later, Sun could account only 15 of them and reported about the missing iPhone to his higher-ups on July 13th. It is alleged that some Apple security employees searched Danyong’s apartment illegally, detained and even physically abused Sun.
     Going back on this old story(2009) makes no sense since a lot has been written about the first uncovered iPhone suicide and instead of repeating all this I’d rather like to refer you to Perspective on the iPhone Suicide, written by Jason Chen (the guy in who's house Apple just broke in to - great coincidence) on Gizmodo. 

      However if you live in the US, where the press has every company under a spyglass 24/7 and your work place does not resemble to a concentration camp, you can afford to play drama queen:  
Gray Powell's father: 'He was devastated'.

      So yes, it's ok to lose the million dollar prototype while you're getting drunk as long as you are a fat f*ck with an US citizenship. Take care Gary, people get run over by cars, mugged and shot in dark alleys for a fistful of bucks every day and get "devastated" for good; we wouldn't want for something bad to come to you, if you get our drift.

      But as Apple never forgets, and the same Jason Chen had "the luck" of recovering the lost iPhone for no less than 5000 US dollars, returning it was useless as Apple declared the prototype stolen. The San Mateo police reached the front door of Gizmodo's editor and blasted through it with an illegal search warrant, as part of the investigation, and took three MacBooks, one iPad, one iPhone, three external USB drives, Motorola A855, IBM ThinkPad, two Dell desktop PCs, HP MediaSmart server, two digital cameras, three USB sticks and more.
      According to Gawker Media the search warrant is invalid, because the Californian law protects the journalist's source. But we guess Apple probably used a tiny little trick called bribery to go above the law and find the guy who found the prototype and get even with Gizmodo since unlike Engadget.com and GSMArena(more like AppleArena), they are one of the few technology sites that wasn't "bought" by Apple... yet.
     But wait! This doesn't just end here!

Education "Reformer" Steve Jobs Caught Using Child Labor

And those are not the only horrifying labor practices factories that make Apple products are guilty of:

At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.
In 2008 a total of 25 child workers have been employed to build iPods, iPhones and Apple's range of computers.

Apple also has factories working for it in Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.
Apple said the child workers are now no longer being used, or are no longer underage. "In each of the three facilities, we required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment," Apple said, in an annual report on its suppliers.

At a factory that manufactures products for Apple, 62 workers have been poisoned by n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause muscular degeneration and blur eyesight. Apple has not commented on the problems at the plant. The workers  plan to sue the Apple contractor.
Also it is suspected that the chemicals used might have psychotropic effects as suicide starts to be a synonym for Apple's factories.
This issue first went public in January when 2000 protesters began smashing car windows and factory windows over a dispute relating to year-end bonuses. Apple makes sure not to go above the minimum wage in China so that workers are paid with less than 100$ a month.
Apple runs a number of super-factories in the south of China, some of which employ as many as 300,000 workers and form self-contained cities, complete with banks, post offices and basketball courts.
Official figures show a staggering 91,000 workers died of work-related deaths in 2008, according to the China Labor Bulletin, a Hong Kong non-governmental organization that tracks workplace issues.

Apple has been accused of treating its employees extremely harsh. China Labor Watch, a New York-based NGO, accused Apple of having an "inhumane and militant" management, which neglects basic human rights.
In its report, Apple revealed the sweatshop conditions inside the factories it uses. Apple admitted that at least 55 of the 102 factories that produce its goods were ignoring Apple's rule that staff cannot work more than 60 hours a week.

"When we investigated, we uncovered records and conducted worker interviews that revealed excessive working hours and seven days of continuous work," Apple said, adding that it had terminated all contracts with the factory.
Only 65 per cent of the factories were paying their staff the correct wages and benefits, and Apple found 24 factories where workers had not even been paid China's minimum wage of around 800 yuan (Pounds76) a month. Meanwhile, only 61 per cent of Apple's suppliers were following regulations to prevent injuries in the workplace and a mere 57 per cent had the correct environmental permits to operate.

The technology company's own guidelines are already in breach of China's widely-ignored labour law, which sets out a maximum 49-hour week for workers.

Apple also said that one of its factories had repeatedly falsified its records in order to conceal the fact that it was using child labour and working its staff endlessly.

The high environmental cost of Apple's products was revealed when three factories were discovered to be shipping hazardous waste to unqualified disposal companies.

Apple said it had required the factories to "perform immediate inspections of their wastewater discharge systems" and hire an independent environmental consultant to prevent future violations.

However, Apple has not stopped using the factories.

      So Apple uses factories that repeatedly use child labor and falsify their records to cover their tracks in the practice -  really makes you wonder if there were children too among those that committed suicide. Apple knows about this but continues to use these factories.
    Apple poisons and harasses its workers and pollutes the environment by sending out toxic waste to companies unqualified to dispose of the hazardous material.
      Apple knows about this but continues to use these factories. Apple breaks work week laws, exploit workers and underpay/cheat them out their wages.
      Apple knows about this but continues to use these factories.

Apple ought to run a new slogan for the company:

Apple Computer - using 21st century technology to bring the world back to the 19th century "Robber Baron Era."

     And Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the darling of Wall Street and the hedge fund crowd, is of course on record saying that the biggest problem in education today is teachers unions:

"I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way," Jobs said.

    I guess what Jobs wants is for schools to be run the way his Apple factories are run - with 60 hour work weeks, exploited workers being cheated by their employers out of their wages, and hazardous work environments that save the employer/company money but poison the workers.

    Steve Jobs of Apple Computer - criminal, toxic polluter and exploiter of workers, employer of underage laborers, hypocrite and education reformer.

Via: The Telegraph