Now that the all new Apple iPad 3 has a set release date of early March, the question now is will it be ethically produced by Chinese factory workers at places like Foxconn. Reports of poor working conditions in Chinese factories that make the $500 or more iPad, have forced Apple to confront the possibility it may have to intervene or at least make an effort to investigate the charges. Pro labor organizations like China Labour Bulletin and Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior have alleged Foxconn is running its factories with military precision, including surveillance of workers, demanding obedience and making it clear challenging authority is out of the question. Workers are forced to do as they are told or shown the door, CNN reported.
Even worse, several suicides in 2010 at Foxconn's Shenzhen plant forced the company to install safety nets to keep people from jumping off buildings to their death. Workers there report a militant culture among management, and many live, eat and sleep at the factories to maintain the nearly constant flow of parts for people's seemingly insatiable appetite for the iPhone and iPad. Put all that together with the fact Apple is now the biggest company in the world, even bigger than Exxon Mobile, and it adds up to potential backlash against Apple for not doing more to protect the people that make their game-changing tech gadgets.
We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain, Apple has previously said in a statement.
We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to these requirements if they want to keep doing business with Apple.
With Apple selling more gadgets than ever before over the holiday season, and with the new iPad to be released in only a few weeks, perhaps nothing can stop their momentum. But as more reports come out about terrible working conditions at Foxconn, it's only a matter of time before consumers start to change their behavior in response.
In fact, a group of hackers has reportedly struck the Foxconn plant Feb. 9, and hijacked employee login and password info, CBS News reported. Their reason for doing so? A group of hackers calling themselves Swagg Security claimed to have done it in retaliation for treating their workers so poorly. They've published the stolen info on Pastbin. Tell us in the comments if you think hacking Foxconn was a good idea or it there is any way to get Apple to do more to protect Chinese factory workers.