Hong Kong students protest against working conditions at a plant

in China that produces the Apple i-Pad on June 8. The effigies are

of workers at the plant who have committed suicide.



Die Tageszeitung, Germany

Consumers Must Demand Social Justice From Apple


"'A magical, revolutionary product at an unbelievable price' is the slogan that Apple is using to hawk its new tablet computer. The 'unbelievable price,' however, relies on incredibly poor working conditions in Chinese factories ... Consumers must demand social justice from Apple - if necessary with a boycott."


By Sven Hansen



Translated by Jonathan Lobsien


May 29, 2010


Germany - Die Tageszeitung - Original Article (German)

Hong Kong students lambaste Apple CEO Steve Jobs during a protest at the annual general meeting of Foxconn, the company that produces i-Pads in China for Apple, June 8.


BBC NEWS AUDIO: Suicides force wage increases in China, June 9, 00:04:01RealVideo

“A magical, revolutionary product at an unbelievable price” is the slogan that Apple is using to hawk its new tablet computer, the i-Pad, which goes on sale in Germany this Friday. The “unbelievable price,” however, relies on incredibly poor working conditions in the Chinese factories that Apple and other computer and cell phone companies use for production.


The issue has been pointed up by a recent series of suicides by young male and female workers. The irony is that conditions at Apple’s supplier are no worse than those in other Chinese factories, which no one is really interested in. But a highly profitable company like Apple cannot be allowed to just sit back and contentedly watch as their products are manufactured at China’s minimum wage, which no one who works a normal week in South China could survive on. Apple and its associates, who depict themselves in their ads as youthful, dynamic, and innovative, have a social responsibility to shoulder. Apple promises magic and revolution in its technology, but the company most certainly doesn't extend these qualities to the social sector. It is at the very least up consumers to demand justice, from applying pressure to complete boycotts.  



It is certainly true that in Europe at France Télécom, there has also been a harrowing series of suicides. So what's happening at Apple i-Pad producer Foxconn isn't an isolated phenomena. After a recent killing spree at kindergartens, these suicides are just further evidence of social conflict in a country undergoing the stress of modernization - and that the exploitation of about 150 million migrant workers has its limits.



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Every day, young workers in Shenzhen, who aren't even accorded the rights of permanent residents in what is a special economic zone, see before there eyes the incredible accumulation of wealth in China. But they have no part in it because even after working 70 or more hours a week, they earn less that the cost of the products they produce. Mindless work under high pressure results in a lack of social networking, personal isolation, hopelessness, a loss of perspective - and suicide. Also of consequence is the lack of any real trade unions or other forms of representation. If China wants to steer clear of a social catastrophe, it needs a more equitable model of development that doesn’t burn out its migrant workers.


Consumers must demand social justice from Apple - if necessary with a boycott.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US June 10, 5:45pm]



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