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Life as a Factory Worker

May 24, 2013 Leave a comment

bf1Do you ever wonder where and who produces your the favorite phone, IPad or computer?  The Foxconn City is a complex of factories that house persons working for them producing Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett Packard project.  Foxconn Technology Group, who owns the complex of factories, and employs 235,000 workers, has a reputation of tough tactics and sweatshop condition for their workers producing these in demand products. According to the Daily Mail, Apple Corporation uses sweatshop environments to produce the products that are sent to the west. Apple, for example, sold 93 million IPhones, 40 million IPads, 38 million IPods and 17 million computers, yet they are involved with a company that is paying the Chinese workers far below United States minimum wage earning a whopping $1.75 per hour or $273 per month, which would require months of work in order to be able to purchase one the products they make.  Reports have indicated that workers were recorded doing 24 hours shifts at a time, while others were forced to stand up during their entire shift.  These people are producing the phones and apple products that are craved all over the world, while working in a monotonous, tedious, assembly line environment under what looks clean, but horrible conditions.  Many workers have committed suicide because of the harsh conditions in the factories; many factories have been forced to install suicide nets around their facilities.

bf2Even though abuses continue, Apple contends that they have sent 60,000 workers to college for free and have informed one million staff of their legal rights. Chief-executive Tim Cook claims that they are working hard to improve the conditions for workers and are trying to improve the lives of employees. He is working with Foxconn to fix the problems. However, there are still reports of 150 Foxconn employees threatening to leap from the facilities because of poor working conditions and low wages.  Given the rise in Apple stock it seems that something could be done to improve the conditions of the low wages.

A Company’s main goal is to make as large of a profit as possible. These sweatshops are the most efficient way to make large gains. But do the cost outweigh the benefits?  Many major companies like Apple believe in improving the working conditions of their employees.   These companies are only left to wonder whether consumers would be willing to pay a higher price for their product in exchange of knowing these products are being produced the right way.  According to basic economics and the law of demand, if a company raises the price of their product demand will decrease.  When a product price rises, many consumers will be tempted to look at a substitute at a cheaper price, so therefore, when a company raises its price their demand will decrease.

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