Andrew Michler

POLL: Would You Boycott Apple Products Until They Improve Working Conditions in China?

by , 01/31/12

Worker rights, Hazardous working conditions, Foxcomm abuse,Apple boycott, apple abuses, Love apple, iAbuse, Reader poll, Apple boycott poll, apple abuses, New York Times report on apple

Apple has been in hot water ever since a long and detailed New York Times report came out highlighting abuses and environmental hazards during the manufacture of its products in China. From chronically overworked employees and extremely hazardous working conditions to overcrowding in dormitories and low pay, the article has unleashed a resounding criticism of Apple and speculation that a boycott will be next. We want to know what you think – would you boycott Apple products until they clean up their act in China?

Would You Boycott Apple Products Until They Improve Working Conditions in China?

  • 467 Votes YES! Apple knowingly allowed for the abuse of workers and needs to be sent a message.
  • 203 Votes NO! Apple is no worse than any other electronics maker.
  • 48 Votes NO. Apple should do more to protect workers but I could not live with out my iGadget

View Results

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Worker rights, Hazardous working conditions, Foxcomm abuse,Apple boycott, apple abuses, Love apple, iAbuse, Reader poll, Apple boycott poll, apple abuses, New York Times report on apple,

While boycotts have been used successfully in the past, Apple is the wealthiest company in the US and it will take a massive ground surge to make the company feel the pinch. The damage to Apple’s shine may be enough to make them insist on better treatment and a safer working environment. They have long said they do everything they can to improve conditions, but reports show that 1/3 of factories did not satisfy hazardous waste requirements and 62% of suppliers were out of compliance with the maximum 60 hour work week.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also responded that the report is “patently false,” but “We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues. What we will not do — and never have done — is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word.”

Is that enough – or does Apple need to be sent a message through our pocketbooks? Sound off in the comments!

+ New York Times Accuses Apple of Abusing Workers’ Rights

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10 Comments

  1. ms February 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    This and other articles lately have me thinking about the responsibility we have to use information responsibly. I just read a very good paper on global consciousness and global conscience: http://www.earthzine.org/2012/02/06/seeing-like-a-planet-from-global-consciousness-to-global-conscience/

  2. ACSK February 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    This isn’t the only problem with Apple. When you buy Apple products you are supporting a company that purposely aims to make the least environmentally friendly products of any technology company. They design their products to be so complicated that should anything need to be repaired, the cost in man hours to fix it is so exorbitant, that it’d be better for the average user to just throw it out and buy a new one. And for the millions that have bought into the “Apple lifestyle”, there are no alternatives. You can’t buy any other manufacture’s product that supports OSX or iOS, and even if you could, you wouldn’t be able to show others how cool you were by flaunting your Apple brand notebook/phone/etc. in public… just like every other tool. With rare exceptions like ‘maybe’ Sony in some cases, Apple products reach the end of their “usable life” faster than any other.

    I’m seeing a LOT of business’ move to Apple products in the last couple years, but I’m guessing we’ll soon see that backfire when the cost of constantly buying new notebooks and systems starts to outweigh the costs of maintaining alternative hardware in the long term.

  3. idontjudge February 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Should we stop eating too? Electronics manufacturing is no worse than farming or fishing. Some work is difficult and their pay is high for their cost of living. It is all relative. I have worked both in farming and electronic manufacturing in Canada. It was hard work and my taxes were so high, i had no money to live. I now live in Asia and the people I meet are very happy, very helpful.
    The western idea of a good life is to get rich. I am surrounded by the poorest and happiest people I have ever met. Honest work for a modest life and happy family is far superior.

  4. civetta February 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    There are many reasons to boycott the electronics industry more generally, as the supply chain is very complex, and many injustices and unsustainable practices work their way into electronics well before they hit the work benches at foxconn. This

    I use my computer daily (a 3 year-old lenovo, which was also shamed in the same NYT article). For most uses it’s probably best just to have a sturdy device and put lightweight open source software on it so it’s never out of date. With this setup, I’m hoping I won’t have to update my hardware more often than every 8 years or so. What we really should do is work to change network providers’ policies so we take away the incentives to constantly update our hardware.

  5. Ggatsby44 February 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Apple’s profit margin per iphone is anywhere from $400 to $600 US and pays Foxconn $5 to manufacture one iPhone, leaving Foxconn with precious little margin to better treat workers.
    This leads to labor abuses, underaged workers and lack of protection for workers dealing with toxic chemicals.

    Apple can AFFORD to pay more and still remain the most profitable company in the world.
    Apple choose to be unethical, immoral and Evil.

    Apple has plenty of wiggle room with the profits they have.

  6. bastiaan February 1, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Please read Steve Jobs’ biography. The company is built on abusing its employees

  7. GreatEmerald February 1, 2012 at 5:32 am

    I never had any Apple hardware to begin with. The incompatibility and price of all of them is a deal-breaker for me anyway.

  8. skellener January 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Why would you only limit the boycott to Apple? These factories make products for all the electronics companies out there. The better petition would be

    “Would You Boycott Electronic Products Until They Improve Working Conditions in China?”

  9. Getting Right With Gaia January 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Hard to say, I don’t think the answer fits into your box. If, for example, my phone breaks, I definitely won’t buy a new one. Similarly, its hard not to buy a new phone when my 2 year contract is up, since I’m paying the subsidy price out of my cell phone bill every month anyway. My computer I update rather infrequently, so I could hold out on upgrading for several years as part of a boycott, but knowing that market is cyclical, I’m not sure that would affect Apple’s bottom line. Also worth considering, what if you are boycotting buying hardware but using Apple’s cloud services, media services, etc? You are a customer still after all. Seems like tough questions without an obvious solution.

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