With the many successes of Apple, it sometimes becomes easy to forget about where our nifty products really come from. Iconic white stores lined with employee's called geniuses are all too recognizable in today's modern world. Even on our big screens, Ashton Kutcher has a new movie portraying the mind of Apple visionary, Steve Jobs. Out of the many faces that Apple maintains, there is one that lives as if it were a well kept secret or an estranged family relative in which everybody tiptoes around. Although jobs are outsourced and knowing that our wonderful Siri's first conversation might not have been in English, it is always shocking when a human face is put behind the working conditions in which they are made.
China Labor Watch of New York is a labor watch group that vigilantly monitors these conditions so that our iPhones are not made at these workers’ peril. A recent report was made that the Taiwanese company called Pegatron was in violation of inhumane and even criminal acts against its employees. Some the offences were exhaustive hours, fraudulent time clocking, and unfair discriminatory practice against current and future employees. The China Labor Watch brought this to the attention of Apple immediately. This is important not only to the factory workers but to Apple because Apple has a clear code of conduct about its suppliers behavior as well as a clearly defined relationship with the Fair Labor Association. Both of which, are directly violated by Pegatron's actions.
After both companies became aware of the indiscretions, they both issued similar statements. Apple said that would it would investigate the matter and mandate audits over Pegatron and the conditions it creates for its employees. Pegatron stated that its internal auditing revealing that worker hours were normal but it would investigate the matter to get to the bottom of the allegations. Apple elicited a similar account from its past fifteen audits, some which were conducted to surprise Pegatron.
As promising as the accounts of Apple and Pegatron may sound, China Labor Watch revealed many shocking discoveries through their report that if true, contradict the results of both Apple and Pegatron's auditing system. China Labor Watch provided results that claimed that the average worker at Pegatron works 60 to 69 hours a week. The legal limit in China is 49! Falsifying time cards to not reveal the long hours was another practice that was also reported by China Labor Watch. Plainly, the findings of Apple are not congruent to these reports.
Groups such as New York's China Labor Watch are the spotlight into a world that most of us never see. Looking past the curtains of Apple's fantastic marketing and branding campaigns allow us to see something that we would probably never indulge, I think Apple would not much care unless perhaps people would suddenly coming in droves and saying "I want to sell my Iphone", which I am sure would not go down well with the execs and big bosses of those factories if they then had to be closed down. Apple is a great company, but it’s necessary to be reminded how our favorite toys and gadgets are made. They have families, and homes to return to and thanks to organizations like China Labor Watch, they have a face.