Micgadget has just published a distressing account of conditions inside Foxconn Tai Yuan factory where the iPhone 5 is being produced. The article was translated from a piece written by a Shanghai Evening Post reporter who went “undercover” for 8 days as a worker inside the factory.
Assuming the accounts are legitimate, the conditions and pictures published look and sound like an American prison. And not one of those prisons where white rich people go after they steal other people’s life savings. More like one of those “urban” prisons you see in movies with DMX or that really big guy from the “Friday” movies.
So, the early reports on the iPhone are basically: If you buy one, you’re pretty much saying, “Workers’ rights be damned. I need to check in to Starbucks on Foursquare before I lose my mayorship!”
Now, before you go get all bent out of shape, it’s important to note that pretty much all the best stuff got made be people who were pretty much forced to do it. Great innovations come from traipsing all over other people’s rights in order to make a profit.
Any doubt? Check out the slideshow above, and read below:
Castles were built by slaves and indentured servants
Pretty much all of the castles on Earth built prior to the 20th century exploited labor in some manner or another. Even worse: No OSHA. You drop a giant cobblestone and shatter your foot? Limp it off.
One of the most impressive agricultural feats in history, this Hindu mega temple was built by millions of Cambodian slaves (again, depending on which account you buy).
The pyramids were built by slaves
Or aliens. Or possibly alien slaves, or just some nice people from the neighborhood, depending on who you believe. But the Old Testament says that Jewish slaves did the heavy lifting. And that’s never wrong.
The Taj Mahal
This Indian super-structure-slash-mausoleum was built over the course of decades by Hindu slaves
The Great Wall of China
Built by pretty much all of the Chinese people for, like, a gazillion years.
The seat of the Incan empire: built on the backs of all kinds of other conquered local native tribes
Prior to the Civil War, slavery pretty much built our farming and rail systems, and pretty much everything else.
Lots of other sweet stuff:
- Phillip Morris: admitted to using child labor as recently as 2010
- Victoria’s Secret is that she was allegedly using child labor according to reports earlier this year.
- You might wanna take another look at those skinny jeans, pal. Urban Outfitters has been linked to using cotton from Uzbekistan, where children are routinely forced into labor.
- Samsung was accused of exploiting child workers earlier this month. All your smart phones are now evil, too, Apple haters.
- Chipotle: Big burritos. Little social conscience?