Foxconn and Apple

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Subject: Apple and Foxconn controversy from the eye of the consumer

Over the last couple years, Apple and Foxconn have been partaking in poor business methods thus causing them a great deal of deserved criticism. The consumer, must decide whether or not to continue buying from Apple because the consumer is what causes Apple to continue to make new products which results in the poor conditions at Foxconn. Foxconn and Apple violate many ethical, moral and basic human principles.

The Situation

Over the past several years, Apple's major hardware and development contributor, Foxconn, has received a great deal of criticism over their working conditions and benefits. There are over a dozen Foxconn factories in China, all of which employ hundreds of thousands of people. To this day Foxconn remains the leader in electronic component manufacturing. Since 2010, various accounts of mistreatment of employees have arose, causing many controversies. The most significant to date, are the many reported suicides of Foxconn plant workers. In early June, the most recent suicide occurred of twenty three year old man. It was the first suicide since Foxconn agreed with the United States and Apple to improve working conditions (Foxconn Suicide, 2012). Prior to this suicide, there had been over a dozen suicides in direct correlation to the poor working conditions and low pay. Various news reports and documentaries arose in 2012 exposes this supposedly giant scandal. Apple, one of the worlds most prominent developers of consumer electronics, is making numerous attempts to fix the current issues at Foxconn. “The move comes after Apple, criticized over working conditions at its sprawling chain of suppliers in China, agreed to an investigation by the independent Fair Labor Association earlier this year to stem criticism that its products were built in sweatshop-like conditions” (Foxconn Suicide, 2012). The next several years will be dedicated to making Foxconn a positively labeled corporation thus giving Apple is good reputation back.

The Impact on a Stakeholder Group (Consumer)

As a consistent consumer of Apple products over the last decade, one can only be disappointed in the decisions made by Apple. Of course the consumers were not directly involved in the poor conditions of the company or the deaths of many workers. In reality, we the consumers, are indirectly contributing to the current issues at Foxconn. We choose to purchase their products, buy stocks and invest our hard earned money into a company that chooses to do things the easy way rather than the smart way. In a report written by the Insider Staff in 2012 called Apple, Foxconn and China: The Cost of Manufacturing, they said “Think of your iPhone you would as a hamburger—the meat was once part of a living, breathing animal. Its life was taken so you could have lunch. This is the price for the type of life we lead, whether it's the price we pay to buy something once living that's now a package of hamburger or the price for a brand-new iPhone.” The iPhone, Macbooks and iPods we purchase were all at one point a collection of parts. Thanks to the many news reports, we realize that these parts are stained with the blood, sweat and tears of the many workers just trying to make a living. The consumer is the most affected party in this scenario. We choose to purchase Apple's new products for lower prices and faster shipping. We demand Apple to make newer products knowing that we will then buy them. Through these actions taken by the consumers, it allows for all the problems occurring at the Foxconn factories to continue. Apple does deserve come credit for the attempts they have made to fix all of the previously stated issues. “There is no question that Foxconn has been scrutinized because it produces products for Apple. Also a few years ago there were a number of suicides at Foxconn factories, which prompted labor groups to start looking into working...
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