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Apple's human rights record

(7 Posts)
ScroobiousPip Wed 04-Jul-12 09:59:26

'if companies cannot act ethically and have a viable business then IMO they don't have a viable business structure'


EclecticShock Tue 03-Jul-12 20:02:00

That should say... It's something people struggle with generally.

EclecticShock Tue 03-Jul-12 20:00:56

China as a government place economic success over human rights. Apple should also have some responsibility and stop exploiting the situation. Issue is us with our apple products are so far removed from the reality of production and so close to the reality of having brilliant technology. It something people with... The pros are more immediate than the cons. Same with environmental issues or even smoking and obesity. It's very difficult to place more emphasis on something that is not directly impacting you.

That's why I don't think the blame can be placed on consumers although they do drive the situation. Companies and governments need to take ownership as protect their employees and people. If companies cannot act ethically And have a viable business then IMO, they don't have a viable business structure. If governments don't protect their people then they are failing at a basic level.

TheMysteryCat Tue 03-Jul-12 12:52:32

trade union workers and reps have been "disappearing" for years as employees of Coca-cola in South America, rivers have been polluted or re-routed by the company and very few prosecutions have been made.

The problem is the corruption of power with big corporations and the governments in the host countries. the people who should benefit from the wealthy company working in their country don't and instead become victims of shoddy management.

Shell and the other big oil companies are just as bad. the pollution of the niger-delta is utterly disgraceful and causes the deaths of hundreds of people.
The Foxconn "suicides" have been woefully undereported - I think I've only seen one article in The Guardian and there was a piece on "From Our Own Correspondent" awhile ago as well.

ScroobiousPip Tue 03-Jul-12 10:50:24

Is it capitalism itself though, Leith, or that capitalism is simply exploiting massive power and information inequalities internationally? If there was less power inequality, eg by having greater trade union powers, and if information about corporate human rights abuses was more widely available and published (let's face it, the DM is hardly known for taking a stance on this stuff) I wonder if capitalism would look quite different?

I'd also like to know where the litigation is against these multi-nationals? We're all appalled at the thought that governments might be involved in wrongdoing yet businesses seem to get away with it. Where are the prosecutions against the directors of coke, apple et al??

Leithlurker Tue 03-Jul-12 10:11:03

Well I have already admitted my ownership of Apple products Scoobs, so I am as damned as you are.

I think we could probably jump several pages of discussion here scoobs if we maybe accept as I think is inevitable but tis still just my own view so please challenge, but capitalism is the driver for the need for all these shiny bits of kit. So is it capitalism or the ways of capitalism that we need to address as a way of changing the behaviour of individual companies. As further food for thought offer coke (The drink) it has for years been involved in all forms of abuse of human rights. This book by Mark Thomas
plus many others detail murder, corruption, anti trade union practices, etc.

I always feel like I am being preachy when I post please forgodsake people tell me if I am coming over like that I know it's not needed.

ScroobiousPip Tue 03-Jul-12 09:25:54

The extract below was from the Indie recently. Does anyone else feel as sickened as me? It seems pretty clear that market forces aren't working to protect basic human rights, nor is international legislation. Consumer boycotts seem non-existent - the ipad is too trendy. So what's the solution?

Apple in China: The allegations

In July 2009, a Foxconn employee fell from an apartment building after losing an iPhone prototype. Over the next two years, at least 18 more of the company's workers have attempted suicide or have fallen from buildings in ways that suggested suicide.

In 2010, 137 workers at the Suzhou facility owned by Apple suppliers Wintek were injured after being ordered to use a poisonous chemical, n-hexane, to clean iPhone screens because it dried faster. Although Apple claims to have contacted all the employees affected, many say they have heard nothing.

In May 2011, four employees were killed and 18 were injured in a dust explosion at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, which produces iPad parts. Chinese campaigners claim they warned Apple of hazardous conditions at the plant.

In December 2011, another 61 workers were injured in a gas explosion at the Riteng Computer Accessory Co factory in Shanghai, which was trialling aluminium iPad 2 back panels.

Employees allege that many of Foxconn's dormitories, where 70,000 workers live, are overcrowded, with reports of 20 workers being housed in a three-room apartment.

P.s. I'm heartily ashamed to say that I am posting this from my iPad.

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