Updated 19 Jun, 2013, 9:20 pm IST
Friday February 03 06:59 pm
Human Cost of Producing an iPad in China Apple Consumer's Reactions
Consumers respond to reports of harsh working conditions at Apple iPad production plants. For more news and videos visit ☛ http //english.ntdtv.com Follow us on Twitter ☛ http //twitter.com/NTDTelevision Add us on Facebook ☛ http //on.fb.me/s5KV2C It all started with a few preloaded photos of Apple's suppliers in China that a couple of iPhone owners from the UK found on their brand new iPhones in 2008. The photos have since gone viral. It was not until then that some consumers realized that Apple products are not made by robots. The New York Times reported recently on the harsh work conditions at Apple suppliers in China. Now some consumers are saying they would rather pay more for the products. A recent New York Times report on the cruel working conditions inside Foxconn Technology, and other Apple suppliers in China, is getting a lot of attention. The report says employees assembling Apple products often "Labor in harsh conditions...work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms...Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk." Moreover, workers also face serious safety threats, sometimes deadly. Two explosions caused by aluminum dust last year at two Foxconn plants killed four people and injured 77. Two years ago, 137 workers were injured after they were ordered to switch from rubbing alcohol to a toxic chemical, n-hexane, to clean iPhone screens. In recent years, there have been reports of workers jumping from dorm buildings in apparent suicide attempts due to harsh management practices. [Masco Calbone, Tourist]: "Safety comes first. Safety of workers comes first." When asked if iPhone users would pay higher prices so that the Apple product assembly line workers would get better paid, we got similar answers. [JP Robertson, NJ Real Estate Broker]: "I would pay more for it. Sure." [Apbar Merchent, Retail Store Manager]: "People just can't live without iPhone these days, so I believe they'll buy it. I would buy it." [Shani Ebin, NY High School Student]: "I would definitely pay for the product." People also expressed that it's also the responsibility of Chinese authorities to protect the interests of the Chinese workers. Apple says, the company has been conducting audits in the past few years to enforce the supplier code of conduct (screen shot http //www.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/code-of-conduct/labor-and-human-rights.html) which lists the details from labor issues to health and safety protections. According to the New York Times report, Apple conducted 229 audits last year. Although there were slight improvements in some areas, excessive work hours still continue.