Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rioting at Apple factory in China

We've long complained that fewer U.S. workers are making computers in this country now than there were when the first personal computer was assembled in 1975.

Apple could be making computers here in the U.S., instead of Chinese sweatshops. The company's CEO even said so.

Manufacture This offers a good reason for Apple to make computers here: their employees are rioting in China:
...a clash with security staff at a male dormitory for Foxconn workers escalated to the point where as many as 1,000 workers eventually rioted.  While the initial dispute may have dealt with an incident of theft, what becomes clear is that the workers are unhappy, and the chronic poor treatment they've endured has heated tempers to the boiling point.  In the ensuing riot, workers reportedly threw trash bins, chairs, pots, bottles, and even fireworks from the upper floors of their dormitory, destroying public facilities. 
Hundreds of police officers eventually suppressed the rioting, and dozens were arrested. 
In the wake of such a messy situation, Apple can do the requisite damage control.  But the true costs of outsourcing once again become apparent. 
Facts are stubborn things, and the poor overall working conditions at Foxconn are hard to hide.  Apple could have a much cleaner conscience if it chose to reshore operations and starting making their products in the U.S.