I thought that this podcast was an excellent eye opener to the inside of the production in an industry that has been exported and so far removed from the consumer. While this is a subject that people don’t typically think about on a day-to-day basis, Mike Daisey certainly grabbed my attention. The stories he was conveying are ones that I could never fathom. The complete abuse of power and of human lives is shocking, but nobody seems to be able to step forward to make change.
The thought of working a 34 hour day, living in dorms crowded with so many beds the workers have to crawl in like a coffin, is despicable. But in these massive facilities, this is a standard of life that nobody has the ability to challenge. These human beings working in these facilities basically have no rights and are worked until they are useless. As I listened to Mike Daisey tell these stories, I looked around at my MacBook Pro and iPhone and the guilt started to set in.
The most striking part of this podcast was when he was describing the workers as disposable. He described these workers who are worked to the bone, crippled, or sometimes until the point of death, as parts of any machine that fail. When you think about any of the machines we use every day, if a part is broken, you just replace it. Likewise, the management at these companies just replace workers that are of no use to them when they can no longer perform the same repetitive tasks for endless periods of time. While this podcast was an excellent first step in the right direction, these problems will not change until the companies producing in these facilities chose to change. Powerful and profitable companies like Apple have the ability to improve the standard of work and living for these people. The question then is, what will it take to hold these companies accountable for the harm they are causing?