[31] ɨPod - Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Lotus seed pods. Mae Sai, Thailand. © Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.

“As consumers we should ask ourselves how certain products are made …. Corporate social responsibility is always window-dressing measures without enforcement mechanisms and remedies for workers. So the only way to stop labour rights violations is through campaigning. We hope that more consumers can pressure Apple and Foxconn.” Debby Chan, Activist

When they hear the word ‘pod’, most people, rather than thinking of a seed pod,  will think of an iPod. The successful portable media player, alongside the iPhone and iPad, have helped turn Apple Inc. from a garage start-up into the most valuable company in the world and the late Steve Jobs into a superstar that even young children know. What they don’t know, however, is that their gadgets are produced by people who work an excessive amount of hours under hazardous conditions and see next to nothing of the massive profits that Apple Inc. rakes in year after year. Over the last two years, I have had several discussions with friends who admire Apple’s innovation and Steve Job’s vision, and they did make some valid points. However, while nobody can really question the quality of Apple’s impressive product line or the fact that other corporations also employ murky business practices when it comes to their supply chains, it disgusts me that Apple Inc. manages to maintain its squeaky-clean image despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. That’s why, for the time being, the only pod that I like to own is a beautiful lotus seed pod. Who knows, maybe Apple Inc. will eventually rise from the mud, just like lotus plants do, and become a truly beautiful company. Until then, I hope that more people will vote with their purses and wallets – against Apple. It’s the only language corporations understand.

The Other Side of Apple

For more information, please click on the following links.

iProtest – Activist Debby Chan takes on one of the world’s favourite brands in her fight for workers’ rights (Aljazeera Activate, Video 24:30, September 2011)

Apple-Foxconn… iSlave? (CBS News, Video 10:01, February 2012)

A poisoned Apple? (Aljazeera, In Pictures, September 2011)

The Other Side of Apple – IT Industry Investigative Report (Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, Report, January 2011)

Apple secretive about ‘polluting and poisoning’ supply chain, says report (The Guardian, Article,  January 2011)

Follow-up #1

Apple wakes up to Chinese pollution concerns (The Guardian, Article, October 2011)

NGOs upbeat over China’s environmental transparency progress (The Guardian, Article, January 2012)

Follow-up #2

Report details workers’ rights violations at Apple’s iPhone 7 supplier Pegatron (9To5Mac, Article, August 2016)

Apple making big profits but Chinese workers’ wage on the slide (Report by China Labor Watch, August 2016)

The undercover internship: what it’s like to work in Chinese factory assembling iPhones (News.com.au, May 2017)


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