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I receive in Israel a gift of an iPhone 3GS. Is Apple Inc. rotten to the core?
A friend living in Jaffa, Israel very kindly offered me a dana (gift) an i-Phone 3GS last month. I was not sure whether I needed it. I have used my Samsung mobile for the past six years. I keep only around 20 telephone numbers on the phone in order to have a life outside telephones and texts.
I emailed my daughter to ask her whether it would be a useful gift. She replied: “Take it, dad. It’s wonderful gift.” My Sim card fitted and a shop keeper arranged for the phone to be unlocked. A friend is giving me a tutorial on the i-Phone. So far so good.
The $100 billion industry of Apple Inc, a US multinational, has become world famous for its sleek, well designed and expensive products such as Apple computers, iPod, iPhone and iPad, operating systems and professional audio and film-industry products. Its revenues and profits exceed Google and Microsoft combined.
Apple Inc profits have increased by 93% in the three years. You would have thought that Apple Inc would have ensured that Apple employees in its Chinese factories would have receive a substantial increase in their income, healthier working conditions, health insurance, pension plans and decent living conditions. Not so. Apple prefers to pass the bulk of its vast profits for bonuses and its shareholders.
Yes, there is a dark shadow with Apple Inc. around its treatment of Apple employees, environmental practices and business ethics.
Apple’s obsession for high production and high profit ensures that its employees in China engage in excessive working hours, unpaid overtime, health and safety failings – with a management that ensures workers keep to Apple production targets with ruthless determination.
In December, 46% of the workforce clocked up to 70 hours per week. More than a third of staff did not receive the statutory one day off in seven.
Around two-thirds of workers said their take-home pay did not meet their basic needs.
Most are migrant workers, average age 23, with around a third of the workforce living in dormitories. At the factory in Shenzhen 18 employees have killed themselves .
Foxconn employs about 1.2 million workers in its plants in China including the Apple workforce. The workers assemble iPhones and iPads for Apple, Xbox 360 video game consoles for Microsoft, and computers for Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
Some purchasers of Apple products will come out with that tired one-liner. “Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett Packard are just as bad.” “Does that mean we should be submissive consumers and not protest?”
International protests about Apple Inc. and its work practices, the suicides, low pay and living conditions of Apple workers have forced Apple to start slowly on the process of change. Nothing would have happened otherwise.
It is a valid question. “Is Apple Inc. rotten to the core?” I will use the gift of the iPhone and will take every opportunity to point out the business practices of Apple.