Section: Barbara Adams
Global Now: Abstract
Headline: Apple’s New Foxconn Embarrassment
Just as the new iPhone 5 hits the market, Apple’s Chinese manufacturer, Foxconn, faces a fresh wave of labor misuse accusations. The company’s long history of labor abuse-related scandals, including poor working conditions, employment of under-aged workers and improper disposal of hazardous waste, has now been ‘enriched’ by a new incident. Foxconn appears to have forced student ‘interns’ to work on the assembly line to ramp up the production process. Though the media and labor advocacy groups are continuously reporting on the issue, Americans, meanwhile, are eagerly lining up to buy the iPhone 5. According to the article’s author, “Apple is such a hugely popular company and the buzz around the new iPhone is so great, reports of continued worker abuse will not dampen the public’s enthusiasm for Apple products or affect the company stock price.” Is it really so? What should we, as consumers and as designers, do to ensure that the degraded aspect of the design – work and labor – becomes reemphasized?
Global Issue: Labor Rights/Poor Labor Practices
Primary Design Lens: Design Ethics
Secondary Design Lens: Design and Production