Foxconn Industrial Plant Uncovered
the consequences of materialism
Foxconn and the Daisy Affair-
controversy of the facts-
The controversy was aroused because of the Chinese correspondent for the public radio program marketplace, Rob Schmitz, who resides in Shanghai, and heard the story and questioned it.
Beginning the tangle of lies-
Lies/ Fabrication of Evidence-
-Daisey meets with factory workers who he says belong to an illegal union, one
that’s not authorized by the Chinese government.
[CLIP] Mike Daisey: And I say to them, how do you know who's right to work
with you? How do you find people to help you organize? And they look at each
other bashfully, and they say well, we talk a lot. We have lots of meetings, and we
meet at coffeehouses and different Starbucks in Guangzhou. And we exchange
papers…("This American Life"). Rob Schmitz rebutes this statement and says, "Factory workers who make fifteen, twenty dollars a day are sipping coffee at Starbucks? Starbucks is pricier in China than in the US. A reporter friend of mine didn’t believe this,either. He said Chinese factory workers gathering at Starbucks is sort of like United Auto Workers in Detroit holding their meetings at a Chinese teahouse".
Facts partially true-
-[CLIP] Mike Daisey: There's a group that's talking about hexane. N-hexane is an
iPhone screen cleaner. It's great because it evaporates a little bit faster than
alcohol does, which means you can run the production line even faster and try to
keep up with the quotas. The problem is that n-hexane is a potent neurotoxin, and
all these people have been exposed. Their hands shake uncontrollably. Most of
them…can't even pick up a glass. ("This American Life"). In actuality, Cathy, the chinese translator said that when they spoke to the people she never once had anyone mention hexane and thought it was ridiculous when reporters told her of the fabricated story Daisy made up about n-Hexane. Yet, it was reported in 2008 that workers at an Apple supplier had contracted the poisonous chemical and it was a widespread sensation over the news. Yet, this incident occurred in Suzhou not Shenzhen.
-Fabrication of the underage workers:
[CLIP] Mike Daisey: And I say to her, you seem kind of young. How old are you?
And she says, I'm 13. And I say, 13? That's young. Is it hard to get work at
Foxconn when you're-- and she says oh no. And her friends all agree, they don't
really check ages. I'm telling you … in my first two hours of my first day at that
gate, I met workers who were 14 years old, 13 years old, 12. Do you really think
Apple doesn't know? ("This American Life"). When they spoke to the translator Cathy about this fact she said that she would have remembered the experience as it is rare to see such young children with Apple's aggressive documentation, yet it still does occur.
The role of ethos in this monologue-
Climax of story-
Daisey describes an old man with leathery skin who used to work at foxconn … makingmetal enclosures for ipads and laptops. … he says the man got his hand caught in a metalpress, and that it was now a twisted claw. He says he got no medical attention, and then Foxconn fired him for working too slowly:
[CLIP] Mike Daisey: And when he says this, I reach into my satchel, and I take
out my iPad. And when he sees it, his eyes widen, because one of the ultimate
ironies of globalism, at this point there are no iPads in China. …. He's never
actually seen one on, this thing that took his hand. I turn it on, unlock the screen,
and pass it to him. He takes it. The icons flare into view, and he strokes the screen
with his ruined hand, and the icons slide back and forth. And he says something to
Cathy, and Cathy says, "he says it's a kind of magic." ("This American Life"). However, Cathy says this never happened and it sounds like it should be in a movie. Mike Daisy was simply trying to appeal to the audiences emotions instead of focusing on the facts.
Thanks to follow-up reporting by Rob Schmitz at American Public Media's Marketplace, the monologue has been reported as a piece of theater. Daisey pretended that he just happened to stumble upon an array of workers who typify all kinds of harsh things somebody might face in a factory that makes iPhones and iPads. It is now apparent to the media that Mike Daisey fabricated this story to further the idea of working condition improvements in chinese industrial plants. "The American Life" retracted their story on Foxconn Industries.
What happened to the company or organization as a result of the whistleblower coming forward?-
Foxconn industries is not quite "off- the-hook". The Hong-Kong based China Labor Bulletin said Foxconn still employed harsh working conditions, while a fund manager with shares in Foxconn's parent said investors were watching how the company treats workers. The plant now recognizes that workers need a more effective voice on factory floor to be kept away from employee strikes over working conditions
-more union rights
-decreased amount of hours that laborers are allowed to work due to injuries
-U.S. non-profit labor group had begun an "unprecedented" inspection of working conditions at its main contract manufacturers
-New York Times published an investigation into working practices at Apple supplier's plants in China that documented poor health and safety conditions and long working hours
-Apple has been having investigations and has provided financially for improvement of worker conditions (It has been recently exposed that many workers live at the factory, where they pay $17.50 per month to live in a 7 to a room in dormitories. The average starting pay is $285 per month, and workers must pay for their own food (huffingtonpost)).
What changes came about due to this whistle blowing?-
-Employees get the chance to vote for representatives free form management influence, and top officials would be elected by a secret ballot.
-upgraded its management
-safety precautions in production facilities
-awareness in working conditions and increased charity to workers at plant
-nets installed between buildings to prevent suicides
Personal Reaction to story-
Citations for Research conducted-