Rotten Apple: Child Slave Labor Report in Apple Inc. Factories

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Despite recent reports of Apple’s use of child slave labor, Propp, along with many others, still uses Apple products daily.

Rose Propp, Staff Writer

I’m going to be honest, and I know it’s going to make me sound spoiled, but I don’t think I have gone one day of my life  since being introduced to my first iPod Mini in 2004 without seeing or using an Apple product. I type every essay or assignment on my MacBook, I talk to family and friends on my iPhone and I listen to music and play games on my iPod.

Despite my obvious devotion to the company, recent reports of the use of child slave labor in the production of these extremely popular products have definitely made me step back and look at how the making of these products I rely on daily puts the lives of children my age at risk.

Apple began its company in 1976 and after decades of new inventions the company is now the largest technology firm in the world. Considering this, isn’t it obvious that the company should be trying to maintain their reputation without putting others in harm’s way? It sure seems as if they should be able to afford it. In 2011 alone the company raked in $108,249 million in net sales.

While I can’t say that I am willing to give up using my computer and my phone after hearing these reports, this doesn’t mean that I don’t disagree with the way Apple allegedly treats its employees. Every time I think about the dirty and unsafe conditions that young children are working in, I am disgusted. I think of me or my friends or cousins in the same situation and just cannot fathom how Apple has justified these practices.

A possible solution to this problem seems pretty clear to me: with the unemployment rate in the United States being a staggering 2.3% in 2011, Apple should offer these people who lost their jobs during the financial crisis in 2008 the positions that the underage workers are currently filling.

It’s important for all the critics to realize though that Apple is not ignoring the negative press they have received over the past couple months concerning working conditions in iPad factories in China.  According to an article  published in the New York Times on Feb. 14, 2012, Apple has sent labor groups into the factories to report back on conditions.

But who is paying these inspection groups? Apple. Will the information about the factories be factual or trust worthy? It’s hard to know for sure.

As much as I would like to say that I can’t support a company who allegedly treats their employees so poorly, it would not be a simple task to give up pieces of technology that add an aspect of convenience and safety to my life. It is going to take much more than a claim to ruin Apple’s reputation and even more to get people to stop buying their products.