Cost of Apple Products





Cost of Apple Products

The world has evolved rapidly due to the new technology that has enabled business to be done globally. Globalization has enabled people and companies to interact in a way that was not possible a decade ago. New technology has resulted in products that are extremely advanced such that no one could have envisioned the development of such products in the present day. In the present day, the most profitable companies are involved in sale of technology-based products that are attractive to consumers around the globe the companies are using cheap labor and exposing their workers to hazardous working conditions. It seems that the end justifies the means for such companies because of the high-in demand goods produced by use of cheap and underage labor exposed to hazardous conditions in production. The driving force behind the abuse of the labor is the efforts by the companies to get the cheapest alternatives for production regardless of the hazardous conditions those who are producing the good are exposed.

Apple is such a company that has outdone itself to surpass expectation of its growth due to its development of innovative products that are appealing to consumers from all corners of the world (Duhigg & Barboza, 6). However, the success has attracted controversy due to the use of cheap labor to make products that are sold for considerably high prices yet the labor used is remunerated poorly and exposed to harsh working conditions that are not fit for humans. In addition, several companies fall into this group of companies that use cheap labor to make innovative products. Thus, companies justify their means of producing by the products made. The society also has role to play for not reprimanding such companies to ensure that they provide safety and good working conditions that are equal to the high standard goods they produce.

Employees are also forced to work for long hours yet the Apple policy on working hours restricts the working time to 60 hours a week. Despite of the apple’s own laws putting a cap on the time that should be worked on a weekly basis, the supplying companies operate on a level of independence from their buyer, Apple, and from the authorities. The reason for this kind of laidback behavior can be attributed to the lack of concern by the governing management of these supplier firms. This might be attributed to the differences in the view of both countries, the United States and China on what they consider morally acceptable (Duhigg & Barboza, 18). To China, the use of cheap and underage labor might have existed since the period of dynasties whereas in the United States people are entitled fair and equal pair and the prohibition of the use of underage labor. Despite being, reprimanded Apple continued with its efforts to have more of its products manufactured by use of heap labor from their Chinese suppliers. Low-level employees talked of having parted with money as recruitment fees to get jobs in the companies. Apple does not have information regarding bribery to get employment, which amounts to bribery.

Foxconn, an Apple Product supplier is a clear depiction of impunity in the modern world. It conducts operations with total disregard for the workers under its care. The use N-hexane a chemical, which evaporates quicker than alcohol-based chemicals, was used. The gas might also have contributed to the fire disasters coupled by the presence of combustible aluminum dust (Duhigg & Barboza, 21). The harsh working conditions also paved way for mental instability of the workers because they were subjected to pressure and stress in the work place thus the numerous suicides in the company premises. Employees were subjected to inhumane living conditions in the dorms that were provided by the company for workers to reside such that the premises were crowded. The workers were also subjected to continuous shifts and extended overtime whereby workers would conduct his work for more than twelve hours a day and yet they were paid inconsiderate amounts for overtime and extended shifts.

For instance on May 2011, there was blast at Foxconn, an iPad maker in China where the Apple Company has several manufacturing companies who supply the company with their products. The blasts was attributed to the presence of aluminum dust used in the polishing of the iPads which lit up and caused a blast due to a lot of heat in the premises. The heat made the aluminum to combust and resulted in an explosion. However, companies try to conceal the accrual happenings to prevent the public from knowing the truth and understanding how such companies operate with total disregard for human life (Duhigg & Barboza, 26). In addition, this was not the first incident that involved the loss of human life due to exposure to hazardous working conditions. Two years earlier Apple suppliers in China were injured by the use of a harmful chemical used to clean cell phone screens.

Companies misusing labor are insensitive to the needs and the lives of their laborers .exposure to chemicals without the necessary safety gear to protect oneself from harm of the chemicals is a violation of the International Labor Organization (ILO) laws (Duhigg & Barboza, 28). The laws emphasize that laborers dealing with harmful equipment or chemicals should be in proper attire to protect them from harm or mitigate the harms when it occurs. The primary interests of companies taking advantage of cheap labor are to make the most profit by maximizing production using the cheapest available source of labor.Wintek, a supplier of parts to Apple was claimed to have  pressured workers who had been injured in the execution of their duties were forced to take compensation and resign from their positions

Apple has the capacity to cease from the production of their goods by the use of cheap labor. Apple detests from taking action against suppliers who violate labor laws because of the stakes it has in the supply of goods. This is a clear illustration that Apple is not willing to forego the privileges that come with access to cheap labor that can be manipulated to meet their market needs. Keeping production costs low in a company is a great feat in any firm and is a clear illustration of the determination of the management to gain more profits, however this has been done by apple using the wrong approach.

Apple does not terminate contracts with suppliers due to non-compliance but instead gives warnings to the suppliers if they promise to try to improve the working conditions of their factories (Duhigg & Barboza, 46). If Apple were serious in reprimanding the companies and asking them to improve the working conditions of their factories, the companies would promptly comply with such regulations. The company company’s efforts were to avert embarrassment that would result from the public knowing the use of harsh working conditions and not to solve the problem. Lack of transparency also contributes to the continued use by Apple of its current supplier as the public or authorities do not know the origin of the parts supplied to the main suppliers of the finished goods to the company.

Apple as a leading company, which draws admiration from all quarters, should set a good precedent in ensuring that suppliers use the right labor and provide good working conditions by stating such in their contracts. Apple would instill discipline in a rogue labor sector that is characterized by greed for profits. Moreover, consumers should demand better conditions in factories abroad similar to factories such as Nike and Gap, which changed their conduct as a result from public pressure to change their strategies in the use of cheap labor and exposing people to harsh working conditions. Countries which are the base of suppliers who use misuse public labor are not reprimanded because of the benefits such jobs bring to their economies  their populace is in need of jobs that have become scarce thus the opportunity for employment proves to be irresistible to the unemployed public. In additions job provided by such companies provide the much-needed revenue to the government for improving infrastructure and other government spending.



Work cited

Duhigg, Charles & Barboza, David. “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad.” The New York Times. January 25, 2012:30. Print.

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