“That would require someone to care. That would require someone at Fox Conn and the other suppliers to care. That would require someone at Apple and Dell and the other customers to care. Currently, no one in the ecosystem cares enough to even enforce that.” (35:33)
Here, Mr. Daisey discusses the factory workers who are disabled after years of monotonous, repetitive work. He points out that the factory workers will continue to endure these terrible conditions if no one steps up to fight them. So whose responsibility is it? Which party should step in to fix these working conditions? As a human being, I want to say that every person involved – Apple executives, Fox Conn Managers, Apple consumers – should feel responsible. Ultimately, the decision makers at Fox Conn are the only people who can make the change. However, this change can result from a domino effect, starting with the consumer.
Fox Conn has a responsibility to its employees to provide safe working conditions. Unfortunately, in a location where the workers have very little other employment options, Fox Conn holds far more power than it should. They are able to exploit their workers and force them into unsafe conditions because the workers are simply working to stay out of poverty. (Or really, they are most likely still in poverty. They are simply working to stay on the better end of it.)
Many argue that Apple, as well as Dell and the other technology companies, should be responsible for the working conditions of the Fox Conn workers. However, these are Fox Conn workers. While Apple contracts this company to manufacture products, Apple is not actually employing these Chinese workers. Legally, Apple is not responsible for these workers according to the contracts that each of these parties hold.
The consumers, on the other hand, hold the power in terms of social responsibility. Consumers can and should voice their opinions by spending their money on the companies that they support. Customers can show Apple that this behavior is unacceptable. As a result, Apple can voice this concern to Fox Conn, threaten to take business elsewhere, and demand change. Without Apple’s business, Fox Conn would lose a significant amount of business and be forced to make changes.