Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wendie H. Vang - Blog 1

In this week’s topics, I learned about the exploitation of workers to produce mass products, such as shoes, clothes, and other items that people want and not need. I found it interesting how the article written by Holstein, Palmer, Ur-Rehman, and Ito had been written almost 18 years ago and yet the problem of exploiting overseas workers still exists. The example from the article was on Haitian workers, but this applies to all examples of worker abuse. One of the interviewees explained the consequences of raising minimum wage for the business. She told the writers which I will generalize to all examples, “If the Haitian government [or any government that exploits its workers] were to raise the minimum wage much higher [or to even meet minimum wage in some cases,] then… The margin we [the company] make on those products is so slim I’m not sure we could afford to continue to manufacture there.” (Holstein 1996, 4). This makes me wonder what the company’s definition of slim is. I don’t know all the costs of running a company, but I can’t but help to wonder why must other people be exploited, so that only those who own the company can profit?

I almost bought an iphone case yesterday, but luckily I remembered about this project before I bought the case. I didn’t have to question if workers would be exploited in the making of these products. I already knew that Apple factories exploited their workers. However, I wasn’t completely sure if the iphone cases were made in China like the actual phones. I went home to check it up and I found an article on Blue & Green Tomorrow about workers being exploited and hired with proper training. The table to the left is Apple’s Suppliers List for the year 2014 and the Jabil Circuit Inc, located in Wuxi, China is on the list. The article by Blue & Green Tomorrow specifically mentioned this factorty, and I was curious to know if the factory did exist. I was most interested in how the article was barely published September of this year. I’m glad that I did not give in to my false needs.
I’m fighting with myself about if I need something versus what I want to need.   Here’s an example of a false need. My case for my phone was broken when my sister first gave it to me about two months ago, but I never got a replacement. And yet now I “need” a new case, because I can only buy necessities. Overall, I feel that I am doing all right.

Sites Used:
Holstein, Palmer, Ur-Rehman and Ito. “Santa’s Sweatshop: In a Global Economy, it’s Hard to Know Who Made Your Gift—and Under What Conditions.” U.S. News & World Report, Volume 121, Issue 24. p. 50-54, 56-57, 60. 16 December 1996. Print.

Malone, Charlotte. “Apple Supplier Accused of Exploiting Workers.” Blue & Green Tomorrow. Web. 25 September 2014.

No comments: