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SumOfUs Watchdog Group Takes On Apple – Some Perspective

I just read this article from PC Magazine about watchdog group SumOf US taking on Apple for poor worker conditions in China.   I’m all for making the world a better place for mankind.  I also think some perspective is needed. One of Apple’s biggest contract manufacturers [CMs] FoxConn has been under fire the last 12 months for employee suicides and a fire in a production facility. It was reported the suicides are directly related to working conditions.  However, it’s important to keep some perspective.  FoxConn is an organization which employees well over 100,000 people.  I think it very likely a group of individuals from the 100K pool will find a common thread [depression] and lead their way to demise.  We’ve seen it before with other cult groups in the US. I’m not giving Apple a free ticket, but I certainly don’t think Apple is to blame.  With the above situation, Time Cook, now CEO made the following statement [for the record I completely believe] “We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain,” reads his letter; “Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us.” As for the Foxconn fire in one of their production facilities, this type of accident happens all the time.  In the US, Europe, Australia and of course Asia. I fully support the motion which SumOfUs has started,  but at the same time, I’m not holding Apple completely responsible for working conditions at FoxConn.  Sure they are one element, but not the entire picture. For those of you who are not familiar with FoxConn, it’s a CM which supplies many major companies in the US, not just Apple.

Rich Gates

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