Pay No Attention to Those Children Behind the Fences


After listening to this podcast I can’t really say that I’m too surprised about what Mike Daisey had discovered about the working environments of technology companies. In past classes I’d read or watched videos about what it’s like to work in a sweatshop for a company like Nike, but this is my first time learning about a technology company. I was also unfamiliar with the company FoxConn that he investigated.

The part of the podcast the stood out to me the most was easily the working conditions of the factories, and the mental and physical harm inflicted upon the workers that work at one of these factories. In my opinion, the most horrifying discovery was how the factories would have nets to catch people that attempted to commit suicide while at work, because they couldn’t stand to live any longer while working for FoxConn. The fact that the company decided to put up nets, instead of taking a step back and actually witnessing the harm being caused and trying to change it for the sake of the workers is mind boggling.

The next part of the podcast that really stood out to me was when one of the workers was shown an iPad for the first time. I was very surprised that while working in the factory, this worker had never seen or interacted with an operational iPad before. When the worker described the iPad as “magic” I couldn’t help but feel like the worker, despite all the hardships he had to work with, still felt pride at what he helped create.

The last part of the podcast that I found the most interesting was when the topic of whether or not the workers had mental problems, and that was the reason for their continued work at the factories. I sided with Daisey in believing that the workers are not mentally handicapped. This discussion made me wonder about how Americans would deal with their lives if they had to live and work like the FoxConn workers.

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4 thoughts on “Pay No Attention to Those Children Behind the Fences”

  1. I too found it very upsetting when Daisey spoke about not only the physical issues that these workers face, but also the mental ones as well. I could not even imagine going to work everyday to see the spots that fellow workers had taken their own lives or looking down to see nets to prevent these terrible occurrences. I was reflecting back on when Daisey speaks about the employee being shown the iPad for the first time and it just furthers shows how disconnected these employees are from the world. They are given the same tasks to repeat all day and don’t get to see the end result of their hard work.

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  2. I completely agree with you; I couldn’t believe how horrific the working conditions that Mike Daisey described in the podcast actually are. To me, it’s one of those things that people hear about and know about, but still go about their day as if nothing was wrong with the world. I myself am definitely guilty of that. But I like that you bring up that you felt pride when the worker thought that his hard work was “magic”. However, for me it felt heart breaking because the man that had given up his life to produce this product had never even been given the courtesy of seeing it turned on…

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  3. You definitely bring up some essential points from the podcast. One thing I too wondered about was Kathy’s mentally handicapped comment. I believe that the workers are not impaired, but may be brainwashed in some way by Foxconn. They work like robots, and the fact that the man did not even resent the iPad makes it seem like he truly was proud of his work. However, it is also important to note that some workers obviously do see mass misfortune in their lives. This is evidenced by the suicide preventing safety nets. The description of the tall buildings and nets also disturbed me greatly. Not only was this because of the gruesome image it proposed, but also because it seemed to be such an inhumane effort to address the struggles which the workers faced.

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  4. This post successfully conveys the noteworthy damage FOXCONN is causing employees. What resonated with me most was the point you bring up most about the nets. It is crazy to think that people are killing themselves because how drastic working conditions can be today in our modern working society. The fact that our obsession with our Apple products has resulted in the deaths of others is simply selfish and ignorant from we consumers.

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