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.