It’s hard to imagine a world without electronic gadgets. We all rely on Information Technology-IT everyday. In fact, IT has improved our lives in many different ways. But it has also created many new problems around the world.
As part of the Make IT Better campaign of Friends of the Earth, thousands of people have forced Samsung to confirm it uses tin from Bangka Island, Indonesia, where tin mining is ravaging forests and coral reefs, injuring miners and destroying fishermen's livelihoods. Apple almost certainly also uses tin in its mobile phones that has come from that same Island.
You can now write to Apple to be transparent about its supply chain and to encourage other companies to do the same: http://www.foe.co.uk/what_we_do/make_it_better_action_37571.html
Electronics companies and civil society organisations find common ground in UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights may form the common ground between electronics companies and civil society organisations in addressing labour issues such as the excessive use of temporary labour. This is an important outcome of the Round Table on worker’s rights in the global electronics sector organised by GoodElectronics and makeITfair in May 2012 in Amsterdam.
Report of the May 2012 makeITfair and GoodElectronics Round Table on workers’ rights in the global electronics sector
In 2009 Fair Trade Center, makeITfair partner in Sweden, reported on corporate responsibility among Swedish mobile network operators. The organisation now has published an update report examining how the operators have dealt with the shortcomings identified in the previous evaluation and also examines the new challenges that have emerged since.
Foxconn has shut its factory in Taiyuan (79,000 workers) for some days because a riot broke out last night reportedly over guards beating up a worker. As many as 2,000 workers were involved in the riot that drew 5,000 police officers to the site that allegedly is making parts for Apple's iPhones 5 and hardware for other companies.
Whenever there are new products launched by Apple, consumers are thrilled. All over the world they queue up outside Apple stores in order to have their beloved products immediately. At the same time, workers who are producing iPhones are queuing up for the company bus and lining up to swipe their staff card at Foxconn, but without similar excitement. When the peak season comes, they are tied to the production lines with just 1 day off in 13 working days, or no rest day at all in a month, all to cope with the public demand for the new Apple products. It is sad to say that to some extent, workers also yearn for the peak season because their base pay is insufficient to meet their basic needs, especially for those who have to support their dependents.