How satisfied are you?

After listening to the radio show The American Life featuring actor Mike Daisey, I discovered that there is a major need for our society to address employee satisfaction. Mike Daisey emphasized the poor working conditions present in the Foxconn factory. This factory manufactures products for a variety of well-known companies such as Apple, HP, and Dell. After speaking to factory workers, Daisey discovered the factory has small living quarters, long working hours, toxins impacting the health of employees, and a labor board that neglects to address problems employees face. Why won’t Foxconn address these problems? More importantly, why do companies like Apple sit and watch their factories treat employees poorly?

Poor working conditions in manufacturing plants has become a major issue and has been present for centuries. For example, Nike faced controversy when their poor working conditions and low wages were revealed to the public in 1991. Even though they faced protests and the questioning of their famous spokesman Michael Jordan, Nike turned their image around through raising their work age, raising wages, improving their work conditions, and providing the public with social responsibility reports. To read more about how Nike turned their image around after this scandal click here. Instead of facing these scandals and low employee satisfaction ratings, why do companies still fail to address these issues from the beginning? Would you be satisfied with the conditions these workers have faced?



3 thoughts on “How satisfied are you?”

  1. Something that I discussed in my own blog was whether or not these poor working conditions are the fault of the corporations or the factories. The podcast discussed how Apple tried to make the conditions better and improve their suppliers behavior, but some of the factories showed little motivation to change. The podcast also mentioned that the factories would try to deceive the auditors to make conditions look better than they actually were. Do you think it is up to only the corporations to instigate change or do you think there could be a greater underlying problem with how the sweatshops are managed?


  2. I think many people choose not to think about where their things come from or how they are made. People are happy with the things they purchase and with the prices that they purchase the things for. It’s easy for a consumer to not think about the people that make the products they purchase. It becomes slightly more difficult when people like Mike Daisey put the problem in front of them. Even then people choose not to care.


  3. I think Mary brings up a great point. I believe both the corporation and the factories are at fault for the poor working conditions present abroad. First of all, factories need to change their management style. Not only do factories need to understand the benefits of achieving good employee satisfaction, but they also need to take into account how poor working conditions impact employees. Secondly, corporations need to be proactive with discovering what the working conditions are within their factories abroad. Lastly, I believe corporations need to make it clear that they will no longer work with factories abroad if they do not provide good working conditions for employees. If factories do not receive any business, then they will need to make a change in the way they operate.


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