It was quite interesting to hear Mr. Daisey speak about his experiences in China and the people he talked to. I was particularly interested in how he and Kathy go undercover to investigate other factories. By this time, I have heard about issues at Foxconn and the suicides that resulted in building nets. However, Daisey’s retelling of the information he uncovered is non the less moving and reveals greater details about the working environment.
It was shocking that a corporation could be so caught up in saving a buck that they would put people at risk. As the closing song suggests, it could easily be an example of “out of sight, out of mind,” but that can’t be a justifiable approach. I was interested in the idea that some scholars felt that this kind of labor was actually good for the community in that it supplied a middle class and other economic benefits. It seems as while this is the case, companies like Apple and Dell should be able to demand more appropriate working environments AND enforce them. It seems as though it would be worthwhile to have corporate positions in Apple, Dell, and other relevant companies that are responsible for maintaining an ethical work environment through very public reports. But it is possible that this plan could only exist in an idealistic world. All the same, there needs to be ways to address this kind of situation in ways that hold corporations more accountable for the way that their employees abroad are treated.
However, I began to think more about their method of investigation. It’s clear that the working conditions at factories like Foxconn are not suitable and using chemicals such as n-hexane are harmful to workers. I would argue that sharing information about things like harsh pay and the “black list” is important, and identifies clearly unethical business practices, but were Daisey’s tactics unethical? He assumes the identity of a businessman to gain access to factories and seems to imply that he is a journalist. Is deception what it takes to learn the truth? What does that mean for corporations and our relationship with business?