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Apple’s labor violations counteract CEO’s vision of company morality

Apple’s treatment of employees exposes the hypocrisy found within Tim Cook’s moral ‘teachings.’

While accepting the first Courage Against Hate award from the Anti-Defamation League in New York City this week, Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said, “I believe the most sacred thing that each of us is given is our judgement, our morality, our own innate desire to separate right from wrong.”

While patting himself on the back for banning users like InfoWars’ host Alex Jones off Apple’s platforms, Cook went as far as to claim that tech companies have a moral obligation to censor and ban certain speech. Thanks, “Big Brother,” for spreading your “innate desire” and “judgment” all over everyone’s iPhones.

To hear the CEO of one of the biggest tech corporations on the planet talk about doing the right thing when a corporation’s primary goal is to increase profits for its shareholders is absurd.

How does a company manage its profits year after year in order to become America’s first trillion-dollar company? Bending its self-proclaimed morals appears to be the only way of making this
possible.

One prime example of this is avoiding paying over $15 billion in taxes, as the European Union caught Apple doing with the Irish government in 2014. This is why it’s so preposterous for Cook to mention morality when his company acts in questionable ways.

If Cook wants to claim the moral high ground on anybody, his products cannot be made off the backs of child labor. Amnesty International put out a report two years ago begging major tech companies to stop using companies in the Congo that mine the precious cobalt that is necessary for the production of their devices because of their involvement with child labor. Apple was on that list.

In its own Supplier Responsibility Progress Report, Apple has made clear that it has repeated labor and human rights violations within its Chinese factories, underage labor being one of them. Yet Apple has gone unpunished.

Those violations doubled between 2016 and 2017. How can a company head speak about morals before addressing his own company violations?

Apple is also exploiting cheap labor abroad. These are workers who do most of the work but get paid the least out of all Apple
employees.

They also work in some of the worst conditions, as noted in the investigation of Foxconn Technology Group, Apple’s most notorious factory.

The factory came into headlines when many of its workers began to commit suicide. Some killed themselves out of desperation, others to protest the inhumane working conditions in the factory. Suicide safety nets were placed all around the facility as a preventative measure for the future. Foxconn is a plant that employs over 400,000 workers.

Before Apple comes out and tells the public that the company knows right from wrong as far as speech goes, it should check its moral obligations to the people that it employs in its own
company.

The workers’ physical suffering and exploitation should be prioritized before the feelings of a few commenters or reviewers.

“Choosing to set that responsibility aside in a moment of trial is a sin,” Cook stated about banning what is considered “wrong” off tech platforms.

But with his moral obligations clearly out of order, prioritizing hate speech over physical suffering, it’s hard to buy the tech sermon he is preaching.

The “iJesus” vibe doesn’t work when one does not follow the “golden rule” of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

In the Bible, the first sin that Adam and Eve commit is taking a bite out of the apple that led to the fall of mankind. Apple’s logo happens to be a representation of that first bite. Today, millions of people are taking bytes from Apple products every day.

-Pat Sikora

Journalism 22

December 10, 2018

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Pat Sikora


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