Mike Daisey, the man behind the hugely popular show that highlights Apple’s manufacturing environment at Foxconn, has received heavy media criticism since This American Life revealed that he had lied and given inaccurate information about his trip to China. Daisey continues to perform his show at theaters in the United States, and he says he still stands by his work.
Underage workers, health hazards and debilitating overtime are findings echoed by sociologist Dr. Boy Lüthje, who has spent the last decade researching labor conditions at China’s contract manufacturers where U.S. tech giants including Apple, Dell and HP make the electronic devices that populate our homes.
(You can read Cult of Mac’s exclusive interview with him here.)
Along with a team of researchers, he’s the author of a forthcoming academic work titled From Silicon Valley to Shenzen. The data here, Lüthje notes, is from late 2009 (before the wave of suicides hit Foxconn) but the general conditions remain largely unaltered. When it hits shelves, the book will include updated comments on Foxconn and Apple, he says.
Publisher Rowman & Littlefield granted Cult of Mac permission to publish an excerpt from Chapter 4, which similarities between electronics assembly plants in Mexico, China and Eastern Europe.
The China Labor Bulletin (CLB) has spoken out after an episode of This American Life, which highlights the poor working conditions at one Chinese factory, was retracted last week, making it clear that this does not clear Foxconn’s name. “The press and stock investors will continue to watch how Foxconn treats its workers,” the CLB made clear.
Performer and monologist Mike Daisey has been all over the news since the This American Life radio show retracted its most downloaded episode ever in which Daisey talked about visiting Foxconn, the Chinese factory that Apple products are made in. This American Life said that Daisey’s story contained “significant fabrications.” The New York Times also edited an article it ran by Daisey to reflect the inaccurate re-telling of his experience at Foxconn in China.
To put it plainly, Daisey said he saw things he never saw and met people he never met. He’s been feeding his audiences false information for many months. For the first time in the show’s history, This American Life has run a special retraction episode to clear up the mess. If you’ve been following the Apple/Foxconn issue, you should really give it a listen.