Does Steve Jobs Get a Pass on Child Labor Now That He’s Dead?

Main stream media is intent on framing the death of Steve Jobs as the uber hero of modern computer technology. We (you) …  ”are very sad at the profound loss of Steve Jobs” to our (your) psyche. Hop on our grieving gravy train and we can get through this together. Let the tears flow for the “hands on man at Apple who died too young, Steve Jobs.” Cut to commercial.

We give in to that kind of knee jerk reaction, to media bias, and because of it they (you) are today extremely sad by the death of Steve Jobs.

There is no doubt that Steve Jobs was all that. He was the co-founder of the biggest tech scores in history. He called the shots from beginning to end. From oranges to apples, Jobs was the brains. The go to guy at Apple. He was a genius, witty, got rich and had cool friends, but somewhere along the line he lost site of the himself, and the innovation, and became …. just another head of a big company exploiting children overseas, for profit. Billions!

The Telegraph – 02-27-10 (full article)

 ”Apple has admitted that child labour was used at the factories that build its computers, iPods and mobile phones.

At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.

The company did not name the offending factories, or list where they were based, but the majority of its goods are assembled in China.

“Apple has been repeatedly criticised for using factories that abuse workers and where conditions are poor. Last week, it emerged that 62 workers at a factory that manufactures products for Apple and Nokia had been poisoned by n-hexane, a toxic chemical that can cause muscular degeneration and blur eyesight. Apple has not commented on the problems at the plant, which is run by Wintek, in the Chinese city of Suzhou.”

As late as August 2011, Apple still hadn’t cleaned up it’s toxic act.

“Apple supplier Foxconn became the focus of global attention last year after a spate of worker suicides. The new report claims that three of its factories have broken environmental rules.

On May 20, an explosion at Foxconn’s Hongfujin Chengdu factory – which manufactures the iPad2 – killed three workers and injured 15. It subsequently came to light that the plant’s eight buildings, covering 250 mu (more than 166,000 square metres) had been constructed in only 76 days.”

In defense of Jobs, Apple  had regulations in place that were not adhered to. And kudos to Apple, under Jobs, to admit the horrific conditions. However, once known and reported, Apple did not close some of those factories. In fact, they built more. Apple’s Responsibility Report was quite clear. What is not clear is why abuses and toxic problems were not stopped immediately. Maybe 6 billion in profit makes a difference as to what opens and closes.

We too are sad when a hero dies … but people, planet, profit is growing in the new era of corporate globalization and many companies are jumping on. We had hoped Apple, as American as pie, would be one of the first to adopt the 3 P’s. Nope. American jobs were farmed out under Jobs, to make way for some toxic sweatshop conditions and that sucks.