Last week, BBC’s Panorama programme did a frightening documentary on factories used by Apple in China and on their tin supply chain in Indonesia. If such poor conditions are used by Apple, many other products will be produced in even worse conditions. As a user of Apple products I am appalled.
Of course, we in the West milk the low costs that such poor working procedures/conditions permit. With time, conditions will improve and the West will look to other low cost manufacturing areas for our low cost products. Sadly, our greed feeds this process.
Frighteningly, other products we buy are probably made in places that are far worse.
Andrew G6ALB tells me of a friend in the automotive industry who visited a Chinese supplier where he found workers using ordinary sun glasses to protect eyes from welding gear. After 6 months the workers were totally blind. So they just got fresh workers to replace them!
Thanks to Steven G7VFY for most of this information.
UPDATE 1740z: Sadly many (most?) of our electronics components will be made in sweat shops in the Far East. It is very hard to get away from this problem.