Gateway Pundit, Hot Air, Jammie Wearing Fool, and others are reporting that the Obamas gave the Queen of England an iPod as a present. Putting aside the tacky nature of such a gift in this context, one point that has been overlooked is that iPods are manufactured in CHINA by exploited female workers:
Apple’s iPods are made by mainly female workers who earn as little as £27 per month, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday yesterday.
The report, ‘iPod City’, isn’t available online. It offers photographs taken from inside the factories that make Apple music players, situated in China and owned by Foxconn.
The Mail visited some of these factories and spoke with staff there. It reports that Foxconn’s Longhua plant houses 200,000 workers, remarking: “This iPod City has a population bigger than Newcastle’s.”
The report claims Longhua’s workers live in dormitories that house 100 people, and that visitors from the outside world are not permitted. Workers toil for 15-hours a day to make the iconic music player, the report claims. They earn £27 per month.
The report reveals that the iPod nano is made in a five-storey factory (E3) that is secured by police officers.
Another factory in Suzhou, Shanghai, makes iPod shuffles. The workers are housed outside the plant, and earn £54 per month – but they must pay for their accommodation and food, “which takes up half their salaries”, the report observes.
A security guard told the Mail reporters that the iPod shuffle production lines are staffed by women workers because “they are more honest than male workers”.
The manufacturer in China denies that workers toil in sweatshop conditions, but its statement is hardly reassuring:
The company also said it has continued to make improvements to workers’ living conditions, providing safe and well-equipped dormitories complete with free laundry service, sports facilities, libraries, and other facilities.
Apple also denies the sweatshop allegations. But whether the workers toil in sweatshops or in workers’ paradise, is beside the point.
At least the President could have promoted U.S. manufacturing by giving something made in the U.S.A. Or does Obama think that iPods ARE made in the U.S.A.? Or perhaps this is part of his strategy to use the G-20 Summit to strengthen ties to China.
UPDATE: Jake Tapper is reporting that the iPod contained three Obama speeches, photos of Obama’s inauguration, and photos from the Queen’s prior visits to the U.S. I’m sure Her Majesty can’t wait to snuggle up to a fire at the castle and listen to Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention.