Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Eighth-Grader's Letter to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook:

On the first day of class, I had the students listen to the episode themselves. Then I gave them a homework assignment to write to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas. I wanted these students to have the opportunity to use their voice to help change this unjust and inhumane system, since they couldn’t use the power of their wallets to simply choose more humane electronics.

Below is just one of their letters. I hope it will inspire you to also use your voice to create change.

Dear Mr. Cook,

I am an eighth grader from Maine, and I have recently listened to the Public Radio broadcast, “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory.” This story, which I assume you may have heard, was told by a man named Mike Daisey, who is a devotee of your company, and independently went to one of your supplier’s factories in Shenzhen, China.

I am writing to you and Apple because of what Mike Daisey, and other sources, have witnessed in the Apple Factory, Foxconn. I learned many things in Mr. Daisey’s talk, the first being that your products are assembled manually by humans in massive Asian factories. The second fact is Foxconn’s workers, the hundreds of thousands of them, have very low wages. And the third and most distressing thing that Mike Daisey saw was the employee’s hands. Carpal tunnel at young ages, hands ruined by the continuous motions of assembling the same piece over and over again. I, at this moment, feel so lucky to live in a place where I will never have to do such a job.

I feel it is my civil duty to write to you in the hope that with a collective effort, your prestigious company can rise out of the cult of inhumane factories.

I am not suggesting that you change your whole system, for I am aware that it is important for Apple to make money, and these people to have jobs, but Apple can make small changes, like shorter work hours, rotations on the lines, and/or slightly larger wages, to deeply change many lives.

Thank you for your consideration, Mr. Cook.


Abigail Frost (age 13)