And Foxconn said well you know “We are gonna pay them more.”
That pay raise never materialized by the way. They, they promised to pay them 30% more, which I always think is fascinating if any employer can afford to raise the salaries of all their employees by 30% overnight.
To me that sounds like something where you might have been underpaying people.
Brian Lamb: How much did you learn they were paying them?
Mike Daisey: Oh they are paying them, I believe the median salary when I, when I arrived was something around ah, ah $107, a $114 dollars a month something like that.
Which doesn’t sound very much to us but be honest you know? The thrust of my investigations and thrust of the piece that I created is not actually very concerned with the amount they are paid.
That’s actually a good wage in that area of China, in terms of what you need ah commenced with what your expenses are.
What they need isn’t actually more money. What they need is, humane working conditions.
You know they need that ah recognition that they are human beings. That’s actually more important than their wages being increased.
The simple respect ah that workers should have, who are craftsman, who make things, ah then so they can have a life.
Brian Lamb: Did Steve Jobs know this and has he seen your point or your monologue?
Mike Daisey: Uhm I think he knows this.
Brian Lamb: Which I know when you go the theatre you ask people this? You give them…
Mike Daisey: Yeah
Brian Lamb: You give the people the, the email address
Mike Daisey: I do, I do. Steve Jobs have this very long running ah policy that he responds to email sometimes and so uhm, ah uhm, I so yes I do I give his email address,
And I tell people to write to him about, about their experiences here in the theatre, and if they have questions you know? Ask them. Ask Apple to be open with them.
Uhm and he’s responded to a large number of people who have written to him about this and uhm a number of these people forwarded his responses to me.
And so uhm I know he’s aware of this show, he has not seen it. Uhm but I know that his principal response is uhm, ah, ah, well basically is uhm…
“Mike ah, I don’t think Mike appreciates the complexities of the situation.”
Which you know? I think is a fine response which actually indicate some degree that’d be recognizing there was situation and then you know?
Someone from Apple you know wanted to talk about the complexities of 12 year olds putting the other electronics. I’ll be happy to listen to that conversation.
Mike Daisey: I found a list of the companies that used Foxconn.
Brian Lamb: Oh yeah.
Ah why didn’t you give up your Apple stuff if it bothered you that much?
Mike Daisey: Oh well I mean if I give it up then where will I? There are no humane electronics today. I mean will just have to get more.
Brian Lamb: Today?
Mike Daisey: No there are none, there are none. Any electronics not made by uhm Foxconn are still by large produced in the Special Economic Zone by other factories in conditions that are the same or even worst.
So you know? If I get rid of my electronics I simply have to buy more electronics and then I perpetuated the problem.
And also I think it cuts the heart of uhm, what this monologue is trying to address, which is that these devices have become part of our consciousness itself.
Like they change us the way we relate to the world. I can’t just opt out of my culture. Like there is like a viable way where one can live with uh.. honour.