Friday, April 5, 2013 | 2 a.m.
We know of the company founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs and its humble beginnings. In January 2013, Apple fell to the second most-valuable corporation on the planet, behind ExxonMobil. Its stock was worth $422 billion. Apple sometimes has more cash in its bank accounts than the U.S. Treasury. But that does not make Apple an all-American company to be revered.
Its first three plants in the Western U.S. closed, and all production moved to China.
The move to China was quiet and hardly noticed because Apple collaborated with China and had built plants that carried the name of their Chinese contractor while making only Apple products.
The Apple story went viral in 2012 when The New York Times published accounts of worker abuse and harsh working conditions. Workers in these plants worked 10- to 12-hour days, often 10 days in a row without overtime pay. Their pay was about $1 per day. Apple pledged to improve conditions but did not follow through; instead, Apple moved production further inland in China, where there is less oversight.
In 2011, Steve Jobs’ replacement as CEO received a compensation package of $380 million. That is roughly equal to the combined annual salaries of 10,000 American factory workers. I am sure the Koch brothers and other U.S. multinational corporations would approve of this business model, but anyone with a conscience should be disgusted.
Apple’s stock has fallen recently, and it could not happen to a more deserving company.