Conflict materials have been discussed before, but with this report, it looks like Cobalt will be added to the list. It was very encouraging that Apple said it is going to add it to its list of conflict materials.
If you read this excellent Cobalt mining article from the Washington Post, it will make you feel very concerned about this practice. It is unfair the wages that are being paid for this and the conditions and unreasonable risk that are done.
As you can see to the left, this is the hole that diggers climb into to do their job. There is a high risk of injury, cave and so many other risks. This is not an acceptable business practice. Everyone in every job should have a safe, clean work environment. If a profit can’t be made with someone treating the workers fairly, then we need to pay more so that everyone is ok.
This brings back to mind the argument about paying fast-food workers a living wage. I love that NY had a $15 minimum fast food wage as an example of what should be paid. My first job was in a small town at a fast food place and minimum wage was paid but they also played games which meant you made less than minimum. For example, they would schedule you to start at 10 but say that you weren’t needed and tell you to wait until you were needed. They wouldn’t pay you until you were “on the clock” which meant that you wasted your time waiting until when you were needed. Lots of stupid games. I have no doubt that this practice continues in badly managed places.
When I read about people like this article with bad work conditions I am amazed at the lack of oversight about job conditions. There is clearly a lack of legality in this kind of work environment. Businesses that make a profit on their employees’ ignorance I don’t support. It is our job as consumers to choose ethical businesses that support their workers.
No one spoke up for me and demanded change when I had a bad work environment, but you and I can demand change for people in this situation.