Feedback wanted- Virtual Tip Jar for workers' welfare

madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 17, 2003
2,922
33
Los Angeles, CA
Hey everybody,

I've been mulling over an idea the last few days regarding this issue. Basically, every few months there is a article somewhere about factory conditions in China, there's a bunch of brouhaha, and then we all go back to our lives, Apple (and other companies) sell millions of phones and tablets, life continues.

I was thinking of setting of a 'online tip jar' for people to help. The idea is this- buy a phone/tablet/game console/etc., and drop a small tip in the jar that will go towards investigating/advocating/fighting for worker rights and more humane working conditions. (you can obviously donate anytime, but I liked the idea of the tip jar.) A dime, a dollar, ten dollars- whatever you want.

Since almost all of our stuff is made in China, my first thought was for donations to go for groups focused on China. But perhaps you could also choose to donate towards organizations that promote manufacturing in your home country, or other related causes.

There are groups who really work on these things, I thought the idea of a tip jar is very easy and relatable, and relates directly to the stuff we buy. It's also non-judgemental- the point is not to make people feel guilty about buying stuff or make any particular party the 'bad guy', but simply a way to help. Because it's not just an Apple thing- there's basically no way to really veto or protest any of this unless you don't own a computer or cell phone.

I originally had this idea when listening to a This American Life episode about a Apple enthusiast who travelled to China by himself to talk to FoxConn workers.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

There have also been a couple of high profile NY Times articles recently:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/b...and-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html

There are organizations mentioned in the This American Life episode as well as the NY Times articles that work to improve workers' rights, so I know the money can be put to good use.

I haven't done any work on this yet, other than brainstorm a bit on how to set it up. Basically a web site with a Paypal non-profit account to collect donations, along with of course some relevant content. And then some work to publicize it. If I set it up and at the end of the day only collect $75 that gets put to constructive use, it will have been worth my time.

Let me know what you think-
 
Last edited:

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
The biggest challenge here will be getting the money to the people you want to give it to. The website and to some extent convincing people to donate will be child's play in comparison.
 

madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 17, 2003
2,922
33
Los Angeles, CA
The biggest challenge here will be getting the money to the people you want to give it to. The website and to some extent convincing people to donate will be child's play in comparison.
Thanks for the reply! I have barely started researching this, but here are a couple of organizations I found to start:

http://sacom.hk/mission
https://www.bsr.org/en/about

SACOM in particular is mentioned (and interviewed) in the podcast I linked to. But again just barely starting on this.

I think donating to groups that actively strive to improve workers conditions would be the most expedient way to do it.
 

mrjosh

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2009
112
0
Thanks for starting the research. It's a good idea. It's amazing - 7 pages of people chiming in with opinions, yet you are the only one that took action. I'll have to check out these 2 organizations. Good job getting this ball rolling!
 

madmaxmedia

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 17, 2003
2,922
33
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks for starting the research. It's a good idea. It's amazing - 7 pages of people chiming in with opinions, yet you are the only one that took action. I'll have to check out these 2 organizations. Good job getting this ball rolling!
Thanks for the encouragement!

Maybe Apple should start the tip jar with a few bucks of their $100 billion.
Whether they have or haven't, or do or don't, is largely beyond our control. Hence the idea for this- it's something we each have control over, even if it's on a small micro-scale.

The discussion on that thread is great, it only leads to more awareness whatever your opinion. But it would be nice if that awareness also directly led to some small actions towards (more) progress.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.