Chinese say “iQuit!”
|Article first published as China Toils While You Enjoy Your iPad 2 on Technorati.|
Don’t get angry at your parents if they weren’t able to get you a shiny iPad 2 for your birthday because of low inventory! Think about the poor Chinese workers who are working 24/7 just to fulfill the worldwide demand of the iPad 2 while they themselves get as little as $186 per month.
The workers at Foxconn (Apple’s manufacturing partner) are made to sign a “no suicide” pact, work about a 100 hours overtime, stand for over 14 hours per day and are subjected to humiliation by the managers. The workers are often reduced to tears and are exposed to harmful diseases.
Last year, Apple had visited China after 13 suicides had been committed in the Foxconn factory due to inhumane working conditions and had apparently “improved” working conditions in the Chinese factories.
However, when the SACOM (Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour) visited the Chinese factories this year, they found that the working conditions have deteriorated again. The labourers said that they were often demeaned and scolded by the management. One proletarian was coerced to stand in a corner with his hands behind his back just because he was seen sharing a joke with a colleague. Others have been compelled to write embarrassing apology letters to the management and have been made to read them out in front of an audience.
According to the Chinese law system, a worker is not supposed to do more than 36 hours of overtime per month. But, the management at Foxconn has little regard for the rules and makes labourers work about a 100 hours of overtime per month. Not only this, they have to work their regular 174 hours of work per month, as well. Many workers skip meals just to go home earlier than usual. One worker said-“The machines in our department are in operation 24/7. If some colleagues go out for dinner, then the workers who stay in the workshop have to take care of three machines at the same time”
The health hazards posed by the aluminum dust are very high. The workers are not given adequate protection from the dangerous chemical reactions taking place. One toiler refers to himself as a vacuum cleaner as his nostrils are totally black at the end of each day. A 22-year-old woman developed rashes on her body because of the industrial alcohol that she had to use to remove the excessive glue from those “cool” Smart Covers.
A typical day in the life of an iPad 2 manufacturing factory employee-
6:45 am– Wake up
7:15 am– A queue for the bus starts
7:40 am– Arrive at Foxconn and have a mediocre breakfast
8:10 am– Work Assembly
8:30 am– Work Begins
11:20 am– Lunch
12:20 am– Work resumes
5:20 pm– Dinner
6:20 pm– Overtime begins
8:20 pm– The workers leave the factory
9 pm– Arrive home, dead-tired.
Meanwhile, Apple is set to become the world’s first trillion dollar company. There have been rumors suggesting that it already has. Apple has sold every single iPad that these Chinese workers have put in their blood, sweat and tears to produce. I’d suggest you loosen those purse strings, Mr. Jobs! 😐