I couldn’t sleep last night and so I got up at about 3 and plugged in This American Life podcast and listened to an absorbing, excellent piece on the Foxconn factory in China.
Foxconn manufactures gadgets for companies such as Apple, Sony, Nintendo and HP and it has appalling working conditions and high suicide rates among its workers. I can’t pretend that I didn’t know about the controversy surrounding Apple and its relationship with Foxconn, but I hadn’t fully understood how despicable working conditions are for the Chinese laborers. Such conditions include child labor; forcing employees to work highly repetitive, numbing assembly-line jobs without any rotation, thus crippling their hands within a few years; forcing people to work overtime and not compensating them for it; and using dangerous chemicals during production that ruin an employee’s health.
You should listen to the podcast yourself. I guarantee you will look at your iphone and any other electrical device differently after you hear it. Will there ever come a time when corporations put humanity above profit? It would take so little effort to put safe working conditions in place for laborers yet nothing is done. For God’s sake… a simple rotation on the assembly line could make the difference in crippling someone’s hands. Apparently, it is too much to demand.