Well, in America’s never-ending search for more profits through exploitation, a rash of suicides has broken out at the Shenzhen, China factory where ipads are being made. While we leisurely read our books on the $500+ devices, the Chinese assembly line workers (250,000 of them) toil to keep up with the production of the units.
In doing so, it appears that the stress and monotony of the job has caught up with at least ten of the plant’s employees, who committed suicide. Maybe if we delve into the working conditions we can understand things better. First off, conversation on the assembly lines is prohibited. Workers are given a 10-minute bathroom break every two hours, and the workers are yelled at frequently by management.
Sounds like wonderful working conditions. But, of course let us remember that these factory workers are lucky to be making the ipads because they are being paid much more than workers at other factories…$293 a month! Imagine, two months of round-the-clock work to even think about buying an entry-level ipad! Oh, they are treated real nice there!
The workers are put up in living dormitories as many as 8 to a room. The 1.16 square mile facility run by Foxconn has its own hospital and restaurants — everything you need to keep the workers on base. But let’s not think that the company isn’t being proactive when it comes to the suicides… we have learned that Foxconn has recently installed netting around the outdoor stairwells of the dorms to prevent people from jumping. Well done, problem solved! And, in the Corporate America way to resolve any problem — they will throw some money at it by increasing wages for the employees around 30%. Good deal.
Just another example of corporations squeezing profits on the backs of others. With two million ipads sold within 60 days, Apple has been seemingly able tobuy two workers for an entire month for less than the cost of one entry-level ipad. So, read your books, enjoy yourself this summer knowing that the nets will be there to catch the employees who assembled your reading device!