Today, owning an Apple product exudes pride. We flaunt it, admire it and wait for a worthy successor to it, which we’re assured of each time. This time, however it will be circumvented with a lot of guilt.
If reports are to be believed then even as I’m typing this; workers in the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, Southern China are being made victims of torture in the form of public humiliation and inhuman working conditions. The reason: to double the production of iPads and iPhones that has achieved great popularity levels. This phenomenon has been around for a while now, and it first came to light in May, last year. Around 7, young Chinese workers in the Foxconn factory committed suicide. All the 7 workers were employed in the iPad production unit. Post this shocker, 9 Chinese sociologists pressed the cause of putting an end to the torturous working conditions in the Foxconn factory.
Accounts of several previous and existing workers have painted a shocking picture. Contradicting Apple’s diktats for the employees, these workers are made to work for inhumanely long hours. Workers, most of them in the 18 – 20 age brackets are made to deliver 60 – 80 hours of overtime monthly. While the factory officials claimed this to be a voluntary choice made by the workers to earn some extra buck to supplement their otherwise poor pay; the pay slip of one of the workers revealed that one worker actually put in 98 hours of overtime. Adding to the worker woes is the system of public humiliation that the workers are subject to. Apparently, actions like talking or laughing loudly, using a kettle or a hair-dryer attracts public humiliations, wherein workers are made to stand in front of the other workers, or made to write confession letters.