We know that most products of Apple or Microsoft are manufactured in China. And – after all – we care about relatively low prices, not the place where a product is made. And if we don’t care about “where”, we surely don’t care about “how” it is manufactured. There surely is no reason to find out more about who made your iPad. Even if people making it work a 35 hour long shifts... Really? Yes, Really.
One of the most famous factories producing everything from Kindles, PlayStations, Xboxes to iPods and iPads is called Foxconn. And it is quite a factory. It employs 800.000 workers (yes – eight hundred thousand people) and is looks like a city within a city. You will find three hospitals, many more restaurants, a fire station, supermarkets and many dorms there. Why dorms and not houses or blocks? Because the workers who work in Foxconn live there and stay in dormitories. They live in rooms shared by up to eight people.
Those roommates usually don’t even know each other names. Why would they even bother when working 18 hour long shifts or sometimes even 35 hour long? In such conditions there is no time for talking and getting to know your roommate better. You just work, eat, sleep, wake up and repeat the ritual. Oh! And earn 31 cents every hour. Yes 31 cents. Imagine being paid this amount of money for whatever YOU do at your job…
I know what you are thinking right now – they should organize and protest so to get better working conditions. Well, if a worker even thinks about forming a union of any kind the management will eventually find out and punish him. Let me give you an example: just for talking about “organizing an union” you can be sentenced to 12 years in prison. Pretty drastic don’t you think?
The working conditions are so bad people actually try to kill themselves every day. Committing suicide seems to be the only way to get out of Foxconn. Foxconn understand the problem and set up a hotline, so workers can call if they think about committing suicide. They also installed special nets around the building to try to catch jumpers.
Now think about this: how do you feel knowing that people are getting exploited just so you could buy an iPad for a few bucks less? Good? I hope not…
Jack Samuelson is a contributing author who writes articles on numerous subjects. He has a wide range of interests, and a soft spot for weird news and funny stories. In his free time he is always looking for a free software directory.