Apple has recently come under fire for the reported abuses at their chinese factories operated by Foxconn. As chinese workers come forward with more and more instances of abuse, American have started their own campaign, calling for Apple to take action on behalf of the workers.
Despite the abuses, many still clamor to Foxconn with hopes of earning a paycheck to help feed their family. Now an 18 year old student has come forward to discuss her experiences at Foxconn building Apple Brand products.
She reports that her first month at Foxconn consisted of a 60 hour work weeks attaching stickers to the front of iPad screens on an assembly line (doesn’t sound that different from what Americans are doing).
Under the alias Ms. Chen she describes her work at Foxconn to CNN:
“It’s so boring, I can’t bear it anymore, everyday is like: I get off from work and I go to bed. I get up in the morning, and I go to work. It is my daily routine and I almost feel like an animal.”
Ms. Chen is studying to become a biologist so that she doesn’t have to work at Foxconn again. Foxconn e-mailed a statement to CNN addressing the issue of abuse in their factories:
“Foxconn takes our responsibility to our employees very seriously and we work hard to give our 1.2 million employees in China a safe and positive working environment and compensation and benefits that are competitive with all of our industry peers in that location,”
I sympathize with the chinese people and the horrible abuses and exploitations they have suffered through, but I don’t see Ms. Chen’s story as one of abuse. Many people in developed nations work over 60 hours a week and are bored with their job. This doesn’t constitute abuse claims. She chose to work at Foxconn, they didn’t enslave her there. I am sure she was paid for her work regardless of how meager that pay was.
Hopefully Foxconn and Apple are taking legitimate steps to improve working conditions in China. I hate to think about the sacrifices early Americans had to make to build up the industry in this country. I think many citizens have forgotten the sacrifices made in the name of our lands. China will continue to grow and evolve economically, it will be interesting to see how they decide to treat their people and make policies to protect them.