Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Apple workers in China

A majority of our technology is from China, it may say "Designed in America" or "Packaged in Britain" but most likely it has been made in Asia. Where employees work almost 12 hours a day, (including over-time) and are paid a mere $1 per hour. They are subjected to a high rate of workplace injuries, mass layoffs of older staff, lack of benefits and abusive treatment by bosses.

Around 1,000 Chinese workers at Jingmo Electronics, a plant that manufacturers components for Apple, as-well as IBM dropped their tools this week to protest against enforced over-time and work conditions.

The workers had been urged to sign a "anti-suicide" pledge promising that they won't kill themselves and to "Treasure their lives", after a series of employee deaths the year prior.

"The China Labour Watch (CLW) calls upon Apple, IBM and the other clients of this factory to assume responsibility for these workers’ dissatisfaction and work with the factory to improve the working conditions in the factory" - China Labour Watch (CLW)

Earlier this year it was reported that 17 factory workers from another plant (Foxconn), had taken their lives, jumping off the plants roof. One of those jumpers left a note explaining that he committed suicide to provide for his family, the program of remuneration for the families of jumpers was then immediately canceled. After the 11th suicide Foxconn decided to skirt every building with nets.
Foxconn's and its close business partner, Apple defended the factory conditions but failed to explain the 17 deaths. Apple confirmed that workers were working approximately 8.6 hours everyday and claimed that their were “no instances of forced overtime”.

No one really cares where their technology comes from, they just want it. I trust the giant organisations that are Apple and IBM to sweep all of this mayhem in China under the carpet and pretend like it never happened.

Just clarify, 17 out of 400,000 people is much lower than the national average of roughly 88 out of 400,000 people per year, but 17 people in one workplace is huge.

Sources:

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