Today Apple debuted its latest offering, the iPhone 5 – but not everyone is thrilled with the news. For workers at the Foxconn factory in China, today is the culmination of hours of work under grueling conditions for embarrassingly low pay. To bring these conditions to light, the Chinese news agency The Shanghai Evening Post sent a journalist to work undercover in the Foxconn factory that produced the iPhone 5, revealing just what it takes to bring the new gadget to consumers.
The journalist, who has asked to remain anonymous, spent 10 days journaling his experiences at the Foxconn factory before quitting due to “undesirable conditions.” Of these 10 days, 7 of were spent in training and 3 on the factory floor assembling the back plates of the iPhone 5. Throughout his 10 days, the journalist documented his experiences with bribery, dorm room hallways filled with trash, cockroaches and an endless line of iPhone back plates.
On day one, the journalist’s reports that he was required to fill out a questionnaire concerning his mental health, including questions such as “Have you got into a state of mental trance recently?” Once in the dorm rooms, new sheets were issued to workers that are filled with dirt and ashes. The smell of trash is prevalent. On day two, the journalist signs his Foxconn employment contract, which mentions “Possible harmful effects that may cause to worker during production.”
During training, the employees are instructed that they “might feel uncomfortable of how we treat you, but this is all for your own good.” While discussing the recent suicide issues at the Foxconn factory, an employee comments that with such bad living conditions, there will surely be more suicides. Once on the factory floor, the pressure to perform is intense: the journalist is repeatedly scolded and is plagued by a neck ache and muscle pain after hours on the assembly line. One exhausted co-worker is asked to stand in a corner for 10 minutes as punishment for trying to rest. Overtime is encouraged, though the pay for overtime equals roughly 4 US dollars for two hours. A full translation of the journal can be found at M.I.C. Gadget, who translated the Shanghai Evening Post story for English speakers.
Via the Daily Mail