A Chinese journalist has shone on a light on the working conditions that prompted a riot at the Foxconn factory assembling the iPhone 5.
MCV reported yesterday that police were called to calm a brawl involving some 2,000 workers. The disturbance was prompted by the poor conditions that workers have to tolerate.
Journalist Wang Yu spent some time working undercover at Foxconn assembling the iPhone 5. As reported by MIC Gadget, he now suffers what is described as a “painful muscle memory”. Every time he sees an Apple logo he suddenly experiences pain and numbness – a mental flashback to the pain caused by hours of mindless and repetitive manufacture.
"The production line I'm arranged in originally needs at least 17 workers, but due to too many worker resign recently, there's only 7-8 workers left now," one worker revealed.
"Despite having not enough workers, we are still being asked to meet the same original production target of 5,600 rear panels a day. We are all over stressed."
"The cooling agent used to cool the machines which release a very unbearable smell which is bad for our nose and our throat. Originally, we are supposed to be given a new mask everyday, but we are only being given a new mask every week now, this is ridiculous."
Others spoke of being “totally lost and hopeless” once they had become embedded in the Foxconn work culture.
It was also claimed that workers had no means by which to raise concerns about their working and living conditions, meaning that violence is increasingly being seen as the only way of getting their views noticed.
And with demand for iPhone 5 currently through the roof, western consumers should keep in mind the human cost of their consumerist lust.