It only takes the sight of an Apple logo to trigger the ‘painful muscle memory’ Journalist Wang Yu experienced as a Foxconn factory worker assembling the iPhone 5.
This is after only ten days at the factory, only three of which were actually spent working on the iPhone 5.
After over 2,000 workers were involved in a brawl that shut down a factory, M.I.C. Gadget contacted the reporter, who claims that for some workers, violence is seen as the only way of adressing their poor working conditions.
“I’m only here to learn some business as I’ve never been to such a large factory before, but now I feel totally loss and hopeless after I came in…“ said one employee, who holds an Engineering certificate.
The windows on the worker dormitories are barred as a result of a rash of suicides at the plant, and managers tell the workers that though they may not like their treatment, it’s all for their own good.
“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," said Zhao Fei, age 21.
"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!“
Another worker spoke of the swelling in his hands after the first day of iPhone 5 production.
Workers are sometimes forced to work at the factory by their families, who believe the factory holds prospects for workers not available in other professions.
One such employee claims that as a baker he earned as much in four hours as he does in eight at the Foxcomm plant.
With Apple claiming sales of the iPhone 5 reached over five million in its first weekend, it is unlikely that conditions will improve without pressure from Apple or government authorities.