Apple manufacturing plant workers complain of long hours and militant culture
Chengdu, China (CNN) — Miss Chen (we changed her name for this story), an 18-year-old student from a village outside of the southern megacity of Chongqing, is one of more than one million factory workers at a Chinese company that helps manufacture products for Apple Inc.’s lucrative global empire, which ranked in a record $46.3 billion in sales last quarter. They work day or night shifts, eating and sleeping at company facilities, as they help build electronics products for Apple and many other global brand names, such as Amazon’s Kindle and Microsoft’s Xbox.
As a poor college student with no work experience, looking for a job in China’s competitive market is an uphill battle. So when Chen was offered a one-month position at Foxconn with promises of great benefits and little overtime, she jumped at the chance. But when she started working, she found out that only senior employees got such benefits.
“During my first day of work, an older worker said to me, ‘Why did you come to Foxconn? Think about it again and leave right now’,” said Chen, who plans to return to her studies at a Chongqing university soon.
Foxconn recently released a statement defending its corporate practices, stating its employees are entitled to numerous benefits including access to health care and opportunities for promotions and training. In response to questions from CNN, Apple also released a statement: “We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to these requirements if they want to keep doing business with Apple.”
After three weeks of applying more than 4,000 stickers a day onto iPad screens by hand and working 60 hours a week in an assembly line, Chen says she’s ready to go back to school and study hard so she’ll never have to return to Foxconn. “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,” said Miss Chen. When asked why humans do machine-like work at Foxconn, she responds, “Well, humans are cheaper.”
Adaptado de http://edition.cnn.com, consulta em 06/02/2012
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