More on high-tech factories

“When his days ended, he would retreat to a small bedroom just big enough for a mattress, wardrobe and a desk where he obsessively played an online game called Fight the Landlord.”

[…]

“Banners on the walls warned the 120,000 employees: “Work hard on the job today or work hard to find a job tomorrow.” Apple’s supplier code of conduct dictates that, except in unusual circumstances, employees are not supposed to work more than 60 hours a week. But at Foxconn, some worked more, according to interviews, workers’ pay stubs and surveys by outside groups. Mr. Lai was soon spending 12 hours a day, six days a week inside the factory, according to his paychecks. Employees who arrived late were sometimes required to write confession letters and copy quotations.”

[…]

“The iPad had gone on sale just weeks earlier, and workers were told thousands of cases needed to be polished each day. The factory was frantic, employees said. Rows of machines buffed cases as masked employees pushed buttons. Large air ducts hovered over each station, but they could not keep up with the three lines of machines polishing nonstop. Aluminum dust was everywhere. ”

[…]

“When workers in the cafeteria ran outside, they saw black smoke pouring from shattered windows. It came from the area where employees polished thousands of iPad cases a day.

Two people were killed immediately, and over a dozen others hurt. As the injured were rushed into ambulances, one in particular stood out. His features had been smeared by the blast, scrubbed by heat and violence until a mat of red and black had replaced his mouth and nose.”

In China, Human Costs are Built Into an iPad

As well as all the Apple gadgets, Foxconn makes the Xbox, PS3, Wii, and the Kindle. Other suppliers, including Pegatron and Wintek, are also accused of unsafe working practices.

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