Thousands of Foxconn workers in China went on strike yesterday in protest of the brutal, mind-and-finger-numbing treatment they receive on the iPhone 5 assembly lines. According to China Labor Watch:
In addition to demanding that workers work during the holiday, Foxconn raised overly strict demands on product quality without providing worker training for the corresponding skills. This led to workers turning out products that did not meet standards and ultimately put a tremendous amount of pressure on workers. Additionally, quality control inspectors fell into to conflicts with workers and were beat up multiple times by workers. Factory management turned a deaf ear to complaints about these conflicts and took no corrective measures. The result of both of these circumstances was a widespread work stoppage on the factory floor among workers and inspectors.
The strike involved 3,000 – 4,000 workers and was a direct result of iPhone consumers’ complaints about scratches on their new phones. Imagine the horror! Unboxing your new iPhone 5 to find a small scratch on the aluminum body, the shock running through you when you realize that, when you whip it out nonchalantly in public, someone might notice your less-than-pristine new smartphone. As a consumer, the only thing you really have a right to do in society is complain, and complain you did: straight to Apple, who decided to raise the quality-control demands on the Chinese workers. So basically, your complaining might as well be your lashes upon a poor peasant-turned-industrial-proletarian’s back. Think about that and then share this page on Facebook for iOS.
China was once the world leader of revolutionary socialism, but starting with Deng Xiaoping’s ‘reforms’ (i.e. opening up to corporations, slashing healthcare, arresting the Gang of Four, and basically gutting China of what its people had fought for with Mao), we are now looking at a state-capitalist institution resting on a once-communist legacy for legitimacy. Corporations like Apple have access to the cheapest, most organized labor in the world, and can rely on the Chinese government to squash any dissent. Who’s gonna stop them except the workers themselves? Here’s hoping they do. At least some inspectors (read: overseers) got beat up.
- The Internet WizardTweet