Apple's China Factories Treat Workers 'Like Machines'

New report cites 'inhumane' treatment at Foxconn
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2011 5:36 PM CDT
Protesters picketed Foxconn's general meeting in Hong Kong on June 8, 2010, accusing both the Apple Inc. supplier and computer giant of poor ethics after a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

(Newser) – Workers at the Foxconn factories in China that produce millions of Apple products per year are treated “inhumanely, like machines,” according to a new report. The investigation reveals the poor treatment the 500,000 workers endure as the factories work to meet Western demand for iPhones and iPads: excessive hours, strict rules, and an “anti-suicide” pledge they were urged to sign after a number of employees took their own lives.

Workers routinely take overtime in excess of the 36 hours legally allowed per month; one payslip showed an employee had taken 98 hours in one month. In addition, workers are sometimes pressured to take just one day out of 13 off. Workers with poor performance are sometimes publicly humiliated, and must endure draconian rules—one was forced to sign a “confession letter” because he used a hairdryer. Click for more from the Guardian.

My Take on This Story