A British newspaper called Mail on Sunday ran a critical report (not online) on Apple iPod factory conditions in China, including one in “Suzhou, Shanghai” (is that like Greenwich, London?). Wired picked up on this and had this to say:
According to the report (paraphrased here by Macworld UK), Foxconn’s giant Longhua plant employs 200,000 workers, who work 15-hour days but are paid just $50 a month — miserable even by China’s standards. It claims they work and live in the plant, in dormitories housing 100 people, and outside visitors are forbidden.
The report says another plant that makes Apple’s iPod shuffle in Suzhou, Shanghai, employs mostly women, because they are more trustworthy. Another factory is secured by Chinese police officers, the paper said.
Workers at these factories earn more — about $100 a month — but are not housed by the company. The paper says rent and living costs eat up about half the worker’s salaries.
It should be no surprise that Chinese factory workers are low paid but the report makes conditions sound positively Dickensian.
Here’s basically the same information from The Guardian.
* We are not getting on our high horse. We are pretending to, just to piss off those people who hate it when others get on their high horses — which is their own kind of high horse, if you think about it.
Photo from Roel’s Flickr page.