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Life at Foxconn

December 2010

Life at Foxconn, where basically all your computer hardware (notably Apple's) is manufactured:

Everyday, Xiao Li, 18 years old, wakes up at 6 in the morning in a room where she has be assigned by her manager, with 9 other people, coming from 9 different places. On 6h40, she leaves her room, walks down a long road and arrives at the South gate after a 20 minutes walk. She will buy noodles on her way, like every morning. If she eats at the canteen, she will waste time and sleep less. In this giant factory outside Shenzhen, Xiao Li and her 300,000 comrades get ready for a 13 hours a working day (including overtime), six days a week with a 10 minutes break every two hours. Six days a week is normal in China but it can easily turn to 7 days when sudden customers’ orders come up. […]

However, Terry Gou, Foxconn CEO and Taiwanese billionaire, has delivered on his promise to increase salary at Longhua: workers now get 3200 yuans per month, including overtime. It’s a very good salary indeed, even better than the salary of graduate people in many cities. […]

Fragile Foxcoon workers are supposed to be offered psychological support through a hotline phone number. 1/ the calls are not anonymous at all. 2/ Franz Kafka may laugh as these psychologists are simply other workers who have been offered this unusual position overnight after a quick book training. … One worker that we met in a shop said “2 months ago, I mentioned a difficulty to the hotline. The week after, my manager knew about it and said it was no longer his responsibility any more since I had decided to deal with that with the [hotline]. He has lost his trust in me.”

— Jordan Pouille, ‘In the life of the Foxconn young workers