VIDEO: Man Works Undercover iPhone Factory And There’s Good Reason For Suicide Nets
We don’t realize how incredibly fortunate we are to live in a society where we can afford all of these wonderful electronic toys. We often take for granted that these incredibly advanced gadgets are only affordable because they are made in faraway lands where workers don’t get paid as much as they would in our country and work much longer hours in less pleasant conditions. Case in point, the iPhone. One man went undercover to find out for himself the conditions for the workers at a factory that makes iPhones and it wasn’t a walk in the park.
Dejian Zeng went undercover for six weeks at a Pegatron factory in Shanghai, China for his “summer project.” Dejian is a better man than I. My summer project is to see if I can tell the difference between $30 tequila and $50 tequila. Starting a 7:30 p.m., the NYU graduate worked 12 hours a day and had one job – attaching one screw to the speaker and the case of the iPhone. That’s it. For 10.5 hours Dejian screwed one lousy screw. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
He worked six days a week and breaks were not paid. For all of his screwing, Dejian was paid $450 per month including overtime.
Employees receive one uniform and one pair of slippers for the entire week.
Employees lived in dorm rooms that looked like prison cells from an episode of “Locked Up Abroad.” Dejian lived with seven other employees.
Coincidentally, most of the employees did not have iPhones, but rather cheaper Chinese handsets.
Dejian was most shocked by the decorum of the managers, “yelling at the workers was kind of routine in the factory.”
There was one job perk for the employees – the company installed nets around the stairs to prevent people from committing suicide. The factory also had a cages on the ceiling so you couldn’t hang yourself or kill yourself by jumping out of a window. You do realize nobody just installs anti-suicide measures. The company was forced to install suicide deterrents because it was happening so often. Wikipedia reports that an estimated 18 employees for Foxconn, a company that manufacturers iPhones for Apple, attempted suicide in 2010, 14 died.
Be thankful for your extremely lucky place in life.