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Tuesday, May 24News That Matters

Dying for an iPhone

On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to Professor Jenny Chan about the people in China who make iPhones, iPads and Kindles, driving the huge profits of two of the world’s most powerful companies – Foxconn, the world’s largest provider of electronics manufacturing services, and Apple with its $2 trillion in market value.

Jenny Chan, along with Mark Selden and Pun Ngai, did extensive field research for almost a decade to produce their book Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and The Lives of China’s Workers . What they show is that workers in China earn a fraction of what unionized workers in the United States earn. They have no job protection, are forced to work punishing hours of overtime, as much as 130 hours of overtime a month, live under constant surveillance, are severely disciplined for minor infractions and must meet punishing quotes that leave the physically drained and something injured and sick.
They are separated from their families, including their children, and housed in overcrowded dormitories next to the factories that have round-the-clock production. There is little protection from chemicals and toxins, such as aluminum dust. Factories in addition to his abuse, exploit student interns from vocation schools, paying them even lower salaries than ordinary workers. Their efforts to organize and protest are usually violently crushed, with workers being beaten, jailed and fired. There has been a spate of worker suicides, forcing factories to put up barriers and nets.

Chris Hedges: “Dying for an iPhone”

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18 Comments

  • Bao Bao

    who get most of the profit (wester capital funds); whow disign and own such factories, how look such factories in other countries (often more worth); how long they work (maby 10 years with a money bucked to start something onwn); who orga insestents in automation and infrastructure (CCP),; who is fighting this back (us) – we are lookin in our neolib-mirror !

  • Ben Yeo

    Very good insight on how the early industrial revolution of China and how western Multi National and Chinese government collaborate to exploit the work force. What a big sacrifice by the Chinese government and the early young workers of China.l certainly hope that as China gets richer, their working conditions, benefits and income improve. It would be great if study or investigation could be carried out comparing then and now.

  • F A

    Chris, I believe that you do Not did your homework properly. PLEASE CHECK HER origins and Her Associates. I will not be surprised if you find out her links to NED.

  • Uncle Larry Has A Small Dick

    Owning a phone is like voting. You get a samsung you get an inferior pos. You get an iphone its given to you w slave labor theres no winning.

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