After The New York Times published a lengthy two-part piece covering the controversial working conditions of Apple’s supply chain within Foxconn factories in China, other publications have been doing their own investigative work to find out more. The NYT’s second installment brought us the backstory of Foxconn worker Lai Xiaodong before before being killed in a factory explosion in Chengdu. Today, CNNpublished a video of journalist Stan Grant who recently sat down for an interview with a current Foxconn employee and iPad display assembler:
“I can’t bear it anymore. Everyday was like, I get off from work and I go to bed. I get up in the morning, and I go to work. It became my daily routine and I almost felt like I was some kind of animal.”
The video starts off with Grant showing Miss Chen, who requested her name be changed for the interview, the finished iPad she helps assemble on a daily basis but had never used. Miss Chen told CNN her Foxconn bosses informed her not to talk with media or “criminal liability shall be investigated according to law.” Chen, a poor Chongqing university student, said she took the one-month job with no experience on promises of “great benefits and little overtime.” Chen described her experience upon arriving at Foxconn:
“During my first day of work, an older worker said to me, ‘why did you come to Foxconn? Don’t ever think about it again and leave right now’…Foxconn employees have a saying, “they use women as men and men as machines… there’s another way of saying it, ‘they use women as men, and use men as animals.”
“We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. We insist that our suppliers provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made. Our suppliers must live up to these requirements if they want to keep doing business with Apple.”
Miss Chen plans on returning to her studies at Chongqing university after her one-month position expires, with plans to become a biologist. So why does Chen think Foxconn uses humans for “machine-like work”?