How it really looks in the Chinese factories where Apple is assembled iPad? After a radio report on child labor and dangerous toxins from Apple‘s suppliers has been exposed as false, now allowed a camera crew filming the iPad production.
The factories, in which Apple‘s high-tech gadgets are built, they are normally off limits to outsiders. Only those who work there must, in there. Now, Apple‘s main supplier, the Foxconn Group, made an exception. Journalist Rob Schmitz was allowed to look at the largest factory of the company – and that was no accident.
For Schmitz, the chief of the Shanghai Bureau of Market Place, a news service of the nonprofit American Public Media (APM), had revealed that a critical radio report was greatly exaggerated over the working conditions at Foxconn , some named therein details were even invented. The charge station withdrew the report, the author confessed to have kept himself in his account not to facts.
Schmitz was allowed to take Foxconn’s factory in Longhua, in the industrial city Senzhen even a look. Nearly a quarter of a million people work there, well a fifth of them on the premises. This is indeed a determining impression Schmitz: When you enter the premises, has not the feeling of walking into a factory. Much more it reminds of an autonomous campus in town, with bars, restaurants, sports courts, a swimming pool and even its own radio station, “Radio Foxconn.”
Hundreds of jobs are at
But he also saw things that made him thoughtful. For example, networks that are attached to all buildings. 2010 had shaken the group a series of suicide , and Apple‘s tarnished his image. Several workers had fallen from the buildings to death. But now nothing of that desperation can be seen. Instead, Schmitz shows long lines of those willing to work. 500 people were queued on the day of the video shoot for a job at Foxconn, he says, many of which had arrived from the interior.
Here, the salary of Foxconn workers from a Western perspective still appears modest. $ 14 to Schmitz, in his short video from the factory, a worker would earn per day. And here come the employees do not sweat, at least not in the two-minute film. Otherwise, you can see it working, composed in clean work clothes iPads on machines.
Foxconn’s factory is also an island of bliss? Hardly, for in his ” Reporters Notebook “Schmitz also writes about the other side of the work in the iPad factory. It will even complain no one seriously, when he asked the workers outside the factory and unnoticed by superiors. Compared with life in the impoverished country’s interior is a job at Foxconn is still desirable, can be read out there.
Robot instead of workers
And yet it is also dull and monotonous when you run for days one and the same movement needs to sue the respondents. At worst, however, were the immediate supervisor, the foreman, who rule their dominions seem like little kingdoms. They would arrange to be far too much overtime and allow their subordinates to do this extra work claims.
But on the other hand wants Foxconn founder Terry Gou has already found a way. In the summer of 2011 he announced that one million robots wanting to buy, to do the routine work. In the long term it would be cheaper than increasing wages to pay the legions of workers who assemble the center now in the factory equipment.
Whether that would be right but, to be replaced by machines, is another question. For many who work in the southern Chinese factories is still better than just an existence in China‘s poorer middle. But also because Foxconn has worked: The next factories, Schmitz, should continue to develop inland, closer to the workers. And probably closer to work to workers who are willing to even lower wages than their colleagues in the factories in the south.