Labor

Many of the young Chinese men and women who make our electronics work seven days a week, 12 hours a day with almost no breaks and strict oversight of every move they make.

They live under enormous pressure to reach unattainable daily quotas.

Foxconn is the world’s largest electronic supplier. In recent years, the pressure in the plant has been so great that 26 workers have jumped off the roof. 18 have died. In response, Foxconn has installed safety nets around its dormitories to catch suicidal workers.

A number of workers agreed to speak to us on camera, but to protect their identities we didn’t include their names in the film.

23-year-old female worker for Apple supplier:
“There is a lot of pressure. If a tiny mistake goes down the line, our boss really swears at us. Once I told the supervisor I didn’t want to work overtime. He said there weren’t enough people on the assembly line.  He wouldn’t let me leave. I had to stay. It’s really too long, you get so tired.”

Driven by high demand, factories across the electronics supply chain often ignore basic worker safety. This has resulted in numerous accidents and explosions, killing hundreds and injuring many more.

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The electronics industry has long history of ignoring workers’ health. In the late 1970s to early 90s, thousands of U.S. workers were exposed to chemicals which caused cancer, miscarriages and birth defects.

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Workers’ pay is so low that labor barely makes up for 1% of the most popular smartphones’ cost.

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