CNN’s Stan Grant interviewed Miss Chen, a Foxconn employee who requested that her real name be withheld for fear of facing criminal charges, talked about working conditions at a Foxconn factory.
Chen is a Chongqing university student, and she speaks with Grant about the treatment she gets. Her face is blurred, and she talks about how the working conditions have made her feel like an “animal.” She explains that Foxconn has taken up her days. She works, goes to bed, wakes up for work, and so on. Employees aren’t allowed to speak on the floor, they must work several hours a day and she says benefits are terrible.
Foxconn’s stance is more of a “if you don’t like it you are free to leave” thing, but people need to make a living. Of course that’s tough when you make less than a dollar an hour like Chen does. She says she is leaving to go back to school (her job is a one-month position) and has no interest in returning as she works to become a biologist. When asked about why machines aren’t used for this sort of work, she answers truthfully, “Well, humans are cheaper.”
Apple did respond to the story, and Tim Cook said that Apple cares about all employees in the pipeline. However, Chen still doesn’t believe that the companies care. Let’s hope Apple truly wants to improve working conditions and isn’t just trying to get some good PR.