Saturday, June 26, 2010

For missing an iPhone

From a Caixin Weekly report on a spate of suicides at Foxconn, which
manufactures iPhones for Apple:

"Robots and other machines usually perform these tasks in developed
countries, where manual piecework is generally an anachronism. But in
China, people are used.

The science behind this labor management method was imported from
America, where it was developed by Fredrick W. Taylor in the 19th
century. Like Foxconn, most Chinese manufacturers in Shenzhen and
other parts of China's factory-rich Pearl River Delta depend on the
Taylor method to churn out standardized products.

'This management approach means that a worker is only part of a
machine, not an independent human being or a member of a social
community,' said Guo Jun, director of democratic management at the All
China Federation of Trade Unions.


Harsh rule enforcement may have contributed to a suicide last year.
Sun Danyong, who counted Iphones at the plant, killed himself in
August after security staffers claimed he was responsible for a
missing phone.

Online conversations between Sun and friends point to possible torture
by security staffers before he died. Coincidentally, a video posted
online around the same time showed two workers at Foxconn's Beijing
campus allegedly being beaten by 20 security guards."