Remember our breaking undercover journalist story being reported a week ago? Regarding the most recent riot, we have contacted the same undercover journalist called Wang Yu via QQ (China’s most popular IM software) and he has something to say. He made 3 very close friends during the 10 days stay in the Taiyuan Foxconn factory and he talks about their miserable life in Foxconn.
Foxconn Worker # 1 Zhang Qiang
“My hand become Pig Trotter after assembling the iPhone 5″
Zhang Qiang of age 20 comes from China Jincheng Village. He stopped school during secondary education and has started working since then. Here’s what Zhang said,
“I remember during the Foxconn recruit interview session, we were asked to undergo a fitness test and this little fat boy shouted: “What is the fitness test for!?”
During his first working day assembling the iPhone 5. He whispered to another fat worker sitting beside him:
“If you do not follow the guidelines while processing the machines, we will have ‘meat’ for supper tonight!”
He described that after whole night of assembling the iPhone 5 his hand has swollen like Pig Trotter.
Zhang Qiang originally worked in a bakery shop where he can earn at least 1,500 yuan (about US$236) every month just by working 4 hours each day. But he now needs to work full 8 hours in Foxconn in order to get the same amount of pay. He said:
“I’m forced by my parents to work here as they think that there’s no prospect being a Bread Maker! But I will surely leave Foxconn and look for a new job in some local bakery shop.”
Foxconn Worker # 2 Qian Kai
“I feel loss and hopeless”
Qian Kai of age 23 also from China Jincheng Village. He once worked in Shanghai Electrical Factory before and it was overall a very happy experience back then. He holds an engineering certificate and he’s able to earn at least 5,000 yuan (about US$786) with this cert. When the undercover reporter asked why he come to Foxconn then? He replied:
“I’m only here to learn some business as I’ve never been to such a large factory before, but now I feel totally loss and hopeless after I came in…“
Foxconn Worker # 3 Zhao Fei
“I love reading the Legend of Steve Jobs, but I can’t afford an iPhone 5″
Zhao Fei of age 21 come from Henan province. He’s studying from a management degree course in some Zhengzhou university. He originally wanted to work in Zhengzhou Foxconn factory for his summer holiday job but he was then arranged to Jincheng Foxconn Training Base for training and then transferred to Taiyuan to assemble iPhone 5. He’s being arranged to curve out the iPhone 5 rear using a machine, but he’s only allowed to stand whole day during the work. He said:
“The production line I’m arranged in originally needs at least 17 workers, but due to too many worker resign recently, there’s only 7-8 workers left now. Despite having not enough workers, we are still being asked to meet the same original production target of 5,600 rear panels a day. We are all over stressed!“
He then carried on:
“The cooling agent used to cool the machines which release a very unbearable smell which is bad for our nose and our throat. Originally, we are supposed to be given a new mask everyday, but we are only being given a new mask every week now, this is ridiculous!”
Zhao places a book on the bed: The Legend of Steve Jobs. He knows Steve Jobs, he knows iPhone. The book was borrowed from his classmate. He praised Steve Jobs of his Creative Spirit:
“Although he sells iPhone at an expensive price, but he has made a High Quality product that no one does. He’s a miracle, BUT.”
He pulsed for a moment and said:
“We can’t follow everything the same from Steve Jobs, we have our own ways of doing things.”
Talking about the iPhone 5, the undercover journalist has asked the Foxconn worker whether he likes the new iPhone 5. The worker smiled and replied:
“I will not change my phone as long as it still works, since I can’t afford an iPhone 5.”
ONE MORE THING
The Painful Memory of the Undercover Journalist After Assembling the iPhone 5
The journalist has explained to us that, ever since after he left Foxconn, a kind of “Painful Muscle Memory” has been embedded into his body. It has been more than a month since he left Foxconn, but whenever he walks pass the street and see the bitten Apple logo, he will suddenly feel numb over his nerve and pain in his muscle. We are also being reminded that during his whole training session, he has only worked on the iPhone 5 during the last 3 days. We can’t barely imagine how would those Foxconn workers withstand such pain for several months or even several years.
From the above true life story of the 3 Foxconn workers told by the undercover journalist Wang Yu, we believed that the Taiyan Foxconn factory has truly overstressed their workers in order to produce enough iPhone 5 for Apple. Under severe working and living condition (please read our Undercover Journalist Story Part 1), the workers can’t accept such treatment, hence outbreak a riot yesterday night.
Our editor Star Chang and Chris Chang contributed to this report.
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