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Undercover reporter works in Foxconn iPhone plant

The Shanghai Evening Post published a very interesting insider report detailing what it is like to work at the Foxconn Tai Yuan factory to assemble the device. It certainly doesn’t look to be a dream job for anyone, thats our views on it.

The report was published by a Chinese journalist who went undercover into the plant and got hired to work as an iPhone assembler. He kept a diary of working their for 10 days. The article was translated into English by MIC Gadget.

The reporter was drilled through an intensive seven day orientation for the job, shown the packed filthy dorms where he was to live and then how to assemble his section of the iPhone 5.

He worked a night shift including a midnight to 6am shift, without a break. He was given the job of making the smartphone backplate in four different sections using an oil based paint pen. He worked with many other people doing the same task and his goal was simple. To make it as fast as he could.

He wrote:

“By my own calculations, I have to mark five iPhone plates every minute, at least. For every 10 hours, I have to accomplish 3,000 iPhone 5 back plates. There are total 4 production lines in charge of this process, 12 workers in every line. Each line can produce 36,000 iPhone 5 back plates in half a day, this is scary … I finally stopped working at 7 a.m. We were asked to gather again after work. The supervisor shout out loud in front of us: “Who wants to rest early at 5 a.m.!? We are all here to earn money! Let’s work harder!” I was thinking who on earth wants to work two extra hours overtime for only mere 27 yuan (USD$4)!?”

Foxconn and Apple have been in the spotlight lately for the poor working conditions and the raft of suicides at the factories which hit the world press in the last year. The situation was so bad  that Apple CEO Tim Cook went on a PR trip to the plants in March and asked nonprofit Fair Labor Association to investigate the working conditions at the Foxconn factories in China.

The FLA did find problems with the working conditions, focusing on low wages and long hours. Foxconn then agreed to reduce the working hours and increase the wages. Many people still say the wages are well under a fair rate.

Kitguru says: Not the news Apple want to see as they plan to release their iPhone 5.

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