There should be a main question to consider any time we go shopping a new smartphone: how much it cost, in terms of people employed – better say used – to manufacture it?
It is widely known that mobile phones are built mainly in China and a lot of people are aware about Foxconn worker suicides, due to performance stress, job conditions, working time and so on.
Obviously the problem do not refer directly to premium electronic brands - Apple, Dell, HP, Samsung just to name a few – even if they could choose better their suppliers, obliging them to respect people employed.
It is clear the main problem refers to Chinese manufacturing companies – working with and for foreign corporations, not only those of electronics – their owners and managers.
To have a clear understanding, and to give voice to any single person which is forced to work in unhuman conditions, a great job is done by China Labor Watch.
Founded in 2000 by Li Qiang, CLW is an independent no profit organization that "views Chinese workers right as inalienable human right and is dedicated to promoting workers' fair redistribution of wealth under globalization".
In CLW's reports the most important multinationals that have manufacturing partners in China are investigated and kept under control in case of labor violations, that are punctually reported and diffused through media.
Are you considering, for example, to buy a new iPhone?
Ok, it's your choice, your free choice.
But you should read "Apple's unkept promises", an interesting paper released by CLW on July 29 last.
Pay attention: the website of China Labor Watch is full of similar papers. We do not want to drive your attention on Apple, but on something unknown by consumers.
In this report are accurately investigated the working conditions at Pegatron Group manufacturing plants.
Pegatron is the second largest Apple supplier in China and according to rumors is involved in the production of the new – cheap - iPhone.
Did you ever wonder what happens behind the main gate, in the assembly line?
A months long undercover investigation by CLW give us the chance to understand it.
Wake up in the dormitory at 6.30 a.m.
At 8.10 a.m. first of three "motivational" meetings of the day.
The daily working routine starts at 8.30 a.m. and lasts for 12 hours during which the workers – including underage and pregnant – have only 90 minutes breaks for meals and restroom.
During the working time people are not allowed to talk and must respect the productions cycle of the day.
This means, for example, they have to assemble 1 iPad back cover per minute, all day long.
And to avoid any problems with Apple inspectors, workers are obliged to falsify the weekly working time.
At the end of the day, back to the dorm, where a cold shower to be shared with the colleagues is the final act before going to bed.
Is this human?
Not at all.
We don't say to boycott phones, pcs or any other items manufactured in China, but you must be informed of what's going on there, so that next time you shop you may think it over.