Even as the protests against Apple's workers mistreatment practice are surging incessantly, there are still thousands of Chinese job seekers who are lining up in front of the gates of Foxconn, the company's major product manufacturer in China, hoping that they will be hired to work on iPhone 5 production.
M.I.C Gadget reported, thousands of hopefuls lined up, Monday, throughout the day outside a labor agency in Zhengzhou, China, hoping Foxconn can hire them. The lines stretched over 200 meters along the road.
To achieve the goal of doubling the size of its Zhengzhou campus, Foxconn plans to recruit an additional 100,000 employees. According to the job advertisement posted by the Zhengzhou government, the basic salary at Zhengzhou factory is 1650 yuan (US$261). After the appraisal, the salary would be increased to 2400 – 3200 yuan (US$379-$506). More attractively, the workers don't need to pay additional money for dormitory and food.
Most of the applicants have prior work experience, whereas some of them have just graduated from college. Some applicants had worked in other campus of Foxconn, but they have applied for the job in Zhengzhou to be closer to home, according to Chinese media reports.
Working in southern China is too far away from home. I could only go home once a year, one applicant, Xiao Wang, said. Wang said she had worked in one of Foxconn's plants at southern China.
Although Foxconn is best known for its harsh working conditions, long hours, child labor, and lack of respecting workers' rights, the long lines prove the hell factory is better than other alternatives for many Chinese.
The Atlantic Wire has cited some people to explain the phenomenon.
From Anonymous: Without Apple, Chinese workers will be worse off. I hope China can some day soon have dozens of its own companies like Apple, who (only) work on high-end research and development and send manufacturing lines to Africa.
From ?????: Working conditions in smaller factories are even worse (than Foxconn). They have even longer work hours. The major reason is that suppliers are not at the top of the value chain and major brands can easily replace them. Also, workers in China do not have labor unions, and the Chinese government always protects the large companies.
And, from anonymous: If not to buy Apple, what’s the substitute – Samsung? Don’t you know that Samsung’s products are from its OEM factory in Tianjin? Samsung workers’ income and benefits are even worse than those at Foxconn. If not to buy iPad – (do you think) I will buy Android Pad? Have you ever been to the OEM factories for Lenovo and ASUS? Quanta, Compaq … factories of other companies are all worse than those for Apple. Not to buy iPod – (do you think) I will buy Aigo, Meizu? Do you know that Aigo’s Shenzhen factory will not pay their workers until the 19th of the second month? If you were to quit, fine, I’m sorry, your salary will be withdrawn. Foxconn never dares to do such things. First, their profit margin is higher than peers as they manufacture for Apple. Second, at least those foreign devils will regularly audit factories. Domestic brands will never care if workers live or die. I am not speaking for Foxconn. I am just speaking as an insider of this industry, and telling you some disturbing truth.