Most of the electronics you own were made in China. Domestic factory workers know all about the devil known as china outsourcing. This is how many aging workers are repaid for their many years of dedicated service. They get laid off and their jobs are shipped overseas.
Of course some American genius thought it up, but it was cheaper to produce in another country.
The only recourse for a 50-year-old who is not eligible for social security is to reenter the job market. Finding they have little to no computer skills, they get lost in an endless sea of technology and ageism.
If we stop and take a look at the other side of the world, we see a different picture of the modern youth worker. This young man or woman has traveled to the big city to seek their fortune.
Then they get to the city and realize that factory work is the only thing they are qualified to do. In China, for example, 20-somethings who enjoy cross-stitch or woodworking get put on assembly lines because they are good with their hands. That is, until their hands start tingling and burning, they get dizzy and work becomes difficult from the constant migraines.
This is a true story. Recently, 62 workers in an Apple Computer factory in Suzhou, China thought they were just overworked from their 12-hour days.
The real culprit was a chemical called hexane that they were using to clean Apple iPhone touchscreens.
The workers first became suspicious when one of their coworkers, Li Liang, died from inhaling a toxic substance. Wanting to know who should be held responsible for the sudden death of their friend, some workers staged a protest at the factory.
When the employer refused to give any details regarding the young woman’s death, the protesters morphed into an angry mob.
The remaining workers at the factory returned to their jobs as if nothing had happened, still suffering from symptoms they assumed were just fatigue.
Workers began to take their symptoms more seriously when they started losing control of their limbs and began to shake.
After being taken to the hospital or admitting themselves for treatment, the employees are slowly recovering from various degrees of nerve damage.
One section of the hospital has become known as the workers wing.
America’s 20-somethings complain about having to do homework and how mean their teachers are. Imagine getting severe, lifelong nerve damage at the age of 21, an age where you are planning your future.
But for the Chinese, as soon as they get better (or somewhat better) they may be one of the lucky ones to go out and look for new factory work.
The ones who never truly get better may have to go back home to the backwater, impoverished existence they fled from in the first place.
Apple has refused to comment on the issue, not wanting anything to come up which could put a shadow on the upcoming release of their iPad.
If American consumers start paying more attention to the “MADE in CHINA” label and decline to support such exploitation of the poor, then Apple may need to treat their workers more like human beings and less like guinea pigs.
Domestic factory workers know all about the devil known as china outsourcing. This is how many aging workers are repaid for their many years of dedicated service. They get laid off and their jobs are shipped overseas.