Which is Better? Prison or Work at China’s Fox Conn

Cross-posted from AFL-CIO Now Blog

Stumping for president, Republican candidates have finally figured out that the public cares more about job creation than deficit reduction. But their solutions involve luring corporations back to this country from overseas by eliminating regulatory policies that could make working conditions here alot more similar to those offshore. A recent Jon Stewart segment shows just what that would entail.

Pointing to recent news reports that describe the slave-like conditions at China’s Foxconn factory, where 800,000 workers make iPhones, iPads, Kindles and most other Apple products, Stewart notes that most Apple products are made in China,

the Communist country where corporations get the respect they deserve.

So, to compete with China, Stewart continues,

we’ve got to make our factories look more like this Foxconn.

At Foxconn,

  • Employees live in dormatories eight to a room…often roommates, though, won’t know each other’s names.
  • A worker described assembling a part 5,200 times a day
  • Employees can work 35 hours straight
  • Until recently, workers were paid 31 cents an hour
  • A growing number of workers are killing themselves, or trying to. The company installed nets around buildings to try and catch “jumpers.”

And, if a Foxconn workers try to improve their dire working and living conditions by seeking to join a union, they get 12-year prison sentence.

Or, as Stewart asks about Foxconn versus prison:

What’s the difference?

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