“Shifts ran 24 hours a day, and the factory was always bright. At any moment, there were thousands of workers standing on assembly lines or sitting in backless chairs, crouching next to large machinery, or jogging between loading bays. Some workers’ legs swelled so much they waddled. “It’s hard to stand all day,” said Zhao Sheng, a plant worker.”
Reading this excerpt, save for the word ‘bright’, one would think that they were reading about the horrible working conditions that existed in factories in Western Europe during the Industrial Revolution. But lo and behold, this is an excerpt from the article “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad” that ran in the New York Times on January 25th 2012 detailing the horrible working conditions in a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China. Foxconn is one of Apple’s largest suppliers, assembling iPads and other electronics. Like its 18th century predecessors, Apple has mastered the art of capitalism, milking every last bit of value out of labor in the pursuit of higher profits.