Remember the good ol’ days of sweatshops? People toiled long hours for very little pay, but gosh ‘darn it, they were happy to have a job. These kids today, they aren’t grateful for the $100 they earn each month assembling iPods. That seems to be the message coming from Apple supplier Foxconn about why it is introducing ‘entertainment’ to boost the spirits of otherwise-suicidal workers.
“Unlike the previous generation of workers that regarded work and basic necessities as top priorities in life, post 80s workers don’t just work for money,” a special assistant to the chairman of Hon Hai, which trademarks the Foxconn name, told the Wall Street Journal Friday. About three-quarters of Foxconn’s workers are between 18 and 24 years old.
After trying suicide nets, increased pay and considering shipping workers out of town, Apple’s No. 1 supplier now thinks a bit of Hollywood will keep deaths down. Recently, thousands of workers got into costume, sang, danced and paraded in what must have been a pure YouTube moment.
In June, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the China workers suicides were “troubling,” but noted all of the recreational opportunities already available after a long day assembling iPhones. “It’s a factory, but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theaters, but it’s a factory,” he told an audience at the All Things D Conference.