Foxconn CEO: There’s Nothing Wrong With Sweatshops [Lost In Translation]

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We all work in a sweatshop and we love it!
We all work in a sweatshop and we love it!

Whether or not Foxconn’s running sweatshops is some matter of debate. The China Labor Watch says Foxconn’s iPhone assembly lines are sweatshops, while the Fair Labor Association says that factory worker conditions are much, much better than at actual sweatshops.

Now Foxconn CEO Terry Gou is trying to settle the debate. Yes, Gou says, Foxconn may well be running a sweatshop… but what’s wrong with sweatshops anyway?

During a recent publicity stunt in which Gou met a group of his Chinese employees who had won a free trip to Taiwan at the company’s expense along with a free iPhone and a cash bonus, the Foxconn chief said there was nothing wrong with working his employees hard as long as they were not breaking the law.

“People are calling us sweatshops. What’s wrong with sweatshops?” Gou asked. “All farmers sweat before they harvest! We sweat and we bleed, but as long as we comply with the law, we [the workers] deserve what we earn through our hard work.”

Here’s a video of some of Gou’s soundbites:

Translation (courtesy of MICGadget:

[SOUNDBITE]: Are all of you having fun ? (YES !) Do you want to visit Taiwan again ? (YES !)

Foxconn had arranged a Taiwanese style buffet for the workers over at Hon Hai base, with tasty traditional BBQ pork …

[SOUNDBITE]: People are calling us the “sweatshops”, what’s wrong with sweatshops ? As long as we comply with the law, today you deserve what you earn through your hard work …

[SOUNDBITE]: Wash what ? (‘washing’ away the image of sweatshops), the reason for holding this event … I Terry Gou will definitely not for anything to hold a show for the press … We are Foxconn as we are, same for Hon Hai …

[SOUNDBITE]: Any cities with a population of 5 million, our factory will be located over there, it will have our sales outlets …

Foxconn will be planning to build hospital in Shenzhen, in order to contribute to the medical industry … Guo was giving farewell to the leaving Chinese worker …

To be fair, there seems to be some things lost in translation here, and it’s pretty clear that the worst Gou is trying to say is that there’s nothing wrong with working hard as long as it’s voluntary and you are paid a fair wage for your work.

That said, given how contentious a subject worker abuse at Foxconn is in the West right now, you can’t help but think Gou might have expressed this sentiment without using the word “sweatshop” at all.

Source: Chinatimes

Via: MICGadget]