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Behind the Scenes With Samsung's Factory Workers 307

itwbennett writes "The young women working at Samsung's factory in Tianjin, China like their jobs about as much as factory workers anywhere. The work is boring and tiring, but it pays ok and there are perks (like air conditioning in the dorms), says 19-year-old Zhao Caixia. One 23-year-old woman, who assembles 200-300 camera lenses a day, told the IDG News Service's Michael Kan: 'You just keep doing the same thing over and over. There is nothing really to like, but nothing to really dislike either.' Labor rights group China Labor Watch tells a different story (PDF). One day after Samsung said it would audit its suppliers in China, the group reported cases of excessive overtime (exceeding 100 hours per month) and exhausting working conditions, with employees being made to stand for up to 12 hours for a single shift."
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Behind the Scenes With Samsung's Factory Workers

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  • kids with jobs! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @01:49AM (#41231761) Journal
    FTFA: "At least 3 factoriesâ"TSMD, SEHZ, and SSKMTâ"have been discovered hiring workers under 18 years of age" I was working at the age of 14, and had a normal non-farm job at the age of 16 (worked at a grocery store). Just because we don't expect people to be anything other than helpless children until age 26 or so these days, doesn't mean that less than 26 years ago teens had jobs. And while yes, it wasn't until I was 19 that I worked at a factory, it really didn't kill me. For serious.

  • Re:The Alternatives (Score:5, Interesting)

    by subreality ( 157447 ) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @03:21AM (#41232195)

    If you're a fellow American, if you're a fellow member of Western Civilization, how does that not offend you to your core? "Their lives exist solely for someone else's profit" is the working definition of slavery. How can you possibly find this to be an acceptable situation?

    Americans live to work, not work to live. In our own country we only get two to three weeks off a year, work relatively long hours (40 hours a week is considered a bare minimum slacker level, compared to most of the rest of western civilization where it's considered working yourself to death, let alone the 60-80 hours that MANY Americans have to work), and are completely dependent on staying employed lest we have no health coverage, yet we have poor job security even when we're being good little wage slaves.

    That's how it is for lower and most middle class Americans; the upper-middle class at least has some savings to give themselves some safety net, but it's pretty much just how life is for the proverbial 99%.

    Compare this to the Tianjin workers in TFA. It's different in degree, but that's not shocking when comparing a thoroughly post-industrialized nation with a developing one.

    I'm not saying the situation is acceptable in either case. I'm just not surprised that people aren't outraged when it's not that fundamentally different from the conditions at home.

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