Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chinese workers super exploited by Apple and world's hi tech companies.

The New York Times on Thursday 26th of January, 2012 had a major article, over two full pages on the conditions of workers in hi tech companies such as Apple in China. Millions of workers are enslaved in these plants which are at the cutting edge of this new workshop of the world. These workers are forced to work in huge buildings, many for seven days a week, many standing all the time, and many live in dormitories.

Different agencies are trying repeatedly to investigate the conditions of these workers and get the major companies which get their supplies from these companies to adopt decent labor standards. However time after time companies like Apple will not let them into their premises or will not enter into agreements or when they do will not enforce the agreements. As one former Apple executive said:"If you cut margins you are forcing them to cut safety."

Apple while one of the worst offenders is not by any means alone. Others well known for draining the last drop of blood from their workers are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba, and others. A who is who of the world's top tech companies.

One Chinese company, the country's largest exporter, is Foxconn Technology. It employs 1.2 million workers and assembles an estimated 40% of the world's consumer electronics. Banners on the wall of this company say:"Work hard today or work hard to find a job tomorrow." This is terrorism.

One former executive of Foxconn speaks about an explosion at one of the companies factories where workers died and says:'Workers welfare has nothing to do with their interests." He and other former workers and executives in these companies say that if companies such as Apple demanded that conditions be changed in these companies this could happen overnight. But this is not in the interest of these companies. They just want more and more goods at cheaper and cheaper prices. This means increased production and therefore speed up. Apple reported one of the most profitable quarters of any corporation in history this month. It had $46.3 billion in sales.

A new working class is being created in China. It is rising to its feet in form of the vast numbers of strikes and struggles we are reading about daily. This will be one of, if not, the most important feature of the development of the working class and within the class balance of forces internationally in the period ahead.

It is the responsibility of the workers and radical movement worldwide to assist the Chinese working class to organize and fight. The stooge so-called trade unions in China are just mechanisms to control the workers. We must assist the Chinese workers to build independent rank and file unions, we must also assist them build a mass workers party. These organizations would allow the Chinese working class to take on their own elites which work with the major corporations in the imperialist countries, to take on the ruling capitalist powers in the advanced capitalist countries and to stake their claim to the leadership of the working class of the world. What an exciting day that will be.


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