American factories will have to be more like China's if we want to — whoa. Thirty-five hours workdays?
Following last week's deeply troubling "This American Life" piece about the miserable working conditions in the factories that build our iPhones, Jon Stewart weighed in Monday with a close look at Foxconn, the suicide-plagued Chinese company where workers put together Apple products as well Amazon's Kindle, the PlayStation 3, xBox 360, and other devices that entertain us.
Stewart didn't say anything that hasn't been reported before — including that Foxconn has erected nets to catch employees who try to kill themselves. But he offered a new spin on the facts by wondering if American factories are willing to work their employees as hard as Foxconn does.
Roommates live at the factories in clusters of roommates, sometimes without knowing each other's names. They assemble tiny components thousands of times a day by hand. They can work up to 35 hours straight for as little as 31 cents an hour. And those who try to unionize can be thrown in prison.
"What's the difference?" Stewart asked.
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