Talking about ecology and CSR with an iPhone in hand is an insult to humanity

You know, you can tell me anything you want about CSR, corporate social responsibility.

You can tell me all you want about your ecologically virtuous and climate-saving behavior by sorting your garbage or forcing others to eat quinoa seeds or bulgur produced across the oceans trying to turn all humans into pecked chickens.

You can scream, block traffic, put your hand on a piece of art, or even be eco-anxious or rather eco-depressive but if you’re doing it with an iPhone in your hand it’s best to take a healthy step back and introduce a little nuance .

How come ?

Why are you reading this Les Echos article titled “into the hell of the giant iPhone factory”.

What is certain is that you should not give virtue lessons to others when you are so imperfect.

We need to stop looking unrecycled chaff in the neighbor’s eyes without seeing the ray of abuse for owning an iPhone.

“If I could, I would run away,” says an employee of the Zhengzhou factory in central China, which is in the throes of violent demonstrations. Owned by Taiwanese Foxconn, Apple’s subcontractor, this gigantic site operates with employees forcibly confined due to the increase in Covid cases.

“Let’s defend our rights!” “Give us back our wages!” “Down with Foxconn!” Rarely violent demonstrations erupted at the world’s largest iPhone factory, owned by Taiwanese subcontractor Foxconn. Located in Zhengzhou, central China, the site has been living almost isolated from the world for more than a month, applying very strict restrictive measures aimed at stifling a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. Before the outbreak, up to 300,000 employees worked in this factory dubbed “iPhone City” and where most of Apple’s smartphones are assembled and sold around the world.

Workers tried to escape from the dormitories in the early hours of the morning, fighting with guards in white overalls and trying to fight their way through the barricades. Another video shows an overturned vehicle. In a third, a worker with a bloody head. On others, men with sticks break surveillance cameras and windows. The police seem to arrive en masse at the end of the day to try to restore calm.

The risk of contracting Covid-19 – always presented as the absolute danger in a country stuck to its “zero Covid” policy – and the confined living conditions had already prompted thousands of panic-stricken employees to flee on foot at the end of October , paralyzing part of production. To keep the factory afloat, the company has offered big bonuses to its remaining employees and has been trying to recruit new workers with the help of local authorities, who have helped by encouraging ex-Army and Communist Party cadres to join. at the factory.

Like him, many new employees were placed in solitary confinement, forced to live in basic dormitories and survive on spartan meals. “I thought Foxconn had made efforts in terms of health, but every day there are new cases of contamination,” he complains. The few days he was able to work, he was assigned to manage newcomers, due to lack of qualifications.

Above all, the fee does not live up to his expectations and the quarantine days are not paid. “When I arrived, they told me they would pay me 30 yuan [4 euros] per hour, for ten hours of work per day. But I’ve been working fourteen-hour days and my overtime isn’t paid, she says. »


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