Is globalization really a good thing? While I will admit there are many positive aspects of globalization such as a higher salary than one would normally receive in these developing countries and being able to offer their children a better education, but at what cost? Many of the factories used by multinational manufacturers in developing nations are subpar in safety regulations compared to those in developed nations which place the workers at risk.
The conditions these workers face are terrible, many are forced to work many hours and are not properly paid for their overtime and are overcrowded in dorms. At the Foxconn factories they often had twenty people in a three bedroom dorm. In the article "Life on the Global Assembly Line." the authors point out:
“Workers are packed into poorly lit rooms, where summer temperatures rise above 100 degrees. Textile dust, which can cause permanent lung damage, fills the air. Management may require forced overtime of as much as 48 hours at a stretch, and if that seems to go beyond the limits of human endurance, pep pills and amphetamine injections are thoughtfully provided” (Ehrenreich and Fuentes 162).
Workers have almost no time to eat during their lunch breaks and using the bathroom is a privilege and compounding these health issues some even have to rotate from day shift to night shift on a weekly basis leaving them with poor sleeping patterns. To make matters even worse as the women gain seniority they are laid off because it would be cheaper to train younger women than to pay the increase in wages.
Women are often doing the most hazardous parts of production in these developing countries so there would be no interference by safety inspectors or unions. A worker also points out that since working in the dusty air there is an increase in instances of workers getting tuberculosis, bronchitis, and eyes diseases. There are even cases of many plants having open toxic chemicals with fumes so strong there have been times where twelve or so women have passed out. Workers have even been ordered to clean iPhone screens with a poisonous chemical that left 137 of them injured and there have even been reports of falsified records and hazardous waste being improperly disposed of in the Foxconn factories. Conditions have been so dangerous in some of the Foxconn factories that two explosions have occurred at their iPad factories. The explosion in Chengdu left 4 workers dead and 77 were injured, which may have been prevented since Apple was made ware of the conditions inside the Chengdu plant.
Apple is more concerned with their profits than the well being of the workers being used in the manufacturing process. "Some former Apple executives say there is an unresolved tension within the company: executives want to improve conditions within factories, but that dedication falters when it conflicts with crucial supplier relationships or the fast delivery of new products" (Duhigg and Barboza). They even...