Friday, October 11, 2013

College students forced to do free labor in China whaaaaaaat??

As expected with an announcement of a new Play Station, the PS4 has been all over the news of late. The Play Station has always sold millions and millions of units of its past models. With the upcoming release of the PS4, manufacturing must increase. And for manufacturing to increase, additional labor is required.  One of the areas with the most abundant and cheapest labor is China. Recently the students of Xi’an Institute of Technology have been working at a manufacturing plant called Foxconn. This isn’t voluntary; the students are forced to work for credit hours necessary for graduation. These aspiring engineers have to work long hours including overtime and late night without pay. A big problem is that what they are doing serves no benefit to what their prospective careers would be; they are working on the assembly line. It would be different if this requirement was an enriching experience such as a major specific internship, and the fact that this seemingly useless program is mandatory if one desires to graduate is absurd.

The real issue is much larger than just on an academic perspective, this is a human rights issue. These students are basically forced into labor without pay. One could view this as Foxconn using these students as an opportunity to receive free and extensive labor. Take away the fact that this is a collegiate program and this is what you have, a human rights dilemma. It is obvious that an increase in labor is needed to compensate for the sheer amount of new products assembled but going to measures such as forcing college students with aspirations much brighter than a job at an assembly line to work long hours for free.

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