In this blog, I am going to focus my attention on the labor conditions in Chinese factories, not with force labor, but with regular employees. Prior to discussing what I found in my research of this question, I will explain what I imagined the working conditions to be like. Before my findings, I thought the working condition for Chinese workers, especially those who worked in factories, were relatively worst than the conditions compared to the United States, but was a cleaner and more organize environment than those conditions of force labor. Again, at this time period, I did not have a complete understanding of the Chinese culture and went by what I heard in the media and what other people would comment. I imagined a life as a Chinese worker was very fast-pace, so they can make deadlines, strict so the workers would not slack off, and organize so it will make their work much easier. Strangely, I never thought about the working conditions in great detail up until this point. I know now the conditions that they went through were more extreme than what I imagined. According to Carol Divjak’s article “Appalling conditions continue in China’s toy factories” published by the International Committee of the Fourth International, Divjak describes thirteen toy factories surveyed in China as grueling. There was reports that children 16 years and under were employed under these factories. There was an estimate about 300 to 4,000 employees working in the 13 factories that were surveyed. He describes their day as hot and crowded working in a small work area for long hours with dangerous equipments such as, toxics glues, and paints. They would work for 13 to 15 hour a day to get a pay less than China’s minimum wage. According to China’s Labors Law Chapter IV Section 36 “The State shall practice a working hour system under which labourers shall work for no more than eight hours a day and or more than 44 hours a week on average.” And according to Divjak report, Out of the thirteen factories, one out of thirteen followed this law. After reading both the article and China’s labor laws I feel as though I learned a lot about China. The conditions at a “regular” company sound just as bad as if a person was forced into working. Of course, this is not present everywhere in China, just some areas. My purpose of this blog was just to present the working conditions in a “regular” factory and reflecting upon my research, I see that child labor is a major problem that needs to be address.
Divjak, CarolMarch 2006 Appalling conditions continue in China’s toy factories. Electric document, http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/mar2006/toys-m25.shtml accessed March 20, 2008
China Labor WatchJuly 1994 China Labor Law. Electric document, http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/1994chinalaborlaw.htm accessed March 20, 2008