Workers killed in blast at Foxconn plant.

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May 20 2011 19:53
Workers killed in blast at Foxconn plant.

At least two workers are dead and more than ten have been injured after an explosion at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China. It is believed the blast may have occurred due to a build up of dust on the production line.

Guardian Article.

Foxconn and it's treatment of factory workers was the subject of I wrote recently. From all reports, the company seems to be a nightmarish mix of bullying, oppression and illegal working hours. I guess we can now add unsafe working conditions to the list.

Yet the mainstream media will simply spin this with a consumer angle, making it about the 'iPad' and the 'iPhone'. Turning this tragedy into a completely alienating story about these 'foreign workers' who make all 'our' stuff. All human elements removed in favour of a nice, simple, 'clean' narrative.

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May 20 2011 22:09

You see victims, I see agents of change. iirc the Foxconn suicides were part of the beginning of a cycle of strikes and struggles last year starting with Honda workers, shortly thereafter, which saw average wage rises in the 20% region. Similar to the stories of the chemical workers in the Veneto in the 60s & 70s or many other earlier instances. On the one hand a murderous industrial envrinoment, on the other a nascent power of workers who find themselves trapped in a dangerous but strategically profitable part of the global accumulation machine. We've not heard the last of the Foxconn workers I'd wager, and not just as victims...

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May 20 2011 23:06

Oh I know these workers aren't just 'victims' I'd not have any faith in the idea of international revolution if I thought they were completely helpless at the hands of their employer.

I still find it tragic when the system manages to kill people purely in the name of profit, though. Surprising? No. Saddening? Yes.

Though I suspect you're right, we've not heard the last of these workers...