In a damning report released by a labor watchdog uncovered a stunning number of abuses at three Chinese factories that make iPhones and other Apple products, but most of the tech press on Monday focused on one very specific thing in the report from China Labor Watch: Photos of what looked like a new version of the iPhone.
It was, as BuzzFeed's John Herrman noted, a depressing reminder of just how little Americans seem to care about how their smartphones and tablets are made -- as long as the devices are super-cool!
So here's our attempt to drum up American empathy for Chinese workers. Most comfortable Americans would agree they wouldn't want to work at one of the three factories run by Pegatron. But what if you wanted to, for your livelihood? Would you be "qualified" for the job? Answer these questions to scratch the surface of the level of discrimination.
Do you have a tattoo?
If your answer is yes, your application is denied. "In public areas and in front of many people, workers are made to strip off clothing and undergo tattoo examinations," China Labor Watch writes. "Such examinations are carried out twice in different places."
Are you over 35?
Yes? Application denied. The factory only hires people between the ages of 16 and 35.
Are you pregnant?
Denied. But what if you become pregnant? Here's what a Pegatron PowerPoint presentation said: "Female employees who become pregnant out of wedlock or who violate family planning policy cannot enjoy maternity leave or paid maternity leave."
Have funky hair?
Goodbye. Pegatron does not hire anyone with "unusual hairstyles or hair colors."
Are you under 4-foot-11?
Denied. Pegatron only hires people taller than 4-foot-11.
Even if you met all those qualifications, keep in mind: The report from China Labor Watch describes a multitude of labor abuses, workers often don't get any days off and work 7-day work weeks during busy seasons, for example. The dorms in which workers live do not have hot water, and 8 to 12 workers live in each room. Some workers are forced to stand for their entire shift, and when the factory is busy, employees often work 126 hours of overtime per month, 3.5 times the legal overtime limit.
Still totally love your iPad?
"We strive to make each day at Pegatron better than the last for our employees," Apple said in an official statement. "They are the heart of our business. That's why we take these allegations very seriously. We will investigate them fully and take immediate actions to correct any violations to Chinese labor laws and our own code of conduct."