Foxconn wages new kind of ‘war’
Updated: 2014-04-24 11:29
By Cai Muyuan (chinadaily.com.cn)
Liu blames the workers' problems on China's family planning policy and also the rising influence of the Internet.
"Living in a fake community online doesn't help them communicate better with real people or to deal with real problems," he said.
"We at the care center receive calls from the parents of young workers trying to find their kids because the children don't call home at all," said Liu. "And we get lots of these."
Lu Erfeng, who started working for Foxconn when he was 17, finds his life very boring. "It's depressing," said the 21-year old. "The monotonous work, the working environment, everything is depressing."
Lu said that although the company has match-making activities, he has never participated.
"It's just weird," said the shy migrant worker.
"I have friends who placed ads in the factory newspaper and found girlfriends," he added, smiling.
Liu admits there are problems that the company can not solve.
"Sports and relationships are two things we can't solve for them," said Liu. "It's a big factory. It's not possible to host a sports event that everyone can participate in. Also, the young workers have needs and we can only try our best to encourage them to meet each other by hosting activities."
According to Himal Shrestha, a psychiatric resident in the US, by leaving home early to work in a factory the younger employees may not be able to have the same experiences as their peers.
"From a developmental standpoint, there are particular milestones adolescents go through that determine how they view themselves. As a result, any young person taken away from a familiar environment too early may have issues with their identity."
According to Foxconn's media office, the care center does not have any licensed psychologist because there are few independently practicing psychologists and private medical care facilities.
Foxconn does have substantial cooperation with psychiatric hospitals in Shenzhen and professional medical care can be provided to the workers in case of emergency.
The company now has 15 certificated counselors that provide services to workers.
Despite the support network, there are parts of life that some employees, like Lu, would rather keep personal.
"I would want to meet someone someday," Lu shyly admitted.
"But not here, not with this work."
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