If we were the Academy and we could grant an Oscar for the greatest “ironic production” of the year, the drama of Foxconn would be sure to win our favor with this headline from the NYT. Perhaps the story itself is not all that surprising. Foxconn, the giant contract manufacturer responsible for all those Apple products (and many others) that Westerners are all addicted to, has taken to outsourcing part of its own operations — the dorms that workers live in. After a chaotic few months of blocking and roughing up journalists who tried to enter its facilities plus worker protests, suicides and a responding hike in laborer wages, Foxconn is taking another step at righting its apparent labor wrongs by outsourcing its 153 dormitories, which contain roughly half the firm’s 420,000 workers in Shenzhen.
According to the story, “the company said that it was essentially outsourcing its living arrangements to two Chinese real estate companies.”