Foxconn is one of the world’s largest computer and electronic components manufacturers.

After the pandemic outbreak, the previous large volume of work was no longer there due to the decrease in orders. In the Foxconn campus in Shenzhen city, Guangdong province, China, many workers who bring buckets appeared. Chinese netizens call them the “bucket people”. They do not have part-time jobs and are stuck.

Newtalk said the “bucket people” in China represent migrant workers. It refers to those who put all their belongings and daily necessities in a bucket, flock to Foxconn during peak season, and leave when work is over. In the past, there were many job opportunities. So they came from many different regions to look for work. And after the pandemic broke out, it also became more challenging for them to leave their homes, let alone travel to cities to look for work.

On July 8, Baidu reported that part-time jobs for “bucket people” are no longer available. The former prosperity is no longer there. In an interview with Chinese media, worker Lin Kang said, before, I had to come early to rush to work, rushing to earn money, but now I don’t need that. Lin Kang said that food rations have also decreased in the past two years; masks, performance bonuses, and even hand sanitizer are gone. Due to machine oil and metal dust, workers’ hands are often black and must be washed with hand sanitizer. Still, now the company only distributes a small amount of hand sanitizer. A worker said he had to use a rag to wipe his hands. After a week, the white rag had turned into a black rag.

Another worker said, April 7 this year was a fixed payday, he only received $10, and a colleague received 15 cents. At that time, everyone was silent. Some workers also said that the assembly work was long and very dull, the half-hour break used to be the only time he could relax, but now he has to do a PCR test.

Workers point out that “no overtime” has become the norm at Foxconn. One former employee said that overtime is increasingly scarce, and bosses will even try to force workers to quit.

However, workers do not want to leave Foxconn. Jobs in China are becoming increasingly difficult to find, along with reports that Foxconn provides safety, stability, and a barrier for workers from the outside world. Hence, people prefer to choose full-time jobs rather than temporary jobs.
The report concludes: “People with nowhere to go are increasingly dependent on Foxconn.”

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