Juarez Factory Employee Alleges Mistreatment


POSTED: Friday, May 28, 2010 - 4:18pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 24, 2014 - 8:55am

EL PASO, TX - Foxconn is one of the world's largest manufacturers of cell phones and other electronics. In Juarez the company produces HP and Dell computers as well as laptops, and one of their factory workers, who wishes to be called "Carlos" for safety reasons, says employees are being pushed to their limits.

"They are mistreating people, they are overworking people," Carlos said.

Carlos says Juarez employees are treated as expendable and forced to work long hours and put in a lot of overtime. He says nothing illegal is being done by the company, but he says the company knows how bad Mexican employees need their jobs.

"They know they have families, they know they depend on rides, they depend on eating from the factories, and they'll put pressure and they really don't care about employees."

Three months ago we covered a riot at one of the Foxconn factories in Juarez. It happened after workers said managers locked 3-thousand employees in the factory so they would work extra hours.

Foxconn has also been in the news worldwide this week because about a dozen Chinese employees have committed suicide in a factory there. At least one of them was said to have lost an iPhone prototype, and he reportedly killed himself in shame. That was the first suicide about a year ago.

"Carlos" says there have been investigations, but no wrongdoing has ever been found. He says that leads U.S companies to think nothing is wrong.

"This is not a sweatshop, it's air conditioned, it's cooled, they're well cared for, medically provided for, but physically, emotionally, people are drained, people get stressed out."

We called a number for Foxconn's Marketing and Sales Department in the U.S., and left messages for comment, but our calls have not been returned. 

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It's a 2 years old "not so news" but let me clarify one thing for every person who reads this, I used to work in this place, I live in Juarez, I worked there for 2.5 years as IT tech and things haven't change a bit, employees are still forced to work OT, they dont lock them anymore you but they are threatened that they will loose their jobs if they dont work OT. If they work the "legally required OT hours" they get paid something between $65-$80 dlls for a full week, now survive with that

We do not have to worry about losing our lives going to and from work in the US, but down there they do and Juarez of all places is truly dangerous even for the Mexican workers! I would bet "Carlos" has a lot more to say as far as specifics but was either afraid for good reason or his comments were edited, and there are no foodstamps or safety net in Mexico if you lose your job! There is nothing, no money, no food! Prices are not as cheap as they once were either so pesos don't buy much no more!

I am not just some outsider commenting on this issue either since I work for one of these companies and have been working for the company for over 15 years now! I go into Mexico frequently on work assignments and seen firsthand the difference between here and there! No company here in the States would lock the employees in to make them work overtime! There would be lawsuits up the ying yang if that were to happen! In Mexico it's different, the laws don't protect the workers there like in the US!

Mexico is not the same as companies here in America! The people are exploited by the companies moving the jobs down there then paying the Mexican workers ridiculously low wages while at the same time costing us jobs over here! These corporations are greedy and really do not give a damn about the Mexican workers as far as their problems and such! If someone has personal issues over their they just fire them cause there are a hundred more who they can get to replace that person! Locked in?

It amazes me how easily people will open their mouth and stick their foot in it. None of you has any idea of the realities in Juarez Mexico. If you did, you would be ashamed of your comments here. If you believe that these people are in the same situations as you with your cell phones, ipods, clean beds and safe, stable living environments, than you should spend one day in Juarez...better yet, put yourself in Carlos' place and try to make a life on his wages. Inform yourselves or stay quiet.

It seems to me that this employee is not aware of the economic issues our nation is faced with. It is sad to say but many Americans are out of work and would be thrilled to be locked into a company that allows overtime. I remember a time when xmas bonuses were passed around. And this guy is complaining? Seriously, we should be retracting the NAFTA trade and not publishing stories that just anger people without jobs because they were shipped over seas! Carlos, cross over here, you will starve!

Pebbles, you really should inform yourself on a subject before you open your mouth. Investigate what the wages are in these maquiladoras and you would realize what an idiot you sound like. Average hourly manufacturing jobs in Juarez are $2.46. On top of that, the workers risk abduction, rape and murder nightly as they leave their jobs. They are afforded no protection from their employers nor the corrupt police. Women who join the work force are seen as dogs in the Mexican culture.

Could somebody from KTSM explain why the "Carlos Report" was published while it breaks every rule of acceptable journalism?
Among the missing elements are: Who? What? Where? When? Why?
We aren't given the real name of the person voicing the complaints. That is odd since "Carlos" voices no specific complaints. I'm sure he had more to say than "my job stresses me out." I've never met anybody who wasn't stressed out by their job. Nor have I ever met anybody who was locked in to work overtime.

There must be more. Have you stopped to think that KTSM may have considered the safety of Carlos? Remember that in Juarez it is very easy for an INNOCENT bystander to be caught in the crossfire of a shoot out.

It appears that KTSM wants to stay on the good side of FOXCONN. Carlos should have been given some guidance by KTSM toward being more specific. Any place of business that has gone to the extreme of locking employees in and forcing them to work overtime is clearly guilty of doing more than "stressing out" its staff.
I have the strong suspicion that Carlos' statements were either edited to make his charges appear trivial, or his interviewer failed to focus on more significant, specific issues.

Why too much complaints? If you are a good worker, You can do it !!!! Otherwise, let other "good workers" to do that. Be clear that not everyone has been created to do the same job. If you been created for low performance job, then go and sell stuff at the flea market.

This attitude of "If you are a good worker, you can do it" explains why labor has lost all its hard-won power. People with this attitude do not seem to realize that they are inviting a deterioration of working conditions. Sure, when it comes to working an 18-hour day for minimum wage, "if you are a good worker, you can do it." However, the resultant deterioration in quality of life would set us back at least a century.
People fought, lost their lives for fair working conditions. Why lose them

I am an american nurse. Talk about crappy (literally) working conditions with long hours and overtime with little to no breaks or apprication. We are all physically, emotionally and spiritually drained. Talk about being stressed out, peoples lives our in our hands! I don't see us in the news. It stinks but thats the way it is.

You aren't in the news because the wealthy and powerful people of the medical profession - the doctors - and the even wealthier parasites in the insurance industry don't want you in the news. The doctors and the insurance companies gladly take all the money and credit while the nurses do all the work. It will stay that way until you and your coworkers do something about it.

"Carlos" if I were you I would sue. I know everyone that works in a factory is required certain quotas, resulting into both physical and emotional stress, but locking you in, that is practically unlawful imprisonment. I bet if that ever happened here is U.S. soil, "lawsuit" in a blink of an eye. Just because you live in Mexico, remember, the company you work for is U.S. based and has a bad track record (China), I know there is some attorney out there who can help you. Good Luck!

An individual employee who attempts to sue a large and powerful employer doesn't stand a snowball's chance. At one time, effective results would have required Carlos and all his coworkers of like mind to take unified action. But than no longer works now that large companies are free to stop operations in one country and move their business to where labor is cheaper and standards are lower. If Carlos can't mention his name, it's unlikely he can form a group protest.

Mike, did you ever worked in a factory in Juarez?
Isn't the same in U.S., they overworked their employees and they don't get paid fair,so keep your stupid comments to yourself!

that was me and it hurt!

It must be a slow news day.

Even "Carlos" agrees that they are being treated well, food, rides, A/C well cared for and medical treatment.

"but physically, emotionally, people are drained, people get stressed out." Come on, that's why it is called work.

I heard one of the Greeters at Wal-Mart got his foot stepped on, maybe you should investigate and report on that important bit of news too.

I agree that the remarks published and attributed to Carlos lacked substance and clarity. It makes me wonder what KTSM had in mind, since, in fact, with failing economies, war pending with North Korea, political unrest in Thailand, volcanoes doing great damage from Iceland to Guatemala, we don't really have any "slow news days." Obviously, something is missing from Carlos' complaints about a business that locks in its employees to force them to work overtime.

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