It’s happened again: a Foxconn plant explosion has caused a large fire in Yantai. According to MICGadget the fire stemmed from “improper operation of workmanship on color spraying” which suggests a aerosol paint may be involved.
The last fire happened in May in Chengdu. This fire was at a plant that made PCs, laptops, and printers. It employs and, in some cases, houses 80,000 workers, many of whom were evacuated. The blaze lasted 30 minutes and there are no reports of casualties.
I dread the thought of more of these fires over the next few months and years yet I also wonder if these won’t be a motivating force in the improvement of working conditions in these megafactories. It took a major disaster to improve workers’ rights in the US a century ago. What will it take to improve workers’ rights this century?