I am 42 years old and from the Hunan Province. For the last 11 years I have been working 12-hour days in the dyeing department at this fabric mill in Guangzhou.
I want you to know I work really long hard hours, standing on my feet, to dye your fabric. Dying fabric is a dirty but necessary business. I go to the labor union office once a year to get body scans because of all the chemicals that I handle.
The steam and noise takes some getting used to and in the summer the heat from the machines is intense. Working conditions are more bearable now—better ventilation, fans to keep us cool—but there is always room for improvement.
After punching out, I’m usually too tired to do or think very much. I love to watch singing competitions on TV before I fall asleep.
I live onsite in the dorms. My wife and two children live over six hours away and I only get to see them once a year. But in 7 more years my children will be done with school.
I hope my son joins the army, and I can go back to chicken farming and the peace of my village. I dream of that day.