SUZHOU, CHINA—Expressing growing concerns about their future job security, factory workers across China reported this week that they are deeply worried they may never lose their menial, hazardous positions on product assembly lines to automated machinery. “It’s a frightening prospect, but I’m starting to seriously believe that the day I find myself replaced by a robot is never coming,” 22-year-old Wintek employee Jie Liu told reporters, echoing the fears of thousands of his fellow laborers assembling touchscreen components on a cramped and poorly ventilated factory floor, all of whom said they were afraid that the installation of mechanized technology that renders obsolete their 18-hour workdays, subhuman working conditions, and tiny, roach-infested dormitories might still be decades off. “As much as it pains me to say, I just have to accept that I’ll be employed in this position for the foreseeable future. It’s sad to think jobs like these may still be here for my children.” Liu noted that his most realistic hope now was being rendered incapable of working after getting his hand caught in a machine press.
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