The Core Work and the Struggle to Make a Living without Dying

Summary of Chapter Six Chapter six of this book talks about the workings of different technological and chip making companies that are situated in the Silicon Valley area of California. These Companies produce some of the most important parts that are used in gadgets and modern cars. The firms make bigger profits annually since they service major electronic and motor vehicle Company in the World in a virtual way. These companies include Advance Micro Devices, International Business Machine (IBM) among others. In most cases, the firms employ immigrant workers from the Asia- Pacific region due to the kind of jobs available. In this case, Filipinos are the majority of those interviewed. The kind of jobs available requires contact to various types of chemicals used in manufacturing chips for the electronics industry. Most of the chemicals are hazardous to the people and continuous exposure of human beings can lead to health complications in the future. In the beginning, most of the workers do not have an idea of the kind of chemicals they use or their effects on their health. Some chemicals are even illegal to use, but they are periodically snuck into the work place to be used to produce the perfect chips when necessary. The sarcasm of the story is the title of the room in which these chemicals are used. It is called the ‘clean room’. The workers are provided with protective wear, but this is only to protect the chips from contamination that might occur due to particles brought in by the workers. Most of these workers eventually suffer major complications, the majority being cancer and some suffer infertility. The workers have no alternative ways to have their grievances addressed since raising a complaint means automatic firing. The rules are harsh for the employees since they are in a foreign country without any avenues of income. This ties them up in a literal cycle of death since the company uses family members to recruit other family members to work for them.

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