Workers perform the same highly specialized gluing and stitching tasks over and over again. Workers are penniless and homeless, feeling ‘alien’ in the factories, and ‘alien’ in that they are migrant workers who have come for the promise of good jobs and wages, which they have not yet seen.Sleep deprivation, malnutrition and homesickness combine to result in deep disorientation and alienation. This is, as Rose (1990) states, the basic alienation that lies at the heart of work: “Workers work because they have to, they work at the behest of others in a process they do not control, to produce goods or services they do not enjoy… work is made up of the elements of obedience, self-denial and deferred gratification” (p56).
There is another way in which workers have become separate and alienated from the products they create. This is in the disparity of what they earn creating the shoe and how much they would have to earn, or rather how long they would have to work to buy that shoe.