I highly recommend Wall Street Journal reporter Leslie Chang's book, "Factory Girls." She offers more than a drive-by take on Chinese factory workers. She also recently wrote a commentary piece in The New York Times, concluding:
"It is important not to interpret the recent spate of worker suicides as protests against factory conditions. In my experience, the greatest pressure on workers comes from interpersonal and emotional concerns rather than conditions inside the factory, which workers tend to take for granted.
The universe of the factory can be a complicated place. Young people living away from home for the first time are learning to deal with co-workers, roommates, and bosses. They are adjusting to a world of material and sexual freedom, fleeting relationships and crushing loneliness. They face demands from families back home who often have little understanding of their new lives. These factors create a stressful environment from which, for a handful of workers, suicide seems the only escape. To boil this desperate act down to a protest against working conditions is to deny a worker’s complexity and humanity."
All that Chang wrote jibes with what I've read and heard over the years about labor in Chinese factories.
Adding link to book: