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The Chinese government thinks that Foxconn's employee union is one key towards improving working conditions at the company's plants. The government has demanded action from the company after a string of suicides at the company's Apple plant in Shenzhen.  (Source: Indy Media)
Foxconn's owners are facing their most serious criticism yet

Foxconn's Taiwanese owner Hon Hai has tried everything to curb the suicides at its Chinese Shenzhen plant -- anger rooms where employees can beat away their stress, soothing Buddhist music on the assembly line, counseling from monks, and, most recently, requiring employees to sign contract letters promising not to kill themselves (the letter has since been retracted).  However, none of those steps seems to have worked yet at stopping the suicides at the plant which manufactures most of the world's iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

On Saturday the top Communist Party official of Guangdong, Wang Yang demanded Foxconn clean up its act, arguing that improved unions could help the situation.  Yang, provincial party secretary, comments, "[The government and Hon Hai must] work together and take effective measures to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.  Labor unions in private firms should be improved to facilitate better working conditions and more harmonious relations between workers and employers."

Thus far 10 employees have taken their lives at the Shenzhen plant, which houses between 330,000 and 400,000 people.  Three others were seriously injured in suicide attempts.  Compared to the average suicide rate in China, this would seem rather normal.  However, workers in factories typically have a much lower suicide rate than the national average.  And the number of males committing suicides is unusual.  Rural females alone account for half of China's suicides in recent statistics, while urban females account for a portion of the remaining suicides.

Foxconn reportedly has been making employees work long overtime, sometimes unpaid.  Even as it made record profits, it also failed to give employees a promised raise in recent months, as well (entry level employees currently make around $132 a month).  There's even reports of company security details beating and harassing workers.

At this point Foxconn has at least committed to at last giving its employees their promised raise.  It has not said when it will implement the raise, but says "it should be very soon."  Particular raises are at the discretion of local management.  Company officials explain, "It would be an average 20% increase, which means some areas will be more than 20%."  

Meanwhile a probe into the company by Apple, HP, Dell, Sony, Nokia, and Nintendo continues.  Between scrutiny from its corporate partners and the Chinese government, pressure is building for Hon Hai to step in and improve its working conditions (better pay, shorter hours), even if that means cutting into its annual profit of NT$75.69B ($2.35B USD).



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RE: I knew
By sebmel on 5/31/2010 7:42:22 PM , Rating: 0
I'm pretty much fed up with Jason Mick trolling. Why, Mick, do you never mention Microsoft in these articles and always focus on Apple? Because you're a troll, not a journalist.

Other Major brands who use Foxconn include:

Microsoft (Yes, all 3 major consoles assembled at Foxconn)
Intel
Dell
Zoostrom
Sony
Nintendo
Motorola
Amazon Kindle
Cisco
Hewlett-Packard
ATI

While Apple have offered to subsidise a 20% pay rise for workers assembling Apple products at Foxconn most other companies using Foxconn have issued statements regarding the number of suicides at the factory, but none other than Apple, as far as I'm aware, have taken steps this large and publically towards resolving the problem.

And that, Mick, includes Microsoft.


RE: I knew
By Azure Sky on 6/3/2010 12:15:08 PM , Rating: 2
1. this plant dosnt make xboxes

2. this plant dosnt make xboxes

3. this plant dosnt make xboxes

This plant is primarly APPLE PRODUCTS and its APPLE pushing for higher production without raising costs that has caused these conditions to worsen.

your great St.Steve DOSNT CARE ABOUT PEOPLE, if your not an itard or cant afford iProducts you arent worth his time, Think I am kidding, read up on things he has said, Apple/st.steve have zero interest in selling products to people who cant currently afford a mac or iphone, they actively refuse to create cheaper devices that could allow people entry into the iTard world, because to do that would lower their profit margins.

The ONLY reason apple is subsidizing this raise is due to bad PR they want to lessen or counter, because it could hurt sales.


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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