Print 83 comment(s) - last by YashBudini.. on Jun 12 at 8:37 PM

Foxconn may replace workers at its plants with robots. The plants which have been dubbed as "hellish" by the Chinese media, also are cutting their sucide payouts. They already don't pay for workers who die of exhaustion.  (Source: Telegraph UK)

Foxconn is blame news orginizations' reporting of the deaths for provoking more suicides, dismissing that poor working conditions are to blame.  (Source: Southern Weekly)
Company also blames news networks for the suicides

Foxconn seemed to be turning the corner in working conditions and corporate policy.  It had raised employees' base wages and instituted additional performance based increases, as well.  It even had retracted its contract letters to employees demanding they didn't kill themselves.  Now the manufacturer -- which services Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and a host of other companies -- is turning to some controversial new changes.

First of all, at its annual shareholder meeting yesterday, Terry Gou, CEO of Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry (owners of the Chinese Foxconn unit) blamed news agencies and company payouts for the rash of suicides.  He first read a letter from one of the employees who killed himself, which stated: I'm going to jump off Foxconn, really leaving now, but you don't have to be sad, because Foxconn will pay a bit of money, this is all your son can repay you now.
He also stated that 6 of the 12 suicides, which occurred in May after the story received international attention, may have triggered a "Werther Effect" -- people reading about the story and deciding to kill themselves.  As a result, Gou is handing control over "welfare management work" to the Chinese local government, which may chose to block internet coverage for the events.

He also announced that Foxconn will no longer pay the families of employees who kill themselves.  Recently a worker died, apparently from exhaustion from working long hours and Foxconn refused to pay his family, as well.  The new policy, though, ends suicide payouts that could total as much as 10 years worth of salary.

Foxconn has also started to flee China, where it currently employs over 800,000 people.  In the shareholders meeting it said that the rise in wages from ¥900 ($132) to ¥1,200 ($176), and for top performers up to ¥2,000 ($293), is compelling it to move to countries with cheaper labor or seek alternative options. 

It says that it may replace employees with robots, building a fully automated assembly line in Taiwan.  This suggestion is somewhat ironic, given recent Foxconn factory workers' complaints that they felt like "robots" when performing their duties. 

Chairman Samuel Chen says that the company may also shift employees and orders to its Vietnam plant, where labor is cheaper.  Chen says that Foxconn is working with the companies that contract it to make these moves as smooth as possible.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

you know you're a greddy B**tard when
By zmatt on 6/9/2010 11:47:03 AM , Rating: 5
You think labor in China is too expensive and contemplate moving to vietnam.

RE: you know you're a greddy B**tard when
By ixelion on 6/9/2010 11:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing, things have gone horribly awry when you think Chinese labor is too expensive! The thought is hilarious and sad at the same time.

By Freezebyte on 6/9/2010 11:57:05 AM , Rating: 5
We've moved well beyond "greedy" and more into "inhumane"

RE: you know you're a greddy B**tard when
By kamel5547 on 6/9/2010 12:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well, a lot of the blame falls on consumers and retailers/Tradermark owners (HP, Apple etc). Its easy to blame the manufacturer for holding labor costs low, but as long as consumers pressure retailers for the lowest price, retailers pressure their suppliers to cut their costs, and trademark owners seek to minimize their cost the pressure will be intense at the bottom of the chain to lower their cost. Essentially companies in China get blamed for the wages and working conditions, but the whole existence of those conditions is based on the fact we were not willing to pay the cost of American (or European, or wherever manufacturing moved from) wages.

You can't have it both ways, either you want the lowest cost for yourself, or you want good conditions and pay for other people, most consumers have shown that they are only willing to pay more for percieved value, not for humanitarian reasons.

RE: you know you're a greddy B**tard when
By stirfry213 on 6/9/2010 12:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
DING DING DING! We have a winner!

Here's the question I have. Comparitively, how much would your $200 iPhone cost if it was made in the U.S.? If the average person in China gets paid $200 amonth, and the average person in the US gets paid $1160 ($7.25 minimum wage x 40 hours/week x 4 weeks), thats a 580% increase in labor. You know they work more than 40 hours a week at Foxconn. This is a horribly inaccurate comparison (it would likely cost more in the US). However, if you take that % increase alone, your $200 iPhone now costs $1160, the iPad at $500 would now cost $2900. The products would be a flop, no one would buy it.

Now you must ask your self. Is this so called "slave labor" necessary? If you built everything in US for Americans, would it stifle progress/innovation/invention? Would we be able to afford even some of our most basic electronic devices if they were made here in the US? I doubt it. My $700 42" LCD TV would cost $4060, lol.

Moral of the story, don't be so shallow or ignorant to think that the only issue with Foxconn is Foxconn itself. We all contribute.

RE: you know you're a greddy B**tard when
By DanNeely on 6/9/2010 1:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
Your calculation is grotesquely flawed because you're assuming that 100% of the retail price is labor. Roughly half of the price of a typical gadget is directly the cost of the parts that go into it. Software development costs, and profit margins for foxconn, apple, and the retailer make up most of the rest. There would likely be some increase in the total cost (if it's small enough Apple might make Foxconn eat it, or eat it themselves) but it wouldn't be anywhere near as dramatic as you imply.

By sleepeeg3 on 6/9/2010 7:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
Oh right, those parts just fly out of the ground... His thinking is dead on.

You can continue to not use logic or you can think things completely through and realize that companies provide people jobs and people have their own free will.

The media continues to shepherd sheeple against companies so they can keep "punishing" them with more taxes and increasingly expanding government power/socialism. Sugar tax, cola tax, tanning bed tax... they will even sell you a tax on electronics, if they think you are stupid enough:

By hr824 on 6/9/2010 1:55:01 PM , Rating: 4
Excuse me but the 66% raise foxconn workers got raised the cost to make a Ipad $3.80 at 580% it would be 33.36 and Apple is thinking about raising the price $50.00. There is plenty of room to pay workers a decent wage while keeping the price for consumers down and making a enormous profit. This is flat out greed plain and simple.

By StraightCashHomey on 6/9/2010 4:48:35 PM , Rating: 1
Your formula is fantastically fucked up.

By chick0n on 6/9/2010 11:35:03 PM , Rating: 1
Thank you very much. even your math is not really right.

what most arrogant Americans failed to realize is that, this is how the economy ALWAYS worked since Human Begins exist. You go to a place to for cheaper labor/cost and sell them at higher price. more profit.

Its just funny that all these "OMG THEy'RE HAVING SLAVE LABOR THERE" yada yada yada fuckers still shop at Walmart + still bitch that the products they're buying cost too much and want even lower price. well, yeah, you're the cost of "slave labors" elsewhere. Might as well STFU already ?

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki