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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.

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RE: Just low....
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/9/2010 1:12:06 PM , Rating: -1
If only MS was a MAJOR hardware manufacturer............

RE: Just low....
By quiksilvr on 6/9/2010 1:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, last time I checked they sold:
40 million Xbox 360s
5 million Zunes/Zune HDs

Not to mention all the overpriced accessories and peripherals for those products.

RE: Just low....
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Just low....
By ekv on 6/9/2010 1:54:12 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, software is their "primary" business. However, your original statement used the word "major". It was not clear you meant "primary".

MSFT is a major player in the hardware market. I don't think "OEM" is quite appropriate, but they are a major player.

RE: Just low....
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Just low....
By hughlle on 6/10/2010 5:09:33 AM , Rating: 4
hahahaha, what a tool.
microsoft are big in software. microsoft are big in hardware. everyone knows this, name one person that is not aware of the xbox 360 :P

we rate you down cus you're dumb as f*** :)

RE: Just low....
By ekv on 6/10/2010 4:32:18 PM , Rating: 1
When I say that hardware is not their "primary" business am I not saying it is "NOT THEIR MAIN BUSINESS"?

I didn't say they were a pure hardware company, but they are a "major player". OEM isn't the right word, the correct term eludes me at the moment -- damnit, maybe I'm getting old -- but they sell tons of h/w. How many millions of xbox's? along with mice/kb, etc.

It's simply not factual to say otherwise. What do you think they are? Look at Google, or Citizen, etc. Any large conglomerate.

RE: Just low....
By rburnham on 6/10/10, Rating: 0
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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