“Apple Inc’s largest contract manufacturer has been pushing for a Chinese worker left brain-damaged in a factory accident to be removed from hospital in a case that throws a harsh new spotlight on labor rights in China,” Tan Ee Lyn reports for Reuters.

“Zhang Tingzhen, 26, an employee of Taiwan firm Foxconn, had nearly half his brain surgically removed after surviving an electric shock at a plant in southern China a year ago,” Tan Ee Lyn reports. “He remains in hospital under close observation by doctors, unable to speak or walk properly.”

Tan Ee Lyn reports, “However, Foxconn, which is paying Zhang’s hospital bills, has been sending telephone text messages to his family since July, demanding they remove him from hospital and threatening to cut off funding for his treatment – a move the firm says would be justified under Chinese labor law.”

“Zhang is actually one of the lucky ones, social workers say, pointing out that Foxconn has at least been paying his hospital bills and the living expenses of his family, which has moved to Shenzhen from central China to be with him,” Tan Ee Lyn reports. “Foxconn says it is insured against workplace accidents, which means its insurer would meet the cost of a compensation payment once Zhang’s disability is finally assessed. But compensation in China can vary depending on the city in which a worker’s disability is assessed – and this, according to Zhang’s family, is why Foxconn wants him to travel to Huizhou and refuses to have him assessed in Shenzhen.”

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