Foxconn factory workers to get 30 percent raise

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Production line workers at Foxconn’s southern China manufacturing hub will get a 30 percent pay rise, as top customer Apple Inc. called recent suicides at the plant troubling but said the site was ‘not a sweatshop.’ The string of deaths at the site have focused attention on working conditions in a region experiencing growing labor unrest. In his first public comments on the problem, Apple CEO Steve Jobs expressed his concern,” Argin Chang, Roger Tung, Kelvin Soh and Faith Hung report for Reuters.

“‘It’s a difficult situation,’ Jobs said at the All Things Digital conference in California on Tuesday. ‘We’re trying to understand right now, before we go in and say we know the solution,'” Chang, Tung, Soh and Hung report.

“Taiwan contract electronics maker Hon Hai Precision Industry, the owner of Foxconn, said on Wednesday that the cash component of wages would rise by 30 percent effective immediately, more than the 20 percent rise the company had talked about late last month,” Chang, Tung, Soh and Hung report.

Full article here.

34 Comments

  1. I remember being told once that it was better to remain silent, and let others think you a fool, than to open your mouth and leave no doubt.

    Chinese workers (on average) do not make our minimum wage, but neither do they have our cost of living. That said, the move from communism to capitalism has increased living standards in China dramatically.

    Pay raises, like the one just announced, are a sign that China’s economy is growing and labor has far more employment options today than they ever did under Mao.

  2. I am rarely negatively disturbed by anything SJ says, but his comment about the percentage of suicides being below national average and the plant having a swimming pool, thus making it a nice facility, was way out of line. No suicide is good and he should have stated that from the get-go. No swimming pool can make up for bad working conditions or poor pay. SJ needs to get back to his roots.

  3. Come on now! This is just an overtime payment that they were supposed to get all along but now it is made firm.

    Read between the lines. iPad production and new iPhone production is ramped way up and Foxconn is finally paying OT.

  4. I think they need more of a life than money. More meaningful relationships with human beings. What are they going to do with the extra money other than send it home? They’re still living in extremely cramped quarters on that campus site right by the factory.

    The problem is their lack of outlets to derive pleasure. It makes for such a miserable existence. Just check out one of Gizmodo’s stories on the topic:

    http://gizmodo.com/5542527/undercover-report-from-foxconns-hell-factory

    “There are other kind of dreams too. Liu says that some of them complain about their love lives. They just can’t find lovers in that environment, so they have to find alternatives: In some internet cafes—hiding in restaurants outside the factory—young men can buy access to clandestine porn videos. However, the men say that the movies get boring after long periods of time.”

    Is it any wonder they’re being driven to madness? What kind of life is that to live, where you have no friends and no partners and your sole source of sexual relief is a good wank every now and again to some porn? It’s sickening, and I don’t think I’d last very long under such depressing conditions. I’d be looking for the nearest Foxconn rooftop myself within six months of that shit.

    How much sun are they getting? You can bet it’s very little. What about their daily vitamin intake? Are they treated for depression? It’s a travesty, and a raise in their paychecks won’t make one bit of difference.

  5. @ Gregg Thurman

    That is one of my favorite quotes by Abraham Lincoln. It is actually, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

    But I got you… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  6. @ R2

    It is “The Island”…they have lottery winnings to go to “The Island”…They all wear white Puma track suits and shoes. They just discovered the word, “Dude”. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  7. @Amazin1
    I saw a similar post yesterday, and it deserves much the same response. Yes, SJ could have stated his regret regarding the suicides at Foxconn. But he is the CEO of Apple and he stated the facts. There are suicides all over the world, and plenty in the U.S. The Foxconn workforce at that one facility is equivalent to a modest city in the U.S., and the U.S. also has a problem with suicides.

    You can be disappointed with SJ if you want. But what are you doing about the suicide problem besides complaining that SJ did not respond the “right” way?

  8. The thing that bothers me about this highly publicized situation is that the result might encourage others to use suicide as a way of pushing for social change.

  9. “The thing that bothers me about this highly publicized situation is that the result might encourage others to use suicide as a way of pushing for social change.”

    Bobby Sands tried that in Northern Ireland years ago.

  10. @ Amazin1,

    The suicide rate at the Foxconn campus is a surprisingly low 2 per 100,000 per year.

    The suicide rate at American colleges and universities ranges from 5 per 100,000 per year at party schools to 10 per 100,000 per year at serious institutes of higher learning like MIT.

    When Steve Jobs said the suicide rate was low at Foxconn he damn well meant it was low.

    Both places have kids, about the same age, a long way from home, for the first time in their lives, in a strange place, far away from friends and family. Depression happens.

    If you measure quality of life by the suicide rate, the kids working at the Foxconn campus have 2.5 to 5 times better quality of life than kids at American college campuses.

    Let’s get real here. If Apple can’t be bashed over it’s environmental record, let’s hit them with slave labor charges. The whole thing is bullshit.

  11. “Foxconn is finally paying OT.”
    From what I read, Foxconn has always paid OT… in fact, the conventional wisdom in China is that you do NOT work a job unless it pays overtime. The understanding is that 40 hours a week just won’t cut it. Foxconn finds employees, even though they pay lower than the Chinese minimum wage, based solely on the OT (many companies can’t offer OT).

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.