Apple supplier Foxconn cuts working hours; workers worry, question why

“When Chinese worker Wu Jun heard that her employer, the giant electronics assembly company Foxconn, had given employees landmark concessions her reaction was worry, not elation,” Chris Buckley reports for Reuters.

“Wu, 23, is one of tens of thousands of migrants from the poor countryside who staff the production lines of Foxconn’s plant in Longhua, in southern China, which spits out made-to-order products for Apple Inc. and other multinationals,” Buckley reports. “Foxconn’s concessions, including cutting overtime for its 1.2 million mainland Chinese workers while promising compensation that protects them against losing income, were backed by Apple, which has faced criticism and media scrutiny for worker safety lapses and for using relatively low-paid employees to make high-cost phones, computers and other gadgets.”

Buckley reports, “But at the Foxconn factory gates, many workers seemed unconvinced that their pay wouldn’t be cut along with their hours. For some Chinese factory workers – who make much of their income from long hours of overtime – the idea of less work for the same pay could take getting used to… ‘We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important,” said Chen Yamei, 25, a Foxconn worker from Hunan who said she had worked at the factory for four years. ‘We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little,’ she added. Chen said she now earned a bit over 4,000 yuan a month ($634).”

“‘This is a good company to work for because the working conditions are better than a lot of other small factories,’ said Huang Hai, a 21-year-old man who said he had worked at Foxconn’s factory for about two years. Huang was waiting for a friend lined up outside the recruitment centre for prospective Foxconn employees.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It is to laugh.

Related articles:
Fair Labor Association releases Foxconn report; looks to correct overtime, safety issues – March 29, 2012
Change.org petition calls for Change.org to retract petition against Apple; says based on Mike Daisey’s lies – March 21, 2012
Foxconn won’t take legal action against ‘This American Life’ after retraction of Mike Daisey lies – March 19, 2012
Foxconn glad Mike Daisey’s lies exposed; says media hasn’t gone far enough in reporting truth – March 19, 2012
Apple and the Daisey affair: Why did the company keep its silence, when it knew a year ago what we know now? – March 18, 2012
Apple firestorm leads Mike Daisey to change his ‘agony and ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ show – March 17, 2012
‘This American Life’ retracts story, says it can’t vouch for the truth of Mike Daisey’s monologue about Apple in China – March 16, 2012
Foxconn: The fire that wasn’t – March 15, 2012
Apple supplier Foxconn again lifts pay for China workers; 16-25 percent increase – February 17, 2012
FLA President: Foxconn factories ‘first-class; way, way above average’ – February 15, 2012
‘Slacktivism’ groups claim credit for Apple supplier audits over a month after Apple originally announced its plans – February 14, 2012
Thousands line up for iPhone assembly jobs at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou, China plant – January 30, 2012
Apple CEO Tim Cook calls New York Times supplier report ‘patently false and offensive’ – January 27, 2012
Apple audit led by COO Tim Cook prompted improvements at Foxconn – February 14, 2011
Media blows it: Foxconn employees face significantly lower suicide risk – May 28, 2010

93 Comments

  1. Here’s why:

    Because someone from far away who thinks they know better, but really doesn’t understand the local needs at all, agitated and then dictated that it be so.

    And that, in a nutshell, is why statists like Obama and his dwindling minions fail routinely.

    More power and money to the states, less power and money to the centralized federal bureaucracy, and the U.S.A. would prosper beyond your wildest dreams.

    1. We’re Not France, Yet

      A story in the New York Times a few weeks ago reported on two small towns on the border between France and Germany. French Sélestat, in Alsace, has an unemployment rate of 8% and a youth unemployment rate of 23%. Across the border in Emmendingen, the rates are 3% and 7%. (The U.S.’s own unemployment rates these days are closer to those in Sélestat.)

      Deep in the article, the mayor of Sélestat explains why this is so. In Germany, he said, local and state governments can set many of their own rules. In France, “the national Education Ministry wants to keep all control.” The Affordable Care Act is our road to France’s ministry of education. For its designers, ObamaCare is their administrative coup de grâce.

      But something more is in motion with this case than a potential, once-and-for-all movement of government authority from the nation’s parts to its center. As important is who exercises control. The answer is: the mandarins.

      Mandarins are the intellectuals who design and order legally enforceable public systems within which the rest of the population resides, or tries to. French policy mandarins are the most celebrated in the world. Their most ardent admirers in America are the people who made the Obama health-care law.

      Why are we so close to falling into the grip of an American mandarinate of the centralizing sort now smothering France? Our version of these controllers came to life in the 1960s. They are a byproduct of the passage in those years of a succession of federal rights and entitlement laws. The former were more admirable than the latter. But the singularly bad effect of that period on the American political psyche was the sense of moral triumphalism that spread among liberal policy intellectuals. From this certitude came the belief they could do anything they wanted to the booboisee in the untrustworthy states.

      And they did, for example writing an Endangered Species Act whose coverage mandated federal government protection for such minutiae as the delta smelt. Only a mandarin would insist on this.

      For the political left affiliated with Barack Obama—in the bureaucracies, the punditocracy and the courts—objections to these expansive laws on liberty grounds, then and now, are mainly arguments over abstractions. The liberty objections simply don’t matter. ObamaCare itself is a masterpiece of mandarin abstraction. Yet 67% of polled Americans believe this masterwork’s mandate is unconstitutional. What are these people thinking?

      In the closing pages of “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution,” Bernard Bailyn summarized the core concern about the Affordable Care Act’s reach that is trying to find its voice today: “At the Philadelphia convention, with exquisite care and with delicate nuances, they devised a complex constitution that would generate the requisite power but would so distribute its flow and uses that no one body of men and no one institutional center would ever gain a monopoly of force or influence that would dominate the nation.”

      We shall see.

      Daniel Henniinger, The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2012

      1. The French economy isn’t exactly doing badly right now. Compared to the free-market UK they’ve pretty much survived the world recession with their GDP output intact. Of course if you’re comparing them to Germany they’re going to lose out, but that’s because Germany is without doubt the most successful economy in the developed world, with growth stats and export balances the USA et al can only dream of.

        1. Another reason Germany is doing well is due to the low euro. Debt crises in the rest of Europe translates to a lower euro, thus greatly enhancing German exports.

          That may eventually come to an end.

        2. Why do liberals hate the poor Chinese Apple workers so much.

          Answer:

          They make liberals look like the lazy, POS, parasites that they are. They can’t have hard working, happy Chinese, Apple Factory workers make their liberal takeover talking points not apply. So liberals go in and attack them. Really, really, sick!!!!!!!!!

      2. Thin BS. The Affordable Care Act only wishes it was as good as France’s health care system. And Americas unemployment comes from an economy broken by out of control Wall Street, the tax dollars spent to protect the same bad actors and the 6 years of unfunded, off the books wars of empire perpetrated by the Bush Cheney Mandarin cabal that Obama inherited. Come back with some truth.

        1. Quivering Communist back spewing more Marxist nonsense propaganda. Everyone but the lemmings know what is really going on and it is pure out of control LIberalism.

        1. The Affordable Care Act was a gift to insurance companies. When the pot got rich enough, they told their Congressional lackeys to go ahead and pass it. It should probably die before the insurance companies bankrupt the whole country, instead of the few hundred thousand they do each year now.

          The ACA will never measure up to the Canada Health Act, which provides coverage for all Canadians at a cost of about 40% of the USA. The genesis of the current act in Canada was started by Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan. He is considered by Canadians to the the greatest Canadian ever. America is still looking fir its Tommy Douglas. Could it be Mitt Romney, who started the Massachusetts universal health care law?

          Perhaps the reason Canada’s economy is so good is that the burden and benefits of health care is shared by all. Everybody needs health care, nobody needs health insurance.

          1. But that’s an infomercial!

            For every Canadian who gets tired of waiting for a procedure and goes overseas, there are tens of thousands of people down here who would kill to be on one of those Canadian waiting lists.

            1. You are correct, Disposable. Completely correct. Ignore the insult driven nonsense. Anytime some one trots out an insult it obviates any argument they might offer

            2. Double BS Swing Commie,

              Allow insurance across state line and rein in slip and fall lawyers. Healthcare is not a right and 26 year old should not be on their parents insurance. You commies never stop. Is having an iPhone a right? Car? House? TV? Refrigerator? Pet? Nice Clothes? Restaurant Dining?

              You freaking Marxists are so full of crap. This MaobamaSCARE, unconstitutional, BS, rammed down our throats is going DOWN!!!!!!!!!!

            3. @Quentin,

              Highways, police and firefighters are not a “right” either, and yet the government is free to decide how we all pay for and receive those services.

            4. Yes disposable idiot, we’ve all heard that DemoCommie talking point before Pure nonsense. Conservatives are for the bear minimum. Firemen, and police to find real hardened criminals and some light traffic duty (not giving out cell phone tickets while they talk on the phone themselves but that’s another issue).

              We are for helping the truly needy and disabled. The lazy, scum of the earth, parasite, takers can go to hell and get zero!

              Small government, minimal services beyond the basics, help the disabled, and nothing for freeloaders.

          2. That is american insurance company scare tactics at work.

            1/3 of my family lives in Canada. Half in BC and the other half in Calgary. They have health care on par with us, at least the doctors offices I’ve been in up there feel very much like the ones in the US and there wasn’t a line around the block like these bozos astro surfers for the US insurance companies like to claim.

            The big difference in Canada is that you don’t lose everything you own when your health declines and you do not have to make ridiculous decisions like skipping a doctor visit because you need to feed your kids.

            Sure the US probably has the best doctors and hospitals, but that is only one aspect of health care.

            The healthcare system in the US overall is absolutely the worst system ever conceived imho. Our spiraling costs and continued downward spiral in terms of overall health as a nation is proof enough of that. The fact that people routinely go bankrupt in the supposed ‘richest country’ on earth over health care is a sad state of affairs.

            Anyone who tries to tell you we have a good system has never truly been sick and watched everything they own taken away as the bills mount up and the vultures start circling looking for the last scraps.

            We should be ashamed of the system we’ve built. By all means though keep showing infomercials backed by the big insurance companies, really they have your best interests at heart my friend! hah!

            1. You are absolutely the worst. The only thing wrong with healthcare in the US is the government being too involved in it. The numbers the left dreams up to use in their phony propaganda to steal our rights, freedom, and private property are a complete lie. Just like everything they spew. REALLY is always wrong!

              Destroy the healthcare industry, oil industry, every industry….. Watch out, they’ll be after Apple soon enough!

            2. @Truth Fact

              I truly believe our healthcare industry is screwed, its horrid. I base that strictly on my own experiences of watching people lose everything to this system while having family up in Canada who are living their lives every day without giving a thought to how much the next dr visit is going to cost.

              Its flat out profit before lives here and it should have never been allowed to happen in the first place.

              Some things are regulated for a reason. You can’t go into business printing US currency to sell on the street just as you can’t start a company making atom bombs to sell to places like Iran.

              I happen to feel that healthcare is one of those kinds of things, it should be controlled and regulated for the greater good of the nation. I don’t care if you think I’m a commie or whatever just because I believe something different than you I’m just thankful that we live in a nation that we can still disagree without one of us landing in jail!

            3. You are a commie if you think that. We were all fine before you libtard masterminds arrived on the show and started destroying everything in your paths like human wrecking balls. The government is the one completely at fault for the healthcare industry costs being higher than they should be. Government and ambulance chasing lawyers.

              Healthcre is not a right. The government has no right forcing this on us. I hope no one decides to become a doctor ever because of this. What then? Are you libtards going to start forcing people into what career they have to be in like Russia. Maybe they could make you be the janitor or garbage man.

              Socialized medicine sucks. Let insurance companies sell insurance across state lines and ban trip and fall lawyers.

            1. Hey. Thanks for the new show idea. My Pathetic Life. It can be on lifetime.

              So you too join the ranks of the snively? Is Obama crushing your dreams. Did you lose out on a job to a Cadillac driving welfare queen too?

      1. Your “whateverism” is also dead, CitizenX . . . at least among rational, mature adults. Of course, the iconic and vacuous teenage valley girl still lives within such dismissive rhetoric, but no one values her empty opinions . . . or yours for that matter.

        1. Cromwell,

          Don’t dis the rich valley girl mentality. In 2007-2008 when Paris Hilton made her video response to McCains asshat comments about Paris Hilton writing a better energy policy than Obama, she went one better by using common sense to humiliate both of them.

          When the country’s political system is so screwed up and polarized among stupid party lines, that a spoiled rich party girl can exhibit better sense than either presidential candidate,…. well, we are in a freakin’ world of hurt.

      2. F10T12 makes a helluva lot more sense than your sorry ass, CitizenX.

        As per horses and rest: We’re going to beat a dead horse (well, a dying jackass) and give you Libs a very well deserved rest come November.

    2. Precisely, “First 2010, Then 2012.”

      This reminds me of “Dwarf tossing” (” rel=”nofollow”>picture). Dwarf tossing was a bar-room pastime in the late ’80s that offended well-meaning liberals because it reinforced “stereotypes of people of short stature” and “marginalized” them [yadda yadda].

      So well-meaning politicians intent on staying in power by securing the votes of well-meaning liberals proposed laws banning the pastime; that is, until the dwarfs called in reporters to bitterly complain that they…

      A) Were making damned good money at it
      B) Had 100% say in whether they went to work that evening
      C) Resented politicians presuming to dictate to them how they should live their lives.

      What is a well-meaning liberal to do so they can walk around and continue to be smug?

    3. Ah yes, let’s return to the golden days of prosperity, unicorns and butterflies of the Bush era. The Republicans are so profoundly motivated by love of the average person. (Oh wait – I forgot for a moment – it was the REPUBLICANS who crashed the world’s economy.)

      1. -∞

        You Lie.

        It’s too bad that one of W’s decision points wasn’t demolishing the Clinton administration’s policy that caused the horrific housing crisis and the subsequent economic fallout that we continue to languish under to this day. Likely Bush was averse to being labeled a “racist” by knee-jerk Libs (currently donning hoodies in Tawana Brawley-esque fashion) and those who make their profit by keeping their own people slaves to government subsistence living (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc.)

        In 1994 the Clinton administration declared war on an enemy — the so-called “racist lender” — who officials claimed was to blame for differences in homeownership rate, and launched what would prove the costliest social crusade in U.S. history:

        http://news.investors.com/Article/589858/201110310805/Housing-Crisis-Obama-Clinton-Subprime.htm

      2. SeaASS save the Zombie-Rhetoric. Only your small herd of fellow LEMMINGS eat that crap up. And it is crap.

        Capitalism, The US Constitution, and Freedom will kick the crap out of Lib-Row-Tardism at the voting booth this November. You freaking dim wit.

  2. Just to be clear, FLA guidelines say the maximum anyone should work is 60 hours a week, and the FLA recommended that number to Foxcom after doing its audit. Foxcom decided to limit it 49 hours, because that is the maximum set by CHINESE law. So Foxcom ended up deciding to follow the laws of their country instead of just the guidelines of outsiders.

    Studies, by the way, consistently find that around 53 hours a week a worker’s ability to focus and be productive drops sharply, so the 49 hour limit is probably much better overall for worker’s safety and for productivity.

    Foxcom is also increasing salaries at the same time they are cutting overtime hours. I don’t if the increase is enough to make up for lost overtime, but I definitely want to see that math before jumping to any conclusions about if it is fair or not.

    1. I’m glad you brought up the point of how worker compensation is going to change with the cut in overtime – it’s something the report isn’t that clear about. The report says “This means reducing overtime hours from 80 per month to 36 while protecting worker pay.” with no mention of what constitutes “protection”. I can’t imagine that Foxconn would eat 44 hours of OT and allocate it back into base compensation, but that’s a possible (albeit extreme) interpretation of what the report says.

        1. You can always go to my blog to see what else I advocate. Or you could continue to make asinine comments with zero relationship to the topic, which I suspect is more in line with your motivations, “Jenny”.

          And my avatar is “Ash” from the “Evil Dead” series. I imagine yours being a sloth or similarly dull mammal. You may want to free up your ? key. It appears to be sticking.

    2. Bet a lot of Apple workers in Cupertino work more than 6 hours per week with no OT pay.

      Cut the overtime so the workers can go back to thier dorms and do nothing wwehn they could be working.

      When I was in “Nam”, 7 days a week 12 hours a day at the supply depot was standard.

      1. you got that right – i was in a log. unit in da nang. and the funny thing was when i was in ‘nam i worked fewer hours than i did for 2 years in germany on the air defense site i was assigned to.

    3. You liberals are f*cking pussies!

      I personally work over 100 hours per week running my own very successful (run entirely with many Apple products) business and my concentration is not effected at all.

      I won’t hire anyone besides the core great employees that we have due to all of the insane liberal made, red tape and extreme anti-business policies. I will find other ways of getting things done before I hire anyone until the liberals back off business.

      Try dealing with a government agency being a private business. They absolutely hate private business. They go out of their way to make things difficult while sucking up as many tax dollars as possible and working at as slowly as humanly possible. That’s not to say that there aren’t a few good people working in government jobs but most of them are union lame asses and losers that would never make it in a real world, private business environment!

      1. Right on!!! Personally, I’m sick of all these bleeding hearts. Let’s get back to 100 years ago, when a business owner didn’t have interfering, f*cking progressive busybodies telling him he couldn’t work ten-year-old children for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

        Why, in modern times one only has to look at business sector after business sector where owners realize – without interference or regulations – that what they’ve been doing isn’t so great and voluntarily take huge hits to their profitability to do the right thing. E.g. my personal friend in the tobacco industry.

        (Oh no, I forgot for a second, that’s not quite what happened. They had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into admitting that they had known all along their product was addictive and they were killing people en masse.)

        1. SeaASS you lazy piece of crap. Why don’t you join the real world and get a clue. You completely clueless drone.

          That argument is complete bunk! I’m sure those 10 year olds were very happy to have jobs.

          Why do you libtards want to legalize illegal drugs if you are so down on the tobacco industry. People make choices in life and they would be buying tobacco or alcohol or whatever illegally and if it was made illegal. You really have your head up your ass. Without capitalism you would be living in a cave until you were eaten by a bear or bigger cave man. Thanks to capitalism and the US constitution you can sit back in your mommy’s basement on your Dell and make communist posts on MDN and God only knows where else. FREAK!

          1. Every notice how all these sorts are so full of such profound, frothing, vitriolic hatred.

            The US constitution, by the way, is ONE STEP in a long history of diminishment of exploitation and increase of rights, fairness and participation in society. The fathers of the US constitution were reviled by the conservative establishment of the day as whatever their current words were for “f*cking flaming radical progressive losers”.

            1. You libtards are taking us in the exact opposite direction of the fathers of the constitution. You’r too much of a zombie to even realize it, SeaASS!

      1. As this article shows, it is YOU and your ilk who are hurting Chinese workers even as you raise the price of products for middle and lower income consumers in the US. Why don’t you leave people alone to make their own decisions and mind your own business??

  3. America: where people expect continually more pay for continually less work.

    Is it any wonder why China is becoming a superpower while America begins to circle the toilet bowl?

    1. The US ‘circles the toilet bowl’ for many reasons but the most important reason is that they have lost the work ethic and the ability to make and keep promises. Business only works on promises being made and kept. The US ‘diplomatic’ service (aka the military) are a huge expense and are uses as a rough tool to bludgeon the world to bend to the US will. The world doesn’t like it and will not continue to deal with the US arrogance.

      1. Your American arrogance comments reek of Obama speak and his sad assed I apologize for America.

        Otherwise, agree with your comments relating to personal and corporate responsibilility

        1. Iraq? Nothing to apologize for? Arrogance in not joining the world standards like the metric system, not supporting the UN? The world generally doesn’t like the US because of its attitude that everyone wants to be like them.

            1. And while we’re at it Nate, let’s get on our pointy white hats and string up those speak against the “True Way” that you obviously know. (Such hatred!)
              Also, not only is your racist ranting obnoxious, it is mind-blisteringly stupid. To paraphrase Ann Landers, unless your name in Nate Running Bull or Nate Flies with Eagles, you are an immigrant.

            2. You need to learn history SeaASS. LIberals are the party of the KKK. Prominent congressmen were major KKK figures.

              Liberals are the racists SeaASS!

            3. So Mrs. SeaMiss,

              Are you trying to say that we are all illegally occupying the US and we have no right to call ourselves citizens??

              Are you really one of those lunatics???

              You libs are much more than a few sandwiches short of a picnic! Insane.

              We conservatives do hate you libtards and what you are trying to do to the US.

            4. SeaASS,

              Please explain to all of us how Nate’s post is racist. That idiot, 313jackass foreigner, once again makes derogatory remarks against the US and it’s citizens and he expects to not be slammed for it and you somehow come up with the asinine idea that Nate was at fault. You have to be kidding but sadly you aren’t. You and Obamanidagene apologizing for the US. You both are pathetic.

            5. SeaASS,

              I would say it’s 313c7ro that is the one that should be apologizing for his racist, anti-US post. And you should for defending him you HATER! Marxists like you are dangerous.

  4. I have a friend that works for the a department in a midwestern state government. A co-worker has been performing less than 50% of required daily tasks (where 100% can be accomplished by a 12 yr old in half a day). After 2 years of this, he gets fired. He sues the state. After a 1 year battle, and the state acquiescing to the labor union, he get his job back with FULL back-pay. Today, he is just as lazy, no loss in pay grade, and after his 1 year hiatus, he drives a car I will never be able to afford (as do his lawyers). Welcome to America! Your tax dollars at work.

    1. This is the truth in more than one place. I’ve seen it. The original intent of these laws was good thing BUT it has expanded to the point of protecting the lazy and irresponsible people in the world with NO WORK ETHIC. Extra sad when there are millions who do want to do a decent days work and can’t get hired because these worthless people are taking up their spot and can’t be ditched.

    1. Which aligns its practice with Chinese law, aimed at keeping 1.3 billion people gainfully employed. Kind of a good public policy, keeping everyone with a job and income, IMHO.

        1. Psst – Communism is the public ownership of the means of production. Foxconn is not government owned. The government owns and operates the infrastructure, but private enterprise is the general rule. They’re not really Communists anymore. They’re what happens when the Republicans take over a country and Democrats are not allowed to exist.

  5. Looks like one man’s sweat shop is another workers paradise. These stories abound, usually as a result of some American group trying to view the rest of the world through our own cultural lens. I remember (but cannot cite) a story that interviewed a Pakistani mother of a family that made its money by picking over the trash dump for recyclables. Her great hope was that her son would be hired by the local Nike factory. We Americans are so clueless about the rest of the world.

  6. This may be viewed as the law of in unintended consequences: not realizing your perspective of what is true/right is idiosyncratic, resulting in your creating potential unintentional harm to others when you impose your views on them.

    I really appreciate the observations about mandarins above.

  7. “APPLE IS USING OVERWORKED, CHINESE SLAVE LABOR!! WE’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!!”

    “CHINESE WORKERS’ HOURS CUT!! WE’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!!”

    Whatever…

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