Foxconn may lose workers after cutting work hours

Foxconn may lose workers after cutting work hours

Summary: After cutting maximum working hours to 60 per week in its three factories in mainland China, Foxconn now faces the danger of losing workers.

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TOPICS: China, Apple
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Screenshot by Liu Jiayi

Earlier in the year, Foxconn promised the Washington-based labor group, the Fair Labor Association, a 15-month-long program to improve the working environment and cut overtime  and excessively long working hours for its 1 million factory workers in China.

But the program doesn't seem to have helped the workers. After their hours were cut and the hourly wage remained low, a lot of workers thought about quitting.

According to a Foxconn worker in Shenzhen who declined to reveal his identity, most people there actually would like to have more working hours and OTs (overtime) since the longer one worked meant higher wages.

"Out of the 2,350 yuan (US$370) salary every month, we have to pay 190 yuan for social security insurance, 120 yuan for housing fund, 110 yuan for accommodation, and three meals a day. Life is tough," the unidentified worker said in an interview with a local newspaper

"A lot of workers have clearly come to Shenzhen to make as much money as they can in as short a period as they can, and overtime hours are very important in that calculation," said Auret van Heerden, president and CEO of the FLA, in a talk with Reuters, "We are picking up concerns now on the microblogs about what's likely to happen as hours gets changed, and whether their incomes will be shaved as well."

Li Hongqi (who is using an alias) used to earn almost 4,000 yuan (US$630) a month making Apple iPads in Foxconn's Shenzhen factory. But after the cut in hours, he could only save less than 1,000 working for less than 60 days in total during the last three months. 

"I used to work for 10 hours a day making tablet computers. In February, which is the busiest, I could make as many as 150 to 180 pieces an hour," said Li. "But now I have already submitted the resignation letter and prepare to leave Foxconn."

 

Topics: China, Apple

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16 comments
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  • "I used to work for 10 hours a day making tablet computers"

    Does this person mean that in the past he used to work 70 hours per week in February, id est seven days per week, no holidays?

    70 to 60 work hours cut is like 14% cut. But Foxconn had salary increased this late spring, so there is no real cut in actual money for this person.

    Source article is fishy sensationalist manipulation, or they do not really explain what happens there.
    DDERSSS
  • 1000 is not even enough to buy train tickets..

    ..when he has to go home to his (usually far west) home province for spring festival and then back to the factory. Unless of course he buys a standing ticket for 68 hours or more.

    Shame, but if the article is accurate, then I can't fault him for quitting. He'll just have to find greener pastures.
    zhangkhaien@...
  • Wages in other countries

    I think this is sad that people buy products when they know that these people are not making any money yet they work long hours. I know people in this country, the USA, that are not considered upper class yet make around 75,000 a year, salary, and they hardly lift a finger and work 40 hour work weeks with multiple holidays and bonuses. We should come together as humans and work out these indifference's. Thank you for your time.
    Nicholas Sanguinetti
    • Only Government workers have it that good in the US

      If you're a police officer on Long Island making $300k a year in salary and benefits (including pension contributions) and working a limited number of hours your argument holds true.

      But if you're working a 90 hour week in NYC and aren't an investment banker. It's not uncommon for someone to make $30k and spend $70k on the most basic housing (i.e. a studio or shared 1br) and food. So that's $40k of debt piled on a year that probably will never be paid back.
      ngmsmartplanet
      • follow up

        and for full disclosure, I'm an American living in China and am in the electronics industry.
        ngmsmartplanet
      • Really?

        How does someone who makes $30k a year manage to secure $40k in loans? That just doesn't make much sense to me. And it's certainly not something that could be repeated year after year. That is, unless, they're young hipsters trying to become novelists, or break into acting or the at scene, with rich parents who are footting the $40k in expenses that their young'uns are accruing.
        dsf3g
        • ask the housing lenders that got banks to give out $800k loans to

          construction kids raking in $15/hr before the mid-2000s housing crash...
          HypnoToad72
          • since mcmansions are cool...

            until you read up on what went into the drywall that caused people to sneeze and cough, and wondering why their TVs and other electronic items failed prematurely...

            http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-03-16-chinese-drywall-sulfur_N.htm
            HypnoToad72
      • Gee, private industry lawyers and managers are scrounging like slaves too?

        Your glib generalization is hilarious, except you seem to believe it ever so blindly...

        Go to a DMV and tell the workers that... I'm sure they'd love to hear you spout that drivel...
        HypnoToad72
    • So let's become a one-world government,

      level up wages, holidays and vacations, proper redundancy of factories so when WD halts a plant during a flood it won't be hurt everywhere else "globally", etc, etc...

      Or are people afraid of discussing solutions to perceived problems?
      HypnoToad72
  • Who cares!

    To be honest. Who does really care? I mean it is not like they are giving American's jobs.

    But really. They want overtime. Something American's get fired over. China is only poor, because they want to look it. The tech industry in China is thriving. So don't mistake China's economy for the rest of the worlds. If they bring it up to really world standards then, the rest of us are in trouble. Foxconn is a train wreck wating to happen.
    Jst1man
    • Let's see corporations refund every taxpayer-funded penny,

      and their no longer taking every American-funded tax break and other entitlement (and paying up the difference due to rescinding those breaks and entitlements)...

      Then it might start approaching the classification of a true "free market, where government involvement is bad".

      Then they will be jobs truly up for grabs.

      The moment American money is given to companies, even if they say there is "no moral imperative to hire Americans" despite all the money and freedom they're given thanks to us, it not only becomes socialism (corporate socialism, corporatism) it does become "our jobs" because we're paying for it.
      HypnoToad72
  • Seriously $370 a month to work in a High Tech Manufacturing Facility?!?!

    This is highway robbery if these people were working in the States, the UK, Japan, or ANY other civilized country in the world they would be making $20/hr base pay before OT. If my math is right at $370/month if they worked 22 days a month(2 days off a week) and 10 hours a day they are making $1.68/hr. That's insane. How can people see this as ok, it's basically a freakin sweat shop. And Apple is all proud of themselves too for "improving" conditions at Foxconn. Why not bring the salaries up to international technology field standards then so these people don't feel the need to work 100+ hours a week just to be able to eat rice every night. Good god Apple and you call yourself a charitable organization. You get more and more evil by the day I wouldn't be surprised if the Zombified remains of Steve Jobs was still running the company powered by the blood of small children and the brains of kittens.
    Auger88
    • Charitable?

      Apple, a charitable organization?

      LOL, thanks for helping me start my day with a good, hearty laugh.
      dsf3g
      • The truth is in the middle

        Some will say Apple, MS, and others, are lifting their boats... but private lifts its own boats, driving down others in the process, and then taking tax money (before spouting off on how government involvement hurts their "free market", while ignoring our taxpayer-funded subsidies and handouts propped them up during the offshoring...)
        HypnoToad72
    • You have some conversion errors.

      The Cost of living is 370 RMB (Chinese Currency, AKA CNY) Which is about $65 USD. Just a fix!
      jimmyj3