Foxconn 'working conditions' row fails to deter prospective workers

Despite the bad press around Foxconn's factories in China, thousands continue to line up for jobs at the factory in Zhengzhou.
Written by Hana Stewart-Smith, Contributor

Yesterday, the streets outside one labour agency in Zhengzhou were filled with thousands of hopefuls, all lining up for a chance to work at Foxconn.

Foxconn, the company that manufactures products for Apple, Dell, Microsoft, amongst others, is currently working to double it's workforce at it's Zhengzhou facility. The company is looking to increase production at the plant, hoping to scale up by around 100,000 additional employees.


An advertisement posted for these new positions in Zhengzhou includes a basic salary of 1650 Yuan ($261) -- a salary that does not seem to Western eyes impressive enough to warrant such a large crowd.

But Foxconn also provides housing in the form of dormitories, and food, which might sweeten the deal somewhat.

The lines stretched up to 200 meters, according to reports, and most of the applicants were male -- a mixture of candidates with experience, and those fresh out of education.

Despite Foxconn being at the heart of controversies in the West, it seems that employment at the company is still an attractive prospect for young Chinese job-seekers. Foxconn has been under fire over poor working conditions, staff suicides and an explosion that killed three in a Chengdu factory last year.

After 300 workers threatened to commit mass suicide at its Wuhan plant over pay in January, many of those brands have been questioned over their culpability.

The New York Timesrecently published an in-depth look at Foxconn's working practices, and in turn the pressures from the Western tech industry that ultimately contributes to poor working conditions and negligence for employees at factories like Foxconn.

The report also levelled accusations at Apple, and the tech industry as a whole, of ignoring the human cost to modern technology. Apple chief executive Tim Cook strongly refuted these claims in a lengthy letter to his employees, commenting that: "We care about every worker in our supply chain."

Image source: Flickr.


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