Foxconn Implements Work-Friendly Changes

August 18, 2010 -

It was a different scene today at the Shenzhen, China-based Foxconn plant, which employs over 300,000 workers who assemble everything from iPhones to video game accessories. Today Foxconn held a rally designed to promote living and loving life and to generally boost the morale of workers - who only a few months ago were as unhappy as a worker can be in a plant that expects the average employee to work 80 hours of overtime a week.

Just a few months ago morale was so low that more than a dozen employees committed suicide, prompting the company to install safety nets on the top of its buildings. But more importantly, it made the company face the reality that productivity has to be balanced with the well being of its employees.

While things are not perfect at the Shenzhen plant - and other Foxconn-owned operations throughout China - things have gotten a little bit better; workers have gotten pay increases, job rotations to try out other work in the plants, counseling for those that want it, and housing that is more regionalized so that employees feel less homesick. The outreach to the workers - at the very least - shows that Foxconn has been shaken by the bad press, suicides and the general perception that the company doesn't care about its massive workforce.

"For a long period of time I think we were kind of blinded by our success," said Louis Woo, special assistant to Terry Gou, the founder of Foxconn's parent company. "We were kind of caught by surprise."

But Woo admits that Foxconn has not immunized itself from future suicides; it's a tough feat when you have 920,000 employees spread across 16 factories in China. And the challenges will continue to mount as the company increases its workforce to 1.3 million workers sometime next year. In fact, earlier this month a woman jumped to her death at the Shenzhen plant.

"No matter how hard we try, such things will continue to happen," he said.

But some workers are reacting positively to the newfound, positive focus of the company, like 18-year old Huang Jun, a worker at the Shenzhen plant.

"In the past, from the time we started work until when we finished, we would not really have a break. But now we've been given time to rest," said 18-year-old worker Huang Jun. "If I can get off work early enough and have a little time for fun, then I feel a bit better and less stressed out."

While rallies like the ones being held at Foxconn plants all over China are helpful for boosting morale, workers want more fun activities to do that aren't work related: they want Foxconn to organize more recreational stuff like sports or karaoke events. But activists, like Geoffrey Crothall, a spokesman for the China Labor Bulletin (a labor rights group based in Hong Kong), think Foxconn needs to use a basic formula to make things better for all employees:

"I don't think today's event is going to achieve anything except provide a bit of theater," said Crothall. "Basically what Foxconn needs to do is treat its workers like decent human beings and pay them a decent wage. It's not rocket science."

Source: AP


Comments

Re: Foxconn Implements Work-Friendly Changes

 "No matter how hard we try, such things will continue to happen,"

Y'know except for giving them actual wages or reasonable working hours...

Re: Foxconn Implements Work-Friendly Changes

They are getting "actual" wages

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~

Re: Foxconn Implements Work-Friendly Changes

But they work 20 hours a day and sometimes 7 days a week. Not to mention that some of these companies in China charge for the housing they provide to the workers and literaly drain their wages. So yes they offer "actual" ages and yet the same companies take their money away. This is why companies like Apple, Microsoft and Sony are pushing chip manufacturers to provide better wages and.

I like Foxconn Motherboards, they are inexpensive and very reliable and frankly I wouldn't mind paying a couple bucks more for their product if it means that their workers would get paid better.

Re: Foxconn Implements Work-Friendly Changes

*sigh* You forget its their choice to work at foxconn, given they may not have many other choices, but you cannot put the weight of everyone's life on one company. For the area they pay very well, so much so that people are willing to work 20 hour days 7 days a week. It would be like me complaining that I make 250k a year but have to work an insane schedule.

I am glad that you are willing to spend a little more, however not all of us are that lucky. Please just send the workers a check for an extra $5 every time you buy a foxconn product, instead of forcing people out of work.

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~

Re: Foxconn Implements Work-Friendly Changes

IF its true, this is good news.

BCD303 "Speedy thing goes in. Speedy thing comes out."

BCD303 "Speedy thing goes in. Speedy thing comes out."

Re: Foxconn Implements Work-Friendly Changes

".... pay them a decent wage ...."

This needs to be defined because using the term decent is VERY subjective. It is my understanding that Foxconn pays 2-3 times the going wage in that area (before the increases). Which while it is pennies compared to what a minimum wage employee makes here it is still good/fair wage for the region. I would be more concerned with the conditions, then the pay.

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
InfophileWow, I just got an e-mailed ad from Nintendo: "FREE AC Adapter with New Nintendo 3DS XL" - So... pretending this didn't used to be normal, are we?08/04/2015 - 3:34am
MattsworknameNight man, take care08/04/2015 - 2:59am
Andrew EisenOff to bed. Play nice.08/04/2015 - 2:53am
Andrew EisenNo worries. Yeah, it's the pits. It's like "How many times do I have to tell you I'm not interested in this producer's work before you stop recommending his videos to me?!"08/04/2015 - 2:53am
MattsworknameAndrew: Sorry man, youtubes recomendations system is really crappy08/04/2015 - 2:49am
MattsworknameIp: they cite 4 chan. Enough said08/04/2015 - 2:47am
IronPatriotWhat I don't get is why anyone wants to be part of the private online army for a stalker.08/04/2015 - 2:32am
IronPatriotYes, it's pretty sad that even after GG has been exposed as a fraud designed to harass Sarkeesian, they still want to attack her. Do facts even matter anymore?08/04/2015 - 2:30am
Andrew EisenDammit. For context's sake, I watched that one Chris Ray Gun video Matt linked to and now my recommends are chockful of anti-Sarkeesian crap from the usual suspects. ARGH!08/04/2015 - 2:27am
Andrew EisenIP - Now you just essentially asked Matt the same question twice in a row. Seriously, once is enough.08/04/2015 - 2:11am
IronPatriotMattsworkname, do you have any actual evidence for your "complete bollocks" claim? Or are you making up more "facts08/04/2015 - 2:11am
IronPatriotMattswork, prove your claim that the article is "based on complete bollocks"08/04/2015 - 2:08am
Andrew EisenIP - Stop asking me the same question over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It's super annoying. Especially when I've already addressed it.08/04/2015 - 2:07am
Andrew EisenMatt - How? Set aside half an hour. It's not hard if you know your history. It's just time consuming.08/04/2015 - 2:06am
IronPatriotAndrew, so you agree about the lying fraudulent nature of gamergate's origins? So supporting gamergate when it is clearly a fraud deserves to be called what it is, right?08/04/2015 - 2:06am
Andrew EisenFrom an ethics standpoint, there's nothing wrong with that article or posting news on subjects that are of interest.08/04/2015 - 2:05am
MattsworknameAndrew: the toughest thing about Gamergate is that it lacked any form of directed leadership or oganizaotion, How do you really explain something so amourphous that it leterally took months and moths to gain any real shape?08/04/2015 - 2:05am
Andrew EisenIP - A metric crap ton of history and context. GamerGate isn't hard to explain, it just takes a while.08/04/2015 - 2:01am
MattsworknameAnd ip wonders why gamergate went after sites like ARS and kotaku08/04/2015 - 2:00am
MattsworknameWow, its like ARS posted an intentially controversial article based on complete bollocks to get clicks, Imagine that?08/04/2015 - 1:58am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician