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~
 
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Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

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Andrew EisenNo but it is defaulting to a very low volume. Not muted though.11/20/2014 - 10:14pm
MaskedPixelanteIs anyone else experiencing this weird Youtube glitch where, no matter what you had the volume set at last time, it defaults to muted no matter what?11/20/2014 - 10:07pm
MechaTama31What was wrong with Remember Me? I liked that one... >.>11/20/2014 - 8:50pm
AvalongodI tend to see the violence and sexism issues as different. Historically we know that the violence issue is overblown. But sexism is real. Better representations of women in games WILL happen.11/20/2014 - 7:35pm
Andrew EisenAnd unless I completely missed it, there's nothing in there about "how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta look deep for it."11/20/2014 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, you're upset, irked and fearful over an opinion piece that suggests the Pokemon demo would be better with more options and a better-written female character? SERIOUSLY?!11/20/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://gamasutra.com/blogs/PugetAlain/20141118/230420/Nearly_Ripped_off_to_death_by_a_publisher__Get_better_by_yourself_and_wait_for_justice_Maybe.php Topware screws over an indie studio because they can.11/20/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAre you SURE you provided the right link?11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99And yeah that sucks, especially when bonuses are tied to it, but that is more a problem with crappy publisher policies and scoring in general than any discussion on what may or may no be sexism in games.11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99But no one is on their legislative high horse or on the litigation war path, for that matter. The biggest effect is that a reviewer might give it a lower score and drag down their meta critic ranking.11/20/2014 - 4:56pm
Wonderkarpyup11/20/2014 - 4:51pm
Andrew EisenOh for crying out loud. Wonderkarp, I apologize for how rude this question is but seriously, did you actually read that article?11/20/2014 - 4:47pm
Wonderkarpits a stigma. people in power hear this crap and start getting on their legislative high horse. but I feel like we've already paid too much attention too a demo.11/20/2014 - 4:46pm
Andrew EisenHarm gaming how?11/20/2014 - 4:35pm
Wonderkarpcause it gets parroted around and is used by people to harm gaming like Jack Thompsons did with Violence. http://www.themarysue.com/pokemon-oras-sexism/ here's the article.11/20/2014 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenNo idea why such an opinion would upset or irk you so I'd be interested in reading it. Got a link?11/20/2014 - 4:13pm
Wonderkarplook deep for it....reaching much. those kinds of people are what urk me.11/20/2014 - 4:07pm
WonderkarpI got upset the other day when a known feminist blog wrote a large article on how the demo to Pokemon Omega Ruby was Sexist cause you couldnt play as a girl. It was a Demo....who cares? but they went off on how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta11/20/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenHere's the panel that Sarkeesian quote from earlier comes from. Amazing what the proper context does, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0qxtKz2vZw11/20/2014 - 3:32pm
NeenekoSomething to keep in mind, we tend to look at physics as 'hard', but math and physics are trivial compared to soc/psych (I have worked in both), but FEELS like it should be simplier.11/20/2014 - 3:17pm
 

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