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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Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
 

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