Foxconn workers downbeat about wage hike

By Pang Li
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, June 7, 2010
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Foxconn workers are showing little enthusiasm for a wage increase announced by the company last Wednesday.

The troubled electronics giant, where 10 workers have committed suicide since the start of the year, has increased salaries by 30 percent. The move will raise basic monthly wages to between 1,150 yuan (US$168) and 1,200 yuan (US$176), from the previous 900 yuan (US$132) to 950 yuan (US$139).

But workers are not impressed.

A 20-year-old worker at Foxconn's Longhua plant in Shenzhen told that few of his colleagues are celebrating the salary hike.

"They were indifferent to news of the rise. They think they will have to work as hard as before anyhow," he said. "At the moment, it seems like my colleagues are not interested in anything. They don't show any emotion. They just come to work and go home."

Another worker at the plant said that he and his colleagues were suspicious of the raise. They say Foxconn is intensifying their work to boost productivity and claw back the increase.

"Our daily output quota has been increased. Previously we had to press 3,500 computer casings every shift. Now the quota has been increased to 3,750 for the day shift, and 3,900 for night shift," he said. "And we have heard rumors the quota is likely to be raised even further in the future."

He said many workers are still planning to quit Foxconn despite news of the wage increase.

Foxconn's wages are barely in line with the legal minimum standards in Shenzhen, which range from 900 to 1000 yuan per month depending on location.

And Shenzhen is planning to raise its minimum wage to 1,100 next month anyhow. So the Foxconn increase is simply keeping in step with the legal standards set by the local government.

Dai Jianzhong, of the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, said the wage rise offered by the company is nowhere near enough. "Foxconn should raise their basic salaries by 50 percent. They should also cut monthly overtime to less than 36 hours, as stipulated in China's Labor Law," he said.

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