Foxconn hit by worker protests

Tech industry's favourite manufacturer


Manufacturing giant Foxconn faced more worker protests this week with about 7,000 staff taking to the streets to protest against poor pay and plans to relocate some work to inland provinces.

The million-strong company raised wages in the wake of worldwide criticism of Foxconn employment practices and an apparent spate of suicides.

The protests this week were at Foxconn Premier Image Technology (China) Ltd in Foshan, near Guangzhou, Reuters reports.

A spokesman for the company denied there had been organised industrial action but said some workers had asked for higher wages. Average take-home pay, including overtime, is about 2,000RNB (£188) a month, the newswire reported.

Coastal areas like Guangzhou typically have higher wages than inland areas - which have historically provided migrant workers for the monster factory complexes nearer the sea.

Foxconn denied the reports earlier this year of worker abuse, violence and poor pay had any role in staff suicides. Although the numbers of deaths did seem high given the company employs almost a million people - and 500,000 in Shenzen - many observers suggested the numbers were within statistical norms.

The company, which makes electronics for Apple, HP and Dell among others, raised wages in response. The rises should have come into effect at the start of this month.

Chinese labour relations are in flux, with recent government moves to recognise unions and try and keep a cap on wage inflation. Some Chinese firms are even beginning to offshore manufacturing to the likes of Vietnam and Bangladesh in order to cut or control costs. ®


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