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Apple supplier Foxconn to improve conditions, but workers worried

March 30, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • A production line at the Foxconn complex in Shenzhen, China, in May 2010.
A production line at the Foxconn complex in Shenzhen, China, in May 2010. (Kin Cheung / Associated…)

Changes are coming in working conditions at Apple supplier Foxconn's plants in China, but some of the employees say they are worried about what that could mean for their paychecks.

The Taiwan-based company, which is a major manufacturer for Apple's iPhone and iPad products, said it would cut employees' work hours and raise their hourly wages. In all likelihood, the company will also have to hire "tens of thousands" more employees, the New York Times reported.

The change is coming after the Fair Labor Assn., an industry-funded labor watchdog group, released the findings of its investigation into three of Foxconn's factories in China.

The group found that workers at Foxconn, which employs 1.2 million people, worked more than 60 hours a week, often worked more than seven days in a row and did not receive enough compensation to meet their basic needs. Also, 43% of the workers surveyed said they had experienced or seen an accident while working at the company's factories.

Despite the planned changes, Foxconn promised that employees' pay will not decrease. However, Reuters is reporting that not all Foxconn workers are so sure about that.

"We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime," said one Foxconn worker who spoke with the news organization. "I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little."

"We are worried we will have less money to spend," another Foxconn employee said. "Of course, if we work less overtime, it would mean less money."

Apple began receiving scrutiny in connection with the working conditions at its suppliers' factories after a series of Foxconn employee suicides in 2010. Recently, a series of reports by the New York Times reignited the media coverage of those conditions.

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Original source: Apple supplier Foxconn cuts working hours, workers ask why

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