Foxconn workers protest wages, threaten to jump off factory roof [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
About 200 workers threatened to take their own lives on Friday at a building owned by Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn over purported wage disputes and workplace conditions.

Update: To clarify, Foxconn's Wuhan factory is responsible for building Microsoft's Xbox 360 and isn't associated with Apple hardware.

The protest comes less than a month after both Apple and Foxconn signed agreements to reform the wages, workplace conditions and working hours at the giant Chinese electronics manufacturer, reports Reuters.

According to Hong Kong-based human rights organization Information Centre for Human Rights, roughly 200 people warned they would jump off the roof of a Wuhan factory owned by Foxconn, a threat that a number of workers followed through with in 2010.

Simon Tsing, spokesman for Hon Hai Precision, which publicly trades as Foxconn, said the incident involved workers new to the plant who disagreed with certain workplace adjustments. He was quick to point out that it was not a strike and no one was injured during the negotiations.

"The dispute has already been settled after some negotiations involving the human resources and legal departments as well as the local government," Tsing said.

He reiterated that no one had jumped off the factory building, but fell short of disclosing the nature of the protest or the exact number of employees involved. The Information Centre for Human Rights claims the main complaint was that workers earned less in Wuhan than at previous jobs.

Foxconn


In response to widespread media coverage of a spate of suicides at Foxconn plants in 2010, Apple joined the independent Fair Labor Association to conduct an audit of the Chinese manufacturing facilities.

The FLA's findings were published in March, and although much of Foxconn's operation seemed to be in order, the organization called for certain adjustments regarding overtime pay, working conditions and basic salary concerns.

Foxconn currently employs some 1.2 million workers in China, many of whom are part of assembly lines for Apple products including the iPad, iPhone and Mac. The Chinese company also has contracts with other large tech entities like Microsoft, Amazon and Sony.

Recent reports out of Brazil claim that over 2,500 employees at Foxconn's new Jundia? plant, where versions of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are made, have complained of overcrowded buses, poor food and a lack of water. The workers have vowed to strike if an agreement is not reached by May 3.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member


    Of course they're earning less, since the do gooders stepped in to "help" them, they aren't allowed to do as much overtime.


     


    I'd protest too.

  • Reply 2 of 92
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,289member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Of course they're earning less, since the do gooders stepped in to "help" them, they aren't allowed to do as much overtime.


     


    I'd protest too.



     


    If you're referring to the Chinese situation, the overtime limits aren't scheduled to take effect until next year IIRC

  • Reply 3 of 92
    grbladegrblade Posts: 85member


    This is more of a Chinese cultural problem than a Foxconn/Apple problem. They're going to threaten suicide no matter what. They don't get a lot of say, so they feel like this is the only way they'll be heard.

  • Reply 4 of 92
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


     


     


    If you're referring to the Chinese situation, the overtime limits aren't scheduled to take effect until next year IIRC



     


    Here's a solution, offer them transfers to the factories that aren't subject to scrutiny where all the other companies that use Foxconn have their stuff made.

  • Reply 5 of 92
    sandorsandor Posts: 505member


    Where was all the concern about Foxconn workers 20 years ago?


     


    Did the great devil USA finally grow a heart? or did the shame of exploiting foreign workers finally catch up to society?


     


    Apple may be leading the headlines, but dozens of US-based tech companies have been using Foxconn for manufacturing dating back into the '70s. I am sure conditions have only improved since then.


     


    Imagine the conditions of the rest of the Chinese made products US citizens buy everyday in Target and Wal-mart... At least the tech companies have *some* amount of profit to trickle down, but that $5.99 kitchen mop at Target, made in China, doesnt come close to having the same luxury. Where is the exposé on *that* product segment?!?


     


     


     


    ...this has been happening for decades people... and we're the reason why.

  • Reply 6 of 92
    mcrcnmcrcn Posts: 27member


    Sounds like the Chinese are learning to use the media to their advantage to get what they want.  

  • Reply 7 of 92
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,289member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


     


     


    Here's a solution, offer them transfers to the factories that aren't subject to scrutiny where all the other companies that use Foxconn have their stuff made.



     


    The agreement was made with Foxconn and not Apple and thus the same rules should apply to all of Foxconn's Chinese operations as far as I know.

  • Reply 8 of 92


    What these people don't realize is how much better their lives are compared with working back in their home village.

  • Reply 9 of 92
    ko024ko024 Posts: 68member


    I do not really understand the worker's threat of "killing themselves".  I mean, the goal of protesting is to prove how valuable you are to the company, and therefore they decide to up your salary and you CONTINUE TO WORK FOR THEM.......  if you kill yourself, you have kind of defeated the purpose of your protest...  I understand that they are making a statement, but like I said, if "wages" are your issue, death probably will not help much.....

  • Reply 10 of 92


    YEP: Lets all go to work tomorrow and threaten to jump if we don't get a raise. Then 6 months later we can do it again. The know it all westerners complained about overtime and now we make less.... MAYBE we wanted to work overtime. 

  • Reply 11 of 92


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    What these people don't realize is how much better their lives are compared with working back in their home village.



     


    Huh? So as long as they're doing relatively better, they should just stop trying to fight for their pay? We all try to fight for our pay, that's just normal, yes we won't threaten to jump of buildings, but this is China, there's no rule of law, you can't fight for your pay using legal actions. 

  • Reply 12 of 92
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,849member


    Sounds like all of these people need to be rounded up and fired immediately. 200 workers out of 1/2 million? Fire them.


     


    You have the right to disapprove of how much you are being paid, but you are not guaranteed a job.

  • Reply 13 of 92
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,849member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post


     


     


    Huh? So as long as they're doing relatively better, they should just stop trying to fight for their pay? We all try to fight for our pay, that's just normal, yes we won't threaten to jump of buildings, but this is China, there's no rule of law, you can't fight for your pay using legal actions. 



     


    You have no idea what you're talking about. The cost of labor has been on the rise in China for years. This is why some of these Foxconn operations are going overseas (relative to China).

  • Reply 14 of 92
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member


    So how is this gonna work now- Foxconn is expected to automatically increase pay whenever workers 'threaten' to jump off a roof? And won't they keep using the same tactic if it works once? Noone is fucking forcing them to work there. Meanwhile, tens of thousands are desperate for a job at Foxconn. Thats the reality. 

  • Reply 15 of 92
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Pat yourselves on the back, myopic activists, and tell yourself "Job well done."
  • Reply 16 of 92


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


     


     


    Here's a solution, offer them transfers to the factories that aren't subject to scrutiny where all the other companies that use Foxconn have their stuff made.



     


    I'm sure the great benevolent leaders of China have already offered them transfers to where they can breath fresh air, get a lot of sun, while working with nature. At this new location, far from the smelly cities, they will be happy... that is to say, no one dares to complain. Ever. More then once.

  • Reply 17 of 92


    Obviously the conditions are very bad, and the pay is very low.  That anyone is trying to argue otherwise is a sign of the moral decay in the US/UK.  Anyone with integrity would be wishing all their best to people in a tough spot; people who are trying to make their lives a little better, however they can.  The xenophobia and unveiled hatred is depressing; I don't want my kids growing up in this country of moral/mental abortions.

  • Reply 18 of 92
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DeanSolecki View Post


    Obviously the conditions are very bad, and the pay is very low.  That anyone is trying to argue otherwise is a sign of the moral decay in the US/UK.  Anyone with integrity would be wishing all their best to people in a tough spot; people who are trying to make their lives a little better, however they can.  The xenophobia and unveiled hatred is depressing; I don't want my kids growing up in this country of moral/mental abortions.



     


    This attitude is inane. 



    1.  What gives us the right to dictate their working conditions? I thought we believed in a free market?

    2. China IS a different country than the U.S. Cost of living is different. Working conditions are different. Their opportunities are different. For the majority of Chinese, this is one of the best jobs they can get - even before everyone demanded that Foxconn raise their wages.


    3.  If you're going to argue that one country has the right to dictate working conditions to another one, perhaps Canada should be pressuring the U.S. to offer a year of paid maternity leave since that's standard there. The Netherlands should be pushing the U.S. to offer 8 weeks vacation per year to all employees. France should be pushing us for a 32 hour work week. The UK should be insisting on free health care for all Americans. Scandinavian countries should demand free college education for all Americans. After all, if we can dictate our standards to China, why can't other countries do the same to us?


    4. There's an inherent disconnect here. Apple does not have any employees in factories in China. Why are people complaining about Apple? Why not Walmart?

    5. Even if you want to go after companies that hire Chinese subcontractors, why is Apple singled out when ever other major electronics company in the U.S. uses the same subcontractors?

    6. The people who took these jobs freely entered an agreement to work for  Foxconn. Why do they think they have the right to demand more? If they don't like the agreement, they shouldn't have signed it. Or, if they signed it and later found that it was unacceptable, they should quit and leave the job to someone who really wants it.



    In any event, if you don't want your kids growing up in this country, you're free to leave at any time. You see, you can make choices - just as the Foxconn employees can make choices. So pack your bags and leave.






    As an aside - if there's a moderator reading this, please change this silly bulletin board. cmd-L on the Mac highlights the URL field of your browser - and does so on every browser. It's been the standard for a long time. On this bulletin board, cmd-L calls up a preferences window which is very annoying. 

  • Reply 19 of 92


    As employee's their options are: a) work and be grateful to have a job; b) go on strike; c) find a new job; or d) commit suicide, so when they do make things better they're not here to enjoy it and break their families hearts. And these people might choose (C) and I'm supposed to feel bad for 'em? If conditions are truly bad, they need to be fixed ASAP, but killing one's self may benefit others, but darn sure is not going to benefit the jumper.

     

  • Reply 20 of 92


    This is getting old. Lets move on to other news....

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