|Labor shortages and external pressures are only going to accelerate the rise in labor costs. |
Foxconn Plans to Lift Pay Sharply at Factories in China
By DAVID BARBOZA
New York Times
February 18, 2012
BEIJING — Foxconn Technology, one of the biggest manufacturers of products for Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other electronics companies, said Saturday that it would sharply raise worker salaries at its Chinese factories.
Foxconn said that salaries for many workers would immediately jump by 16 to 25 percent, to about $400 a month, before overtime.
The company also said it would reduce overtime hours at its factories.
Labor rights groups say that over the years, many Foxconn plants have violated Chinese labor laws by pushing workers to endure excessive amounts of overtime.
Criticism has grown over working conditions at several Apple suppliers in China, including Foxconn, which employs more than one million workers to assemble some of the world’s most popular devices.
Apple announced last Monday that the Fair Labor Association, a nonprofit group, would provide independent audits of its supplier factories in China and elsewhere. Apple said the group’s findings would be made public. The association began inspecting Foxconn operations in China this week.
Apple and Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan, have strongly denied allegations that the workers are treated poorly. But Apple has acknowledged in its own audits that some of its suppliers in China violate Apple’s own code of conduct, with instances of child labor, forced overtime and unsafe working conditions and evidence that employees are sometimes exposed to hazardous and toxic chemicals.
In recent years, Foxconn facilities in China have experienced a series of worker suicides, and labor rights groups have documented varied abuses.
Last year, four workers were killed and about 20 were injured because of a dust explosion at a Chinese factory that was producing the Apple iPad.
According to Bloomberg News, the auditor at the Fair Labor Association said recently that he had already found “ tons of issues” at Foxconn plants. He did not detail the problems.
A Foxconn spokesman could not be reached late Saturday.