LONDON Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., which trades as Foxconn and makes electronic products for high-profile brands such as Apple and Sony, is planning to raise the wages of its Chinese workers by about 20 percent, according to a Financial Times report.
The proposed pay rise comes after a series of suicides at Foxconn's enormous Longhua campus in Shenzhen, southern China, has called into question working practices there and brought the company under international scrutiny.
Ten employees have committed suicide at Longhua in 2010 and another suicide attempt was made on Thursday night within a few hours of Terry Gou Foxconn's CEO promising better welfare provision (see Foxconn dismisses 'sweatshop' allegations).
Foxconn (Tucheng, Taiwan) employs hundreds of thousands of workers in China, often bringing them considerable distances from rural districts to live in dormitories close to the factories. However, the large numbers of employees mean that a certain number of suicides would be expected each year simply on a statistical basis.
There are concerns that pressure to keep working to send money back to families in country districts, social isolation and long working hours are a contributory factor in the some of the suicide attempts.
Nokia and Sony said Friday (May 28) that they would look into working conditions at Longhua, joining similar announcements by Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell earlier in the week, according to an AFP report. The AFP report said that Foxconn employs 300,000 people at the Longhua campus.
According to the Financial Times report the pay raise has been under negotiation for several months. "The raise will be different depending on the location, but it will be about 20 percent on average," the report quoted Edmund Ding, vice-president and spokesman at Hon Hai Precision Industry, as saying.
Workers have been asking for a 50 percent pay rise, the report said. The base monthly salary for Foxconn’s production workers at the Longhua plant is 950 yuan (about $140), but many staff make almost making almost 2,000 yuan (about $290) a month including overtime, the report said.
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