Foxconn workers threaten suicide over pay

By Allie Coyne on Apr 30, 2012 10:14 AM
Filed under Hardware

Protest follows Apple audit.

Foxconn has become embroiled in yet another worker abuse scandal, with factory workers at one of its Chinese plants threatening to jump off a building in a protest over pay.

Reuters reports the protest occured at Foxconn’s Wuhan factory and involved 200 workers new to the plant. Foxconn employs 1.2 million workers across Asia, Europe and Latin America, servicing the world’s top technology organisations including Apple, HP, Intel and Dell. 

The protest follows this month's release of an audit that found Foxconn staff worked excessive overtime and in some circumstances, were not being compensated for physical harm.

Workers also reported feeling underpaid, complaining that their salary did not meet basic needs, despite Foxconn paying above Shenzen minimum wage.

The month-long Fair Labour Association audit was commissioned by Apple following reports of sub-standard working conditions in Foxconn’s factories. Foxconn has been repeatedly accused of worker abuse leading to suicides.

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Apple promised to work with Foxconn to enforce better working conditions at the factories of its biggest manufacturer. The manufacturing behemoth has faced harsh criticism over 13 worker deaths in 2010 believed to have been suicides, with several more reported suicide attempts.

Other global vendors utilising Foxconn are yet to join the crusade. The likes of HP, Dell, Microsoft, Sony, Nokia and Acer all depend on Foxconn’s factories to produce their latest devices.

Last week’s protest was short-lived. A Foxconn spokesperson told Reuters the dispute had been settled after a short period of negotiation and police intervention.

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