updated 03:45 pm EDT, Wed June 2, 2010
No word on working hours
As of June 1st, Foxconn has raised the pay for all of its Chinese production workers by 30 percent, according to parent company Hon Hai. Foxconn last week said that it would be raising pay by an average of 20 percent, but this drew fire from labor activists, who argued that it would not have much impact. The company is a major manufacturer, with clients including Apple, Dell, Sony, Motorola and HP; it has drawn fire for harsh working conditions however, believed to be a factor in 10 suicides that have occurred in a matter of months.
While low pay has been one of the biggest criticisms directed at Foxconn, the company has so far announced no changes to working hours. Employees in Shenzhen are said to regularly operate on the assembly lines almost non-stop, getting little to no time for themselves beyond eating and sleeping.
Hon Hai warns that it may decide to pass some of the raise's cost on to client businesses. It also notes though that it may take months to determine the net impact, in part because it expects to become more efficient as a result of less staff turnover.
Apple, moreover, is believed to be actively contributing to the higher wages, sacrificing a small portion of its device profits in order to improve its public image. CEO Steve Jobs has personally tried to defend his company, calling rate of suicides below Chinese and American averages. He also insists that Foxconn is "not a sweatshop," but a company that even provides amenities such as restaurants and movie theaters.