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Foxconn raises pay up to 25% to mitigate concerns

updated 10:15 am EST, Fri February 17, 2012

Foxconn institutes third recent pay raise

Foxconn on Friday significantly raised pay for its floor workers in China for the third time in about one and a half years. An entry-level factory worker in Foxconn's main facilities at Shenzhen would now get between 16 to 25 percent more pay per month depending on whether or not the person passed a technical test. The pay would be equivalent to 1,800 yuan ($286) base or 2,200 yuan ($349) with the certification.

While very low by Western standards, the pay was already "far higher" than minimum wage requirements in Chinese provinces, Foxconn said. Three years earlier, pay had been as low as 900 yuan ($143) a month. More training and technology would come to the plants to "set a good example" for how Chinese production should work, according to the company.

Whether deliberate or not, the pay raise conspicuously followed Apple's stepped-up auditing plans. Although audits showed a glowing early reaction to Foxconn's plant conditions, the company is now under increased scrutiny to prove that it treats workers fairly.

Pay raises have also been partly criticized as disingenuous and not addressing core issues of hours worked, not pay. In spite of claims about overtime definitions, Foxconn supervisors are believed to be asking for too many hours. Common descriptions of conditions have had at least some staff working 12-hour days for six days a week, leaving them with little time to relax or socialize.

It's not clear if the raises were prompted by Apple. Despite some public perceptions, Foxconn isn't exclusive to Apple and also makes products for Dell, HP, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nokia, Sony, and others. The raises also don't address working conditions at other contractors used by the rest of the industry that often work in similar conditions.

By Electronista Staff


  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    where's the...

    happy face worker picture. There should be something to smile about.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2009


    a picture, 1000 words

    It's real easy to pick a picture to that gives the reader a first impression that you want to give. I believe I've seen this stock photo on several articles so it doesn't surprise me it was used again. Yes, she looks like she's exhausted and doesn't want to be there but ask her after she gets her raise and see how she looks. Workers in the US have the same expression with any job, it's not just factory workers in China.

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Not just mitigation

    I suspect this isn't just to mitigate the fuss from overseas. Chinese firms are having to raise wages to get the workers they need and I suspect that's particularly true for dull, repetitive assembly jobs. Henry Ford had to do the same for his auto factories a century ago. He ended up paying well above the going rate for most jobs.

    The fact that so many pictures show young women at these jobs is significant. Young men moving from rural areas into major cities can get physically demanding construction jobs. Young women in the same situation can't. But the fact that they're young is also saying something. It's saying that people hate these jobs and are looking for something better. When it comes along, they're gone. Hence the recruitment problem and a need to pay more, particularly when there are tight production deadlines.

  1. garmonbosia

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002



    You are no longer welcome here. You made sense. ;-)

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