Thursday, 14 October 2010
Employee Survey Labels Gadget Maker Foxconn a ‘Prison’
The workers quoted in the report complained about inhumane schedules requiring regular overtime work, stagnant wages and inflating dorm fees for factory beds, according to Global Post, who has been investigating Asian supply chains. The employee complaints were cited in surveys conducted by roughly 100 academics at China’s top universities.
“Under the labor and dormitory system, there is great physical, spiritual and spatial repression,” the report said when describing Foxconn’s prison-like working conditions. “An ordinary worker can easily be forced to the edge of collapse.”
Foxconn’s problems are symptomatic of a widespread issue in Asia, where gadget factories are notorious for committing labor violations, sometimes paying hourly wages of a dollar, firing people without notice and violently abusing employees.
Foxconn, however, has been under intense scrutiny in the media spotlight in light of a dozen employee suicides that have occurred at the factory this year. In response, Foxconn opened a tour of the factory to journalists and later promised it would work to improve working conditions by implementing wage hikes, among other changes.
However, the newest survey claims that these promises for improvements have yet to materialize.
In an e-mail response, Foxconn denied the allegations.
“Foxconn is certainly not perfect,” Foxconn said in an e-mail statement sent to The Register, “but we take our responsibility to our employees very seriously and we are committed to giving each and every one of our more than 937,000 employees in China a safe and positive working environment and compensation and benefits that are competitive with all of our industry peers.”
The Hong Kong-based organized Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior, or SACOM, which helped conduct the investigation, said it was calling on manufacturers such as Apple, HP and Dell to take responsibility for the tragedy. The three companies said in May that they were in contact with Foxconn to examine the working conditions." Wired.com