Foxconn workers not happy about overtime hours being cut

An Apple factory worker

The Fair Labor Association's report about working conditions at Foxconn, Apple's primary manufacturing partner, vouched that workers would see fewer overtime hours without a change in pay, but employees aren't convinced that they'll be able to keep the same level of income. A few workers commented at the factory gates on being allowed a maximum of 49 hours a week, including overtime.

"We are worried we will have less money to spend. Of course, if we work less overtime, it would mean less money," said Wu, a 23-year-old employee from Hunan province in south China. ... "We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little," she added. Chen said she now earned a bit over 4,000 yuan a month ($634).

Comments like this perfectly illustrate the inherent problem the western world's sudden curiosity with working conditions in China; while folks like Mike Daisey are able to make a living sensationalizing and weaving a heartbreaking story about how terrible life is working at an iPhone factory, the people who are actually there just want to make a decent wage - by the sounds of it, they don't even mind the work that much. Remember, the FLA report said that only 17.7% said they were working too much, and 33.8% said they wanted to work more in order to make more money. That said, maybe Foxconn's next move is to simply raise the hourly rates they pay rather than cutting hours on a per-worker basis.

The FLA said that they would be doing a study on cost of living around the three factories they had audited, and based on that, will be determining if wages are adequate. Here's an interview with the association's CEO, which I think gives an interesting and likely more realistic perspective on Foxconn working conditions.

Source: Reuters

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Foxconn workers not happy about overtime hours being cut


The TV special I watched last night on this stated that the workers would retain their current pay (for an estimated 60 hours/week) even with the reduced hours. Can anyone validate that this in fact part of the agreement?

I'm pretty sure the FLA report said that employees wouldn't lose money, but these first-hand interviews with the workers show that they're doubtful that they'll be able to keep making enough money without all of that overtime.

The U.S. needs to keep it's bloated, intruding, over-regulating ass out of China. Let the Chinese take care of their own problems. We have enough internal problems in this country, that the government needs to solve, without wasting money and resources, trying to make the rest of the world conform to our cultural standards. The asian way of life is totaly different from the western way of life. Why does the U.S. think it needs to police the rest of the world? I am glad you asked.....because this country has more politicians and lawyers than it needs. If the U.S. had 90% fewer politicians and lawyers, we could mind our own fuing business, and not worry about keeping the gluttony of those aholes busy ruining our country and trying to run the rest of the world as they see fit.

You're talking nonsense. The Fair Labor Association is a nonprofit company. It is NOT the United States. NOTHING in this article is about the U.S. government forcing anyone to do anything. Not only that they were found to violate Chinese labor laws.
Your rant isn't even on topic. The ignorance is astounding.

Of course, if you get paid less than a dollar per hour and need to eat and pay rent, you need all the overtime you can get.
This is not a sign that workers are happy with things the way they are, as the title of the article implies, but another symptom of the terrible conditions at Foxconn.

hmmm I just wish would mind our own business. If they wanna work overtime then fine. This is not the business of the US this is the business of china.

They should get the same pay, for a 38 hour week. Overtime pay upto a maximum of 42 hours a week.
And what a stupid comment Simon, the workers aren't happy with 60 hours a week, they are just desperate for the money!
Work / Life balance needs to be taken into account, why should the people making our iDevices not get the chance to spend more time with their families?

You're dumb as rocks. Mike's not replying to anyone and nobody above him is stating this is the government imposing anything on Chinese companies. This is an independent nonprofit company doing an investigation. It's not the government. No matter what there are two concrete facts FLA is not the U.S. government and two, the problems where with Chinese laws NOT Americans laws. So the comments about "U.S. overregulating ass out of China" are flat innaccurate. It's NOT the U.S. nor are they U.S. regulation. In fact you're the epitome ignorant ranting conjecture. Learn to read. Inform yourself before you speak. You just sound foolish.

The problem lies in American interest. I could give a flying f$@& less if people from china are being burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft. I want more interest in our agendas.+++++++
Fix our problems and keep your nose in your own yard.

  1. Applying western standards to chinese business is simply stupid
  2. Just pay them by the hour. Make it their option to work any overtime as they wished. Done.