Quality Products International

Foxconn says Emergencies are over!

by on Sep.16, 2010, under Asia Business, China, China QC Inspection Blog, General News

What a great headline! All is well in Foxconn and we can all get back to enjoying our little electronic toys and tools without having to worry about poor Chinese workers having to kill themselves in order to make a statement about working conditions.

OK I’ll admit sarcasm is not a good way to make a point but it is funny that this headline popped up a little after I wrote about the factory social audits that need to be done regularly. The problem is that only when you get down to the second half of the article in question is when you see what was done to fix the problem. Foxconn has doubled each workers wage over the past couple of months and at the same time it has reduced the amount of overtime hours from 80 hours per month to 36 hours per month. The funny thing is that previous to this announcement Foxconn professed to treat their workers better than anyone else and they had no cause to complain. Unfortunately 80 hours per month is more than double the international standard and is in fact more than double the amount allowed by Chinese law as well. So it seems that the workers were not being treated as well as they wished us to believe. Considering the problems that the company was having with its workers one might draw the conclusion that overtime was a requirement and not a request as is more common in the west (although one might think that is changing there too). In that case it is no wonder the poor workers were killing themselves. Sure they had all sorts of recreation facilities and activities but, if one is too tired to do anything except show up for work (since you have to work an extra 2 weeks every month just to keep your job), then what use are they?

Considering that the working conditions did not adhere to international standard nor local law, why did everyone say that the factories were fine? Of course there is a certain amount of ass covering in all this but one has to wonder if a proper third party social audit of the company and factories might have uncovered this a bit sooner and maybe headed off the problem to start with. Regular external audits of the factories and conditions should be part of any company’s strategy for doing business in China and the rest of S.E. Asia. QPI Ltd. Is well placed to help with such needs and is in an excellent position to provide independent audits of your manufacturing facilities.

For the full article in the China Daily online click here.

Author: M. Charlin

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