Entry level workers at Foxconn’s China-based facilities expect to get a pay raise from 16 to 25%. This comes after a spate of reports both criticizing labor conditions in the factories, and praising the company for being relatively better than manufacturing plants in other industries.
In a statement released Friday, Taiwan-owned Foxconn says the pay of junior-level workers at its Shenzhen facilities has risen from 1,500 yuan (US$ 238) to 1,800 yuan (US$ 290) monthly, in an effort to “set a good example for the Chinese manufacturing industry.”
Foxconn says that employees passing a technical exam can expect an even higher starting pay, at 2,200 yuan (US$ 350). “As a top manufacturing company in China, the basic salary of junior workers in all of Foxconn’s China factories is already far higher than the minimum wage set by all local governments,” the company says.
Foxconn likewise stated that the company is providing more training opportunities and learning time, and will “continuously enhance technology, efficiency and salary.”
Working conditions at Foxconn’s manufacturing facilities — especially those that produce Apple devices like the iPhone and iPad — met heavy criticism amid a string of worker suicides and factory explosions from 2010 to 2011. The New York Times recently ran reports that brought the labor issues to light once again. Apple has highlighted its own supplier responsibility program, and has sought the help of the Fair Labor Association to conduct independent audits.
So far, the FLA says the Foxconn facilities are above standards in an initial assessment, although industry observers are not so convinced. Still, Foxconn says the pay hikes are a big improvement, citing that minimum pay in 2009 was 900 yuan per month.
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