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Foxconn CEO: 'We are definitely not a sweatshop'

Laura June
05.25.10
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The problems that have emerged in China at one of Foxconn's largest factories continue -- with reports this morning that an eleventh person has fallen from a building there, making him the ninth person to die there this year. Foxconn's CEO Guo Tai-ming yesterday released a statement to the Chinese press addressing the situation publicly for the first time. He stated: "We believe that we are definitely not a sweatshop. It's very difficult to manage a manufacturing team of 800,000 something. With the others around the world it adds up to almost 900,000, so there's a lot to be done every day. However, we believe that we'll soon be able to stabilize this situation."

The video also, however, details a new undercover report -- this time eight men who met online -- three of whom ended up being recruited by Foxconn. Their claims? New employees must sign a voluntary affidavit committing to between 60 and 100 hours of overtime each month -- far more than the legal limit of 36 hours. Managers often verbally abuse workers, and randomly deduct pay from their performance bonuses. The 900 yuan minimum wage per month (around $132) is very low in comparison to the company's profits and standing in the country. Possibly the most interesting tidbit unearthed here is the claim that over the past three months, Foxconn has lost about 50,000 workers each month, and as such, has become desperate to make up for the lost manpower. Recruitment standards -- which used to include proof of secondary education -- have been all but dropped, and new recruits need only show identification to obtain a position. Finally, Foxconn has apparently hired about 50 new counselors over the past two days, and the front-line managers are also now trying to communicate with the workers to get a feel for the situation. We'll keep our eyes peeled for further developments, but in the meantime, hit up the source link to view the full news report in Chinese.

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