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Foxconn raising wages, relocating 20 percent of Shenzhen workers closer to home (updated)

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After a string of highly localized suicides at Foxconn's manufacturing campus captured the world's attention -- again -- the company has decided to increase worker wages by about 20 percent. Foxconn says that the pay raise had been planned for some time but did not say when it would be implemented. Mind you, a 20% bump in the third quarter is not unusual as Foxconn ramps up production for the holidays. In fact, Foxconn has given raises by as much as 50% in the past according to Vincent Chen, analyst at Yuanta Securities in Taipei. At the moment, Foxconn entry-level line workers are paid 900 yuan (about $131.80) per month -- remuneration that exceeds the local minimum wage in the area. And that's before bonuses and that oh-so tempting overtime pay are factored in. It's also worth noting that Foxconn is said by a factory worker surnamed Wang, to pay 100,000 yuan (about 10 times a worker's annual base salary) to families of suicide victims -- a sum he says has tempted some to their death.

Update: CEO Terry Guo is being quoted as saying that Foxconn plans to relocate some facilities and about a fifth of its Shenzhen workforce (that's about 80,000 people based on the 400k estimates tossed around) to western parts of China so that the workers can be closer to their families. Meanwhile, Sony, Nokia, and Nintendo, all Foxconn customers, have joined Apple, Dell, and HP in expressing their public concern over the working conditions in Foxconn.

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