April 2, 2012– One of the suppliers of Apple products in China, Foxconn, has announced it would cut the number of working hours for its employees. The employees’ immediate response was why. The company has come under fire from worker’s rights groups due to the long work week its employees were subjected to.
Foxconn, under pressure from the groups and from their biggest customer Apple Inc., decided to grant landmark concession to its employees. The concessions include reducing the overtime for it more than 1.2 million workers. It also promised to pay them more to make up for losing overtime income.
Apple praised the company for its decision. However, workers for Foxconn were not convinced their pay would not come down like their hours. For many of them, who make most of their money for long overtime hours, the thought of less work for equal pay was hard to perceive, let alone believe.
One young 23-year old worker said, “We worry that we will get less money. If we work less it is obvious we will be paid less.”
Foxconn said the work week would be reduced to 49 hours, including overtime. Foxconn is a huge employer of the 153 million migrant workers that live away from their homes. Its plants are generally safer cleaner and offer much more in the form of recreation than the smaller factories located in the larger urban areas.