Foxconn workers embark on more protests

More Foxconn workers have taken to the streets this week in protest. About 7,000 staff are protesting against poor pay and plans to relocate some work to inland provinces, despite Foxconn trying to appease them.

According to Reuters, the latest wake of protests were at Foxconn’s Premier Image Technology plant in Foshan, near Guangzhou.

Once again Foxconn is trying to brush it all under the carpet. A representative for the company denies that there had been organised industrial action. He admitted some workers had asked for higher wages.

Reuters reckons the average take-home pay, including overtime, is about $300, or £188, a month, although coastal areas such as Guangzhou are said to have higher wages than inland areas.

The wave of protests are not going to go down too well with head honcho Terry Gou who has in the past expressed the way he thinks about work.

Some insights: “A harsh environment is a good thing”, “hungry people have especially clear minds”, and “work itself is a type of joy.”

There have been well publicised suicides at the company’s plants – the most recent being earlier this month – along with reports of worker abuse, violence and poor pay.

Foxconn is no stranger to protests.

Back in October the Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) group went was outraged after 319 workers were arrested over picketing for wage increases and better working conditions.  They also said in a report that the conditions at the Shenzhen factory had not improved and claimed the company still treated workers as machines.

Poor working conditions at Foxconn were first exposed in 2006, where it was revealed that employees were forced to work overtime due to extremely poor wages, often working shifts of 12 hours or more, and eating on the go.

They stayed in factory-run dormitories where dozens of people were crammed into a single room, sleeping in triple-bunk beds. Some workers complained of cockroaches in the dormitories and no running water for days to bathe themselves.

It was also claimed that employees often didn’t know the names of their roomates or workmates.