Hon Hai raises Shenzhen worker wages

Hon Hai has raised its workers wages in a bid to stop them from committing suicide.

The troubled firm – plagued by suicides at the Foxconn Shenzhen plant  – released a statement yesterday claiming that the “wage increase has been instituted to safeguard the dignity of workers, accelerate economic transformation, support Foxconn’s long-term objective of continued evolution from a manufacturing leader to a technology leader and to rally the best of our workforce.” 

“We recognise our responsibility as a global leader in electronics manufacturing, and take this responsibility very seriously.”

It said wages for production line employees at the firm’s Shenzhen plant would rise from 1,200 yuan ($176, £122) to 2,000 yuan (or £202).

However, to be eligible for the pay rise, workers first have to pass a performance test lasting three months. New employees will be put on probation for the same amount of time before getting the increase.

The announcement follows Apple’s move last week to begin an independent investigation into the Shenzhen plant, as well as offering a 20 percent pay rise to all workers.

However, as  Professor Xiaowei Zang, head of Chinese Studies at Sheffield University, told us last week money cannot solve the problem unless there is research to support that is the problem.

He said if proper investigation hadn’t occurred then money could not solve the problem.

“There can be many possible reasons why these workers ended their lives, for example,  high living costs, long working hours, working environment, job insecurity, work pressure,” he said.

“It is likely that these workers committed suicide because of the combination of all these or many of these factors. Hence, it is the totality of a sweatshop factory that is responsible for the tragedies.”

Steve Jobs went public this past weekend telling the world that Foxconn does not run a sweatshop.