Foxconn worker describes average shift to the NYT

Jun 21, 2010

Foxconn has been under increasing pressure to improve working conditions after multiple suicides have taken place at its plants in China. Some claim that the harsh working conditions at the plants are the reason for the suicides. Rumors have made the rounds that Foxconn may close its Chinese plants because of wage increases made to make workers happier.

The New York Times spoke a worker named Mr. Yuan about his day at the Foxconn factory where he assembles hard drives for EMC. His shift starts at 7:30p.m. and the NYT says he can bring a phone to work, if it has no camera, but can't bring a MP3 player.

The workers are allowed to talk to each other, as long as it doesn't affect productivity, which is timed with a stopwatch. A dinner break is at 10:30pm and the meal is subsidized by the factory at up to 65cents. Work resumes at 11:30. Yuan claimed to not be aware of a law limiting overtime to 36 hours per month. He states that if his team doesn't meet quota of 1600 drives per day they work extra and they work more when a big order comes in. Yuan says the work is hard, but he has become used to it.

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