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Foxconn is not a sweatshop: Steve Jobs

Last updated on: June 2, 2010 11:34 IST

Foxconn is not a sweatshop: Steve Jobs

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After a series of suicides at Foxconn, Apple Inc's chief executive Steve Jobs said that Foxconn, the global contract company that assembles iPhones and iPads in China, "is not a sweatshop."

Calling the incident as 'troubling', he said it is a difficult situation and the company is trying to understand the situation.

Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry now plans to hike workers' salaries by 30 percent.

Foxconn's base in southern China has hit the headlines for inhuman working conditions and low wages.

Chinese activists say workers in these sweatshops face extremely long and arduous working hours, are given paltry salaries, and are under extreme pressure to deliver goods within the strict deadlines.

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Image: Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
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Foxconn's chairman has rejected allegations that the firm is a sweatshop. The company has appointed counselors to talks to stressed workers and fixed nets on dormitory buildings.

Newspaper reports have for long stated that Foxconn is a very secretive company which uses a dictatorial methods and military-style discipline to bullying its army of workers.

They say the company is engaging in gross violation of labour rights and safety.

Many workers, as young as 16 years old, get homesick and depressed. They are highly disturbed by the long shifts and the despotic discipline. Even speaking to co-workers or listening to music is banned during shifts. Over a period of time this leads to suicidal tendencies, say activists.

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Image: Workers say they get beaten up.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters.
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The Chinese government is working with the company to implement 'effective measures' after 10 Foxconn workers committed suicide.

Foxconn which employs over 400,000 workers, is the world's biggest contract electronics maker.

Foxconn manufactures iPhones, iPads and spare parts for Apple Inc, desktop computers and parts for Hewlett-Packard and Dell, mobile phones for Motorola and other electronic goods for many other top brands, including Sony, Nokia and Microsoft.


Image: Ma Zishan cries as he carries a portrait of his son Ma Xiangqian outside a Foxconn factory.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters.
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