FoxConn Workers Furious At Work Hours Cut, Demand More Work

Tyler Durden's picture


It appears the miracle of unionization has not penetrated Chinese labor markets. Contrary to expectations that suicidal workers would be elated at news that the world's second biggest employer in the world (after Wal Mart) with 1.2 million workers, FoxConn, has given employees "landmark concessions" the reality is actually different. Very, very different. "At the Foxconn factory gates, many workers seemed unconvinced that their pay wouldn't be cut along with their hours. For some Chinese factory workers - who make much of their income from long hours of overtime - the idea of less work for the same pay could take getting used to. "We are worried we will have less money to spend. Of course, if we work less overtime, it would mean less money," said Wu, a 23-year-old employee from Hunan province in south China. Foxconn said it will reduce working hours to 49 per week, including overtime. "We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important," said Chen Yamei, 25, a Foxconn worker from Hunan who said she had worked at the factory for four years." Hold on, Hold on... You mean to say that whatever values are cherished in the good old US of lazy A, such as bathroom, coffee and cigarette breaks, not to mention "democracy", "American Idol", "high cholesterol", $0.99 apps" and "liberated oil" just may not be appropriate to the 95% of other people around the world? But... But... how will America spread its deeply unique "humanitarian" values of globalized freedom and trade interchange (funded by cheap credit of course - those global debt slaves won't enslave themselves on their own - for more see here), and occasionally using kinetic intervention (never war: one needs Congressional approval for that) when said people dare to express a different outlook, and set of values on life? Preposterous. Nay, Inconceivable!

From Reuters:

"We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little," she added. Chen said she now earned a bit over 4,000 yuan a month.


Foxconn is one the biggest employers of China's 153 million rural migrants working outside their hometowns. Compared to smaller, mainland-owned factories, workers said, its vast plants are cleaner and safer, and offer more recreation sites.


But even so, for most employees at the Foxconn plant in Longhua, a part of Guangdong province's vast industrial sprawl, life is dominated by the repetitive routine of the production line.


Outside the Foxconn plant, off-duty employees crowded a small shopping mall. Their tightly packed apartment blocks are hemmed by hair salons, snack stores, gaming arcades and Internet "bars", where many while away leisure hours by playing computer games or watching Korean and Hong Kong soap operas.


"I don't go out that much as there is nothing much to do. I do go out for a meal once in a while," said Huang Hai, a 21-year-old man who said he had worked at Foxconn's factory for about two years.


"This is a good company to work for because the working conditions are better than a lot of other small factories."

But at least some deeply seated, no pun intended, US values are starting to seep through:

"I didn't like my first job at Foxconn because it was very repetitive. It was mainly manual work and I had to hammer nails everyday," said Huang. "Now it's better because I work with computers."

Well, as long as "working with a computer" is a good enough substitute for unionization, AAPL's margin expansion in perpetuity is guaranteed. In the meantime, the fact that Chinese wage parity with the US may come as soon as 2017 should not worry anyone who predicts that Apple will sell over $2 trillion in products over the next decade at flat or improving margins. After all when one has a "story" stock, the facts take a back seat.

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Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:26 | 2303760 stickyfingers
stickyfingers's picture

If they don't like it there, WalMart will take them.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:57 | 2303865 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

We as a diseased nation just can't seem to mind our motherfucking business! A politician is essentially a shit that can't mind their business ergo our political system can't mind it's fucking business ergo policemen to its own police state and the world's policeman = is this what we pay regressive taxes for?



Fri, 03/30/2012 - 18:35 | 2305138 DorseyCecil68669
DorseyCecil68669's picture

my friend's aunt makes $72/hr on the internet. She has been without work for six months but last month her payment was $19183 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more .....

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 20:53 | 2305399 monoloco
monoloco's picture

Fuck off troll!

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 03:20 | 2305899 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Does work even exist in Europe anymore?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:08 | 2303886 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

i am the beast i worship!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:25 | 2304000 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Work Ethic...Bytchez

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:38 | 2304345 tempo
tempo's picture

"Think different"... support slave ownership.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 22:46 | 2305479 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Nobody is forced to work there and it seems nobody there minds the overtime. How is that slavery?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 20:58 | 2305407 monoloco
monoloco's picture

This is just a sinister plot by Apple to compress the margins of it's competitors. If manufacturing costs go up Amazon loses more money on every Fire.

Sun, 04/01/2012 - 01:53 | 2307289 dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

Probably the ones who committed suicide minded.

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 00:25 | 2305739 stockoptimistic
stockoptimistic's picture

Now thats asian business for you. Companies tend to punish their employees for stupid decisions they make. One of my friends is working in IT in India (yea, better labour situation than China) - she has been asked to come to office at odd hours. It is quite problematic finding transpotation at odd hours. Though the company has a big fleet of their own cabs, they want billing for it. As the client in question is an Asian there is no billing and hence people have to pay for it out of their pocket. If someday you are unable to make it on time, well say goodbye to your job. 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:26 | 2303761 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Pay attention corporate Amerika, this is what well-conditioned sheep look like.  To the new Amerikan worker, this is your future, enjoy.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:46 | 2303820 roadlust
roadlust's picture

Exactly.  "Workers demanding worse conditions" (based on scientific polling of Foxconn workers, of course) signals the ultimate victory of American style consumer capitalism over the rest of the world, not some "misplaced concern" by do-gooding Westerners.  The fact that so many Chinese are already dehumanized worker robots, determined to buy some overpriced highrise condo, overlooking rivers of toxic soup, and green skies, is proof that the AAPL cult has taken over the world. 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:00 | 2303875 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Most things can be cleaned up with technology. Fukushima excepted.

If you hate the Chinese I would say nuke them now or forever hold your peace.


Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:06 | 2303903 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

if it weren't for my all things iPad fetish, i'd certainly say let's nuke the robotic sinkhole of a human slave nation!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:30 | 2304036 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

We just need an app where the IPads can build themselves. Then everyone can sit around in the holodecks and run that Councelor Troy simulation over and over again.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:45 | 2304378 AcidRastaHead
AcidRastaHead's picture

I'm sensing feelings of lust and lasciviousness.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:04 | 2303892 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

because China is now ultimately a democratic state more at allows for freedoms such as working until you die; and why not? the people should get what the people want, right? china will soon be legalizing opium.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:01 | 2303880 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Yeah, because working hard to pull yourself out of poverty is so sheepish.

Americans paid their dues.  The fact that we have to look forward to a future like that is indicative of the extent of the theft that we have been subjected to.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:36 | 2304075 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

What are you on today?

Dewd, the comment section is at default gallows humor - and often enlightening - and now I'm stating the obvious but doing so to point you out.

Which Americans paid their dues? Oh, you mean via devaluation of currency and savings and general usury. Truly we live in a society with weaponized education, so, we cannot outright blame fellow travellers for lacking understanding of how money actually works, but take it easy, slave. I see this isn't the only comment of yours on this thread...

Many Americans still work hard and so do many other humans in many other get themselves out of poverty.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:38 | 2304348 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Not everyone has to pay to establish a capital base.  Americans paid that bill in the 1800's.  Asking them to pay it again is like having to rebuild the foundation on the family manor built by your great grandparents.

Central bankers ate the foundation, and the whole thing is probably going to cave in sooner or later, and we will be forced to rebuild it.

The capital base that we built meant that you didn't have to work nearly as HARD to get out of poverty, and once out, it was much easier to stay out.  This is what the Chinese are doing for themselves now.  Their hard work is building a middle class.  Too bad their government is ten times bigger than ours was when we were doing the same.  Our central bankers have eaten our capital, meaning we will wind up having to start over at the bottom.  There is no excuse for this.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 18:07 | 2305070 Hicham
Hicham's picture

Interesting perspective. I don't quite understand it, but I come to zerohedge for this sort of thing...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 23:57 | 2305677 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture


Still thinking about a comeback...hmmm

I love this website.

Sun, 04/01/2012 - 01:59 | 2307293 dolly madison
dolly madison's picture

Our central bankers have eaten our capital, meaning we will wind up having to start over at the bottom.  There is no excuse for this.


Or perhaps we will just take it back.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:26 | 2304294 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture


Everyday is a battle Tom.  The day you stop fighting is the day you die.  Just because some of the american people "paid dues" does not mean everyone did nor does it mean anyone gets to sit back and stop paying.  Life is hard, grow the fuck up already.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:34 | 2304325 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Is someone keeping you tied-up in their basement?

Hyperbole is your default setting isn't it? You're a sweet child, a little hyperactive but sweet none-the-less...

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:59 | 2304414 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Likewise.  How many posts for you today?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:41 | 2304363 tmosley
tmosley's picture

So you think that all young people should go to fight the British for their freedom too, then, right?

You don't get to just steal the capital that was accumulated 150 years ago because the people who accumulated it are dead.  Our birthright has been stolen from us, but you want those who recognize that fact to "grow the fuck up".  Fuck you.

You sound like a bankster tool.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 15:02 | 2304410 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Your birthright? You were earning capital 150 years ago?  Spoken like another scared lonely old man.  No one will steal anything from me or my children. Possesion is now the law.  Sorry to hear you are in this state.  Again get the fuck over your heritage.  Like my father and his before, I served my country so you can fuck yourself when it comes to precisely what you think is your fucking birthright.  If you think you can sit on the sidelines and not contribute something every single day of your life, interacting with no one, and still expect to maintain your lifestyle, you are sadly mistaken.   Fuck you to Tom.  "Our birthright" - you really gave yourself away this time.  Might want to take that silver spoon out of your mouth.  I hate the bank as much as you, but obviously for different reasons, you are afraid of losing your trust, while I am afraid of losing the money I earned in this lifetime.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:16 | 2304916 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

You try to call him out about "his" birth right, yet you talk of "your" country, as if you fighting for it gives you a higher standing than him (whether or not that was your intention, that's how it comes across). That's a little spurious.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 17:22 | 2304936 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Does change the fact that Tom feels like the fucking world owes him something because of the uterus he popped out of..  Fuck that, I am not afraid to go earn it, every day.  Pussies, all of you.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:27 | 2303764 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

'Chinese/US wage parity may come as soon as 2017' then we'll all be making $1 a day pretty soon, oh HOORAY!

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 16:58 | 2304856 Decolat
Decolat's picture

If you're lucky enough to find work...


The ones making $0 a day will be in plenty to remind us to be grateful for what we can get. We'll be begging for more hours like the Foxconn suicidals.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 22:48 | 2305482 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

We can all get 0bamabucks to spend at WallyMart. He gets it from his stash

Sat, 03/31/2012 - 10:05 | 2306157 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

you have Blowjob Ben to support the bankrupt banks and insolvent US Govt and JP Morgan printing foodstamps to prop-up the unemployment cues because the Govt and banks have been destroying the real economy for 50 years

it's not mere concidence Chinas economic boom happened when its bankrupt Govt got out of the way (of the private sector) and Americas unemployment grew as its Govt got ever more in the way of the economy

Govt is the problem

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:27 | 2303765 Dan The Man
Dan The Man's picture

Wow!  Demanding MORE work....who are these people who want to work?  I keep hearing about them.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 19:47 | 2305287 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Ayn Rand's army?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 22:50 | 2305485 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

I used to work 70 hours a week back when I was 20-21 years old at the Texas Instruments plant. There's nothing like a good work ethic for a young person to prepare them for the hardships in life. These days working 40 hours a week is like being on vacation

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:27 | 2303769 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

'In the meantime, the fact that Chinese wage parity with the US may come as soon as 2017 should not worry anyone who predicts that Apple will sell over $2 trillion in products over the next decade at flat or improving margins. After all when one has a "story" stock, the facts take a back seat'

LOL, sweet mercy.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:30 | 2303774 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Remember only a couple years ago the big 'story stock' was RIMM at $148.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:49 | 2303834 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

Yep.  There is always someone else out there.  Especially in the gadget market. 

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:34 | 2303785 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The U.S wages have a long way to fall. Then who is going to buy an iPhone?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 14:30 | 2304313 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture

Isn't Obama looking into making all Apple products eligible for SNAP?

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 16:37 | 2304777 Agent P
Agent P's picture

I see plenty of SNAPpers at the grocery store with iPhones, Androids, or BlackBerrys...there is very little difference in giving someone gov credit so they can buy a smartphone vs. giving someone gov credit to buy food so they can use their money to buy a smartphone.

To be clear, I'm not against SNAP, I'm against the fraud within the system.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:28 | 2303770 Jason T
Jason T's picture

It is true that these are not careers but like going to college for 4 years, the go and live in dorms, work 60-80 hours a week, and are happy to do it.  I know it because when I was in manufacturing, we sent a guy to China to see our competitors.. and that's what he  came back and reported.  Industry was printed circuit boards.  It's not nearly 100% gone in the US.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:29 | 2303773 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Slaves loving their slavery... Orwell would be proud.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:01 | 2303885 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Examine your assumptions.  One of them is wrong.

Slaves are NEVER enthusiastic about work.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 13:33 | 2304054 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Bingo. Lack of economic incentive makes slavery unsustainble. Slaves do exactly what is required of them. Nothing more.

Fri, 03/30/2012 - 22:57 | 2305508 sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

It's funny how lazy Americants think that desire to work hard and improve your life is akin to slavery. No wonder businesses are moving overseas. These people came from the impoverished countryside, with no running water, no electricy, and little food. They are happy to find work and be able to help their families survive.

Americants were known for their hard work ethic due to the Great Depression. Men were happy to find work and they worked hard and long hours when they found a job. Now you have soft, feminine men who are afraid to get their hands dirty or break a sweat. Their limp wrists and bony fingers can't handle anyhting more than texting.

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