Foxconn is under increased scrutiny as of late. The nearly 40-year old company assembles a big portion of the world’s electronic goods but many are questioning its treatment of workers. But nothing calms a troubled soul like cash. The company just released a statement indicating pay raises for Chinese workers just before the Fair Trade Association is set to interview employees about life at Foxconn.
The base pay of junior level worker in Shenzhen is now at 1,800 yuan ($290) per month and, if the worker passes a technical examination, it will be raised to 2,200 yuan. Three years ago the base pay was just 900 yuan per month.
“As a top manufacturing company in China, the basic salary of junior workers in all of Foxconn’s China factories is already far higher than the minimum wage set by all local governments,” the statement said. “We will provide more training opportunities and learning time, and will continuously enhance technology, efficiency and salary, so as to set a good example for the Chinese manufacturing industry.”
Foxconn is often viewed as a good entry-level job in China. The work is hard, no doubt, but the pay is fair for the region and job seekers often line up by the thousands for a chance to work at Foxconn. Not only is the pay a good deal higher than the required minimum but the company also provides dorms, meals, and recreational facilities for its workers. Foxconn is viewed as a way to move from the fields to the city.
But the company is facing some serious accusations. Apple recently announced that the Fair Labor Association will conduct special voluntary audits of several Apple assemblers including Foxconn where they will interview thousands of employees about their living conditions, pay compensation and corporate communication. It’s hard to say whether this pay increase was already on the books or a sort of short-term ploy to garner better marks on these employee interviews.