With all the controversy about working conditions in Foxconn, we thought it might be a good time to relate some of the workers’ experiences inside the manufacturing plants. China Business News reports on an interview that it did with a Foxconn worker called Wang Xiaoqiao (not his real name), and Wang reveals that employees who are involved in the production of the new iPad are now working fewer hours and they have been given more days off.
Previously, we reported a Foxconn worker who said that it’s a lot harder working assembling the iPhone than it is the iPad. Today, another Foxconn worker called Wang Xiaoqiao reveals another unusual quirk. Wang works at Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant and he is now working on the production line of the new iPad. Wang’s daily job is to assemble components such as the battery, logic board, camera lens, Retina display, and the rear shell to form the new iPad. When those component manufacturers deliver their parts to Foxconn, Wang and his workmates will be responsible to assemble the iPads.
According to Wang, the new iPad was in mass production since the start of the year — and Wang notes that production’s been seriously ramped up ever since March:
“The quantity of the iPads we assembled in 10 hours on the day before are done in 8 hours now. Then we get two days off,”
Wang further explains the production of the new iPad:
“The new iPad production started earlier this year, with one class of workers at each assembly line. Nearly 1,000 units will be mass-produced in a standard shift of 8 hours, plus 2 hours of overtime work. 150 – 180 units were produced during a peak iPad production run in February. However, in March, iPad employees worked fewer hours, and sometimes regular weekday shifts could not be archived,”
It may be positively happy for Foxconn workers to work fewer hours and get more days off, however, Wang is actually upset about it, since working fewer hours means no bonus pay. Last month, Wang worked six days a week, and got a day off. Today, he gets 3 days off, and work for only 4 days in a week. He was planning to buy new furniture by doing overtime work for more pay, but that seems to be impossible now.
“My base pay is 2,350 yuan, and I need to pay 190 yuan for social security tax, 120 yuan for housing fund, 110 yuan for accommodation fee, and some money on having meals. I’m going through a difficult time for this month,”
Comparatively, on the iPad production line, Wang could expect each assembly line will sort out multiple classes (of workers) to perform other tasks. Meanwhile, there are 20 assembly lines on the level Wang is working at, and Wang is expecting at least 3 lines will be rearranged. And Wang also notes that Foxconn has been shifting iPad work away from Shenzhen and into other factory in Chengd:
“The production of the iPad 3 (that’s what he is calling) has been lagging behind the iPhone, and ever since the Chengdu plant started to operate, the productivity here (Shenzhen) has been gradually decreased,”
Well, we think it’s good to hear that Foxconn workers are working less, so they will have more time for family and friends.
Source: Yicai (Chinese)
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