Foxconn workers went on strike, but for a different reason than the one you’re thinking


In recent years, Chinese manufacturer Foxconn has come under fire for having less-than-hospitable working conditions that are coupled with brutal work hours. Last week, roughly 1,000 Foxconn workers in the company’s Chongqing plant stopped working, but not because they worked too many hours, reported Chinese newspaper Securities Daily.

The latest dispute between Foxconn workers and corporate centered around the desire to increase worker overtime. While this might seem counterintuitive, overtime pay represents a sizable chunk of many workers’ income. Without overtime pay, a Foxconn worker earns, on average, around RMB 2,000 ($326) a month. Factor in overtime pay and that number jumps to RMB 3,000 or 4,000 a month ($489 – $652).

This recent overtime reduction was a result of a reduced order from Hewlett-Packard. Disgruntled workers met with Foxconn corporate, with the issue having been resolved after four hours of negotiations. A much smaller follow-up protest rose, which was also resolved.

Even with Foxconn criticized for its apparent maltreatment of its workers, the company still has to walk a fine line between appeasing those who are critical of its practices and satisfying its own workers.