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Taiwanese academics demand sanctions for Foxconn

2010/06/13 15:10:30

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) The government should make sure thatTaiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry, which owns Foxconn Tech Co.,meets global labor standards and is not allowed to operate as asweatshop, local academics said Sunday.

In less than a week, more than 180 scholars had signed a petitionin response to a recent wave of suicides by workers employed inChina's Shenzhen by Foxconn, a subsidiary of Hon Hai.

The scholars said the government should punish Hon Hai by denyingbenefits such as tax reduction on its Taiwanese investments.

They also urged the authorities in both Taiwan and China to usethe ongoing economic cooperation framework agreement negotiations tohammer out ways to prevent labor exploitation.

Besides accusing Hon Hai owner Terry Guo of exploiting hisworkers, the scholars also accused government officials of coveringup Guo's wrongdoings because of his contributions to Taiwan'seconomy.

"Guo is the shame of Taiwan, " said Huang Te-pei, director of theGraduate Institute for Social Transformation Studies at Shih HsinUniversity.

In the era of globalization, Huang said, capitalists should notsimply focus on where and how to find the cheapest workers but shouldalso take corporate social responsibility.

According to Huang, the biased value chain and the worldwidepractice of "lean production" are to be blame because under theefficiency-first rule, workers are subject to unlawful overtime,which he said is the case with Foxconn.

Therefore, he said, global brands such as Apple should cut backtheir low-price competition policy and distribute profits more fairlyto their OEMs, such as Hon Hai.

The scholars also said Guo should open Foxconn's Shenzhen complexto public investigation.

(By Hsin-Yin Lee)