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Foxconn plans to increase China workforce to 1.3 million

2010/08/19 13:27:29

Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) Foxconn Technology Group, a China-basedsubsidiary of Taiwan's Hon Hai group, said Wednesday it plans toraise its workforce in China to 1.3 million from the current 920,000over the next 12 months.

Cheng Tien-tsung, deputy chief executive of Foxconn, said hisgroup is migrating from coastal areas to inland China -- such asChengdu in Sichuan Province and Zhengzhou in Henan Province -- andhiring new employees.

He said the group's Shenzhen base, which is planning to change toa three-shift schedule from the current two shifts, will also needmore workers in the short term.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world's largest contract maker ofelectronics products for high-tech giants such as Apple, Dell andHewlett-Packard, is the parent company of Foxconn Technology Group.

Foxconn has faced tight scrutiny and harsh criticism from thepublic as it was accused of mistreating its Chinese workers after aspate of employee suicides at its Shenzhen complex earlier this year.

Amid escalating criticism, Terry Gou, chairman of Hon HaiPrecision, apologized in June over the suicides and vowed to takegood care of his employees by seeking assistance from sociology andpsychological professionals.

Gou also strongly denied accusations that his company was running"blood and sweat" factories in China.

Hon Hai Precision announced two wage hikes in one week in Junefor its Chinese workers, bringing salaries to 2,000 Chinese yuan(US$294) a month from 900 yuan. The move triggered pressure on otherforeign investors in China in terms of employee compensation,especially in coastal cities.

Foxconn is relocating its production to the Chinese inland areafrom Shenzhen to alleviate the impact from rising labor costs.

Cheng, however, said that Foxconn will not leave Shenzhencompletely despite the production migration, adding that the group isplanning to transform its Shenzhen production base into a researchand development and quality testing center focusing on innovation.

In the long term, the workforce at the Shenzhen complex isexpected to fall to 300,000-350,000 from the current 450,000, Chengsaid.

Foxconn held an employee rally called "Love Your Life, Love YourFamily" at plants across China on Wednesday as part of its efforts toboost worker morale after the suicides.

About 50,000 Chinese employees participated in the rally atFoxconn's facilities throughout China, according to media reports.

(By Chang Liang-chih and Frances Huang)
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