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Largan raises salaries for production line workers by 10%

2017/10/20 15:24:46

Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) Largan Precision Co. (大立光), a Taiwan-based smartphone camera lens supplier to Apple Inc., announced Friday a 10 percent wage hike for its production line employees, effective immediately.

After the salary raise, the average monthly wage for Largan production line workers has risen to about NT$55,750 (US$1,846), the company said.

Largan said the wage hike is expected to help the company recruit newcomers and encourage existing employees to stay at a time when the company is gearing up to expand production to meet rising orders.

However, the latest wage hikes do not apply to Largan's employees outside its production lines.

Largan has launched a recruitment campaign for a new plant located in Taichung, which kicked off operations in the third quarter, aiming to hire about 1,000 workers for the company's new production lines, in particular after Apple unveiled the latest iPhone models in September.

The company has been recently accused of running a "blood and sweat plant" and failing to provide satisfactory compensation to its employees at a time when it has received an increase in orders from its major clients, Apple included.

Largan's working conditions have been scrutinized in the local media, especially as the company ranks as the most profitable enterprise in Taiwan in terms of earnings per share (EPS).

In 2016, Largan posted NT$169.47 in EPS, and although the figure is lower than the NT$180.08 in 2015, it remains the highest level among the companies listed on the local equity market.

Last week, Largan disclosed its average annual compensation for production line workers, but criticism toward its compensation remained in place, so the company announced a 10 percent hike Friday. According to Largan, the hike will result in an increase in bonuses, so that workers who work for no less than 196 hours per month will get NT$1,500 in bonuses per month, while those who stay in the company for long enough will receive additional bonuses for the whole year, which will be given every September.

Largan announced the wage hike before the local main board closed. Its share price was down 2.96 percent to close at NT$5,575.00 Friday after a 2.4 percent fall suffered by Apple shares overnight.

(By Han Ting-ting and Frances Huang)