| HONG KONG
HONG KONG Oct 30 The father of a Foxconn worker
left brain-damaged by a factory accident in southern China took
the company to court on Tuesday, in a case that heaps more
attention on the labour practices of Apple Inc's
largest contract manufacturer.
The case involves Zhang Tingzhen, a 26-year-old engineer who
had nearly half his brain surgically removed after surviving an
electric shock a year ago.
His plight came to light after Reuters reported that Taiwan
firm Foxconn sent telephone text messages to his family telling
them it would cut off funding for his treatment and other
expenses if they did not remove him from hospital in Shenzhen
city and submit him for a disability assessment 70 km (43 miles)
away in Huizhou, where the company says he was hired.
But his father, Zhang Guangde, is contesting that and says
his son was hired in Shenzhen, not Huizhou, where wages and
compensation levels are substantially lower than in Shenzhen.
A lawyer representing Zhang's family told Reuters after a
three-hour court hearing that they furnished evidence showing
that Zhang was hired in Shenzhen.
"Our evidence includes hospital correspondences, notice of
hospitalisation, factory salary slips, colleague declarations,
they all point to the time and place of his injury and his
employment being in Shenzhen," said lawyer Zhang Xiaotan.
No comment was immediately available from Foxconn.
Labour activists say Zhang's case highlights a common
practice among large companies in China, which sign work
contracts with employees in inner Chinese cities, where wages
and compensations levels are relatively low, and then deploy
them to work in more expensive cities.
Doctors removed half Zhang's brain to keep him alive and he
remains in hospital under close observation, unable to speak or
His case has raised fresh questions over the labour
practices of Foxconn, one of the biggest and most high-profile
private employers in China, after a series of suicides among its
workforce of about 1 million and recent labour unrest.