Foxconn to raise wages again at China plant

Employees work inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua in the southern Guangdong province in this May 26, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) - Electronics maker Foxconn Technologies, under fire for its working practices after a string of worker suicides, has decided to up salaries by two-thirds at its Shenzhen factory, state media said on Friday.

News agency Xinhua quoted company spokesman Liu Kun as saying the roughly 66 percent pay rise for assembly line workers, the second this year, would bring salaries to 2,000 yuan ($298.9) per month. It starts from this month.

The increase will benefit about 85 percent of workers at the Shenzhen factory, the report added.

Foxconn increased salaries by 30 percent in June, from 900 yuan to 1,200 yuan per month, for its Shenzhen employees.

Eleven suicides this year at the sprawling manufacturing base has brought intense scrutiny of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, the owner of Foxconn, which makes the iPhone and other products for Apple and also counts Dell and Hewlett-Packard among its clients.

The company has tried addressing the problem by improving living conditions for workers, organizing activities to boost moral and bumping up wages.

Hon Hai said in August it would have as many as 1.3 million workers in China by the end of 2011, up from 920,000 now, but would focus the expansion away from its increasingly expensive Shenzhen plant.

Foxconn is expanding aggressively inland, away from Shenzhen which is in the Pearl River Delta area, where wages are lower and workers are more plentiful..

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Valerie Lee