Foxconn gives China workers dramatic wage hike

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Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn, hit by a series of suicides at its factories in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said Monday it will hike wages for assembly line workers there by nearly 70 percent.

Beginning on October 1, the company, which assembles products for US-based Apple and other major international brands, will raise the monthly salary in Shenzhen to 2,000 yuan (US$290) from 1,200 yuan, a spokeswoman said.

"The wage increase will reduce overtime work as a personal necessity for some employees and make it a personal choice for many workers," Foxconn said in a statement.

The announcement came after a series of suicides at Foxconn's Shenzhen plants had led to reports of long work hours under sweatshop-style conditions, triggering protests in both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"We recognize our responsibility as a global leader in electronics manufacturing, and take this responsibility very seriously," Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said in the statement.

"We are working diligently to ensure that our workplace standards and remuneration not only continue to meet rapidly changing needs of our employees, but that they are best-in-class."

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