Foxconn overtime policies backfire for experienced workers

Paul Mozur for the Wall Street Journal:

But more than 15 workers on the Shenzhen campus said in interviews that they work more than the legal limit of nine overtime hours a week. A majority said they work 10 to 15 overtime hours and would prefer more, having left their distant homes to make money in this southern Chinese boomtown on the border of Hong Kong.

“More than 15” makes me scratch my head: Any two-digit number is an insignificant percentage of Foxconn’s estimated one million employees. But there’s no denying that left to their own devices, some Hon Hai employees would undoubtedly prefer to work more overtime and get more pay. They’re coming from far away for the opportunity to sock money away for their future life.

The rest of the article shows that Hon Hai is starting to have the same problems that American manufacturers have coped with for decades: needing to accommodate workers interested in a better work/life balance; needing to accommodate the customs of ethnic minorities and offering better benefits to keep their skilled workers.

  • Techpm

    Yes, but I wouldn’t say it’s only to make money for a future life. Many workers have families that already depend on them for support (most elderly in China get little to no retirement pension) and more than a few probably already took significant debt from not so reputable loansharks to pay for their travel to Shenzhen.

    For these people every hour they are not working and getting paid is a lot more stressful than working.

  • JDSoCal

    Since 2000, China has experienced the “greatest wage increase in the history of mankind.”

    Only the labor groups will ruin it.