Foxconn workers' resistance in India, China and Australia

Worker resistance and struggle has been mounting in Foxconn factories in India, China and Australia, with more workers speaking out and taking strike action. Some of the biggest IT brands, like Apple, Nokia and Hewlett Packard outsource production of their goods to Foxconn, which allows them to increase profits by lowering labour costs. This outsourcing also allows them to distance their brand from the appalling level of exploitation faced by the workers making their goods.

Workers in Foxconn factories in China and India are paid minimum wages, with Indian workers paid R4800 (US 106) - less than half of what the Centre of India Trade Unions is demanding. They work long hours with enforced overtime, and endure militarised and humiliating management practices. The majority of the workforce is employed as contract labour, who are given little notice if they are required to work. These workplaces are either un-unionised or the union present is not recognised by the company.

The situation for Foxconn workers in Australia is similar, where an entirely casualised workforce is sent text messages to inform them if they are required to work the following day and are searched with metal detectors as they leave the workplace.

After twelve workers committed suicide at a Foxconn factory in China this year, the company and the brands being manufactured received negative media attention, which resulted in the announcement of a 20% pay increase for workers, but the minimum wage of $US140 is still being paid. Since then, Foxconn workers in India have taken strike action. On September 22nd, one and a half thousand workers participated in strike action in pursuit of a pay increase and union recognition. In the week that followed, Foxconn unsuccessfully used imported Chinese workers and contract workers to break the strike and hundreds of workers were harassed, beaten, arrested and suspended from work for participating in the action.  

Read the report from Goodelectronics and support the Labourstart campaign.