Electronics Production | March 02, 2011

Flextronics: 'No student interims since mid-2010'

Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior - SACOM - has revisited Flextronics' manufacturing facility in the Xin Quing Science & Technology Industrial Park, Doumen (Zhuhai city). Improvements are visible, but the list of remaining issues is still long.
Here are a few research results listed in the reports. Please not that this list is by no means exhaustive.


According to the information received by SACOM in 2008, many workers at Building 17 (from now on referred to as the factory) were temporary student interns from different provinces of China. In 2010, SACOM researchers met some student interns from Hubei province at the campus. According to Flextronics, all workers at Building 17 are permanent workers and there have been no student interns employed at this building since mid-2010. The percentage of interns at the campus has been less than 2% of the total workforce since January 2010, according to Flextronics. © SACOM (Graphic has a Zoom Function)

Slight increase in basic wages, but still low

The factory offers CNY 1'100 yuan (EUR 126) as the monthly basic wage for entry level workers and CNY 1'165 (EUR 133) upon completion of a 3-month probationary period for full time work, plus allowances and some other benefits. The wage increases gradually to CNY 1'335 (EUR 153), which can be attained after working at the factory for 18 months.

From the period of April 2008 to June 2010, the basic wage for new workers was CNY 935. The recent increase was introduced after the news broke on a series of suicides at Foxconn. The legal minimum wage in Zhuhai has increased from CNY 770 (2008) to CNY 960 (2010). The monthly allowances for all workers include meal allowance (CNY 150 per month), housing allowance (if any) (CNY 50 per month) and night shift subsidy (if any) (CNY 5 per night).

During the 2010 peak season, workers could make CNY 2'000–2'500 (EUR 229–286) per month, including overtime premiums. According to Flextronics, income combined with overtime averaged CNY 1'800 (EUR 168) per month in 2008. Workers get paid 20 days after one month’s work.

A weekly day-off only recently introduced

In mid-2010, workers worked 10–10.5 hours per day six days a week (excluding a daily meal break of 1–1.5 hour). This adds up to an overtime of 84–99 hours per month. In 2008, overtime at this factory added up to 150–180 hours per month during peak season until June 2008, when the factory reduced overtime to around 80 hours, due to decrease in orders.

In response to the news on suicides at Foxconn, the factory started to implement a day-off every week from July 2010 onwards, although it had promised to do so already since 2008. Before that workers worked at least some periods of time every day. One interviewed worker from the quality department said: “I did not have a day off from April to June. Starting from July we now rest one day per week. I am glad we have a rest day, but as a result my monthly wage has decreased CNY 500.”

According to Flextronics, all workers are given at least one rest day in a week, and this policy is strictly enforced to ensure that their workers enjoy a good rest and remain healthy. Flextronics Zhuhai implements an automated overtime and rest day alert system (in accordance with EICC requirements).

Strict control continues

There are disciplinary measures in place at the factory. Workers on probation have two ”points” and other workers have six ”points” to loose before getting fired. For example, smoking in non-smoking area, dozing off and being late from work are prohibited and can lead to deduction of six, four and two points, respectively. In addition, two points are deducted, if a worker suffers from industrial injury.

If a worker has lost three points, there will be no promotion or a pay rise within six months for him or her. According to Flextronics, there is a progressive disciplinary programme in place to maintain a positive working and living environment on campus. Workers face point deductions, if they do not follow factory policies and this is followed up by training and improvement plans. Flextronics argues that there have rarely been cases of termination after only one or two warnings.
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