Students at a vocational school in the central Chinese province of Henan have been ‘ordered’ to work for Foxconn.
As many as 100,000 students at a vocational school in the central Chinese province of Henan have been ‘ordered’ to work for Foxconn, the giant electronics manufacturer that has been plagued by a wave of suicides. Foxconn, which had revenues of $62bn (£41bn), more than Apple, Dell or HP, manufactures a range of products for the world’s leading electronics brands, including Apple’s iPad and Sony’s Playstation 3.
However, it was hit by a series of suicides at its factory in Shenzhen earlier this year, as workers complained of long hours, strict rules and loneliness. Foxconn had to double its monthly salary, to 2,000 yuan (£200) in the face of a public outcry.
In response, Foxconn has said it will move a large number of its workers closer to their homes in central China and is planning a new factory in Henan. The China Daily, a state-run newspaper, said the company had drafted 100,000 students for three months to train them up in preparation for opening the new factory.
One of the students, named as 17-year-old Lin Feng, told the newspaper that he was forced to join Foxconn or face being thrown out of school.
Teachers informed the students on June 17 that they would have “nine days to leave, as ordered by the provincial government”.
The transfer of the Foxconn plant to Henan would provide an enormous boost to local government revenues, and a town official in Zhengzhou told the China Daily he had received “clear internal orders” for each town to send Foxconn at least 100 people between 18 years-old and 45 years-old.
However, a spokesman from the labour department in Henan said no edicts had been ordered. “We did not organise the massive employment, nor did we give out any instructions,” he said. “The vocational schools are in charge of their own arrangements. The students are going there voluntarily.”