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Raising pay for workers in Taiwan

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Foxconn's owners are facing their most serious criticism yet. The Taiwanese electronics company buffeted by a spate of suicides at its China factories said  it will raise the pay of workers by an average of 20 percent.
Foxconn's Taiwanese owner Hon Hai has tried everything to curb the suicides at its Chinese Shenzhen plant -- anger rooms where employees can beat away their stress, soothing Buddhist music on the assembly line, counseling from monks, and, most recently, requiring employees to sign contract letters promising not to kill themselves (the letter has since been retracted).  However, none of those steps seems to have worked yet at stopping the suicides at the plant which manufactures most of the world's iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

On Saturday the top Communist Party official of Guangdong, Wang Yang demanded Foxconn clean up its act, arguing that improved UNI0Ns could help the situation.  Yang, provincial party secretary, comments, "[The government and Hon Hai must] work together and take effective measures to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.  Labor UNI0Ns in private firms should be improved to facilitate better working conditions and more harmonious relations between workers and employers", reports.

The pay raises at Foxconn Technology Group have been in the works for months to cope with a labor shortage following China's recovery from the global recession, said a company official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

But the official said the big jump in pay could help to lift worker morale. "Feeling sad is contagious, and so is feeling happy," he said. "We hope the workers will have a positive attitude toward their lives."

The basic salary at the China plants of Foxconn Technology Group — which makes iPhones and other popular gadgets — is currently about 900 yuan ($130) per month.

Ten workers have killed themselves and three have attempted suicide at Foxconn's operations in southern China this year, involving mainly workers who jumped from buildings. The most recent suicide attempt involved a 25-year-old man who slashed his wrists in the factory dormitory Thursday. One additional Foxconn worker in northern China also committed suicide this year.

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