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Foxconn plans 20 percent wage increases as suicides continue


After another alleged suicide at Foxconn's Shenzhen, China, plant on Wednesday, and an attempted suicide on Thursday, the company revealed that it plans to give a 20 percent pay raise to its employees.

According to Reuters, an employee jumped to his death on late Wednesday, marking the tenth suicide at the Chinese plant this year alone. Another employee attempted to slit his wrists on Thursday, but survived after receiving medical attention.

Foxconn — the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry — will increase workers' salaries by 20 percent. Entry-level workers at the company's factory in Longhua reportedly earn just over 900 yuan, or $131.80 U.S. per month before overtime and bonuses.

Recently, an undercover report from Southern Weekend revealed that employees sign "voluntary overtime affidavits" to take home more than the local minimum wage that can be earned through a regular 36-hour workweek.

This week, Apple publicly stated it is looking into the issues at Foxconn, and said it is "saddened and upset" by the suicides that have occurred there recently. The Mac maker has its own investigative team that will carry out independent investigations.

Apple, along with numerous other electronics makers, partners with Foxconn for the building of its products. It creates iPhones and iPads for the Cupertino, Calif., company.

This week, other technology giants Nokia and Sony joined Apple in showing concern over the labor conditions at Foxconn. Both companies said they, too, are looking into conditions at the factory in Shenzhen. Previously, HP and Dell had also expressed a similar sentiment.

Apple began auditing its plants in 2006 after a newspaper report suggested workers at a Foxconn plant were treated unfairly and forced to operate under sweatshop-like conditions. Apple now conducts an annual audit of its overseas partners, and last year found that more than half weren't paying their workers valid overtime rates.