With over 1 million union members in China, the Foxconn Trade Union is the world's largest trade union, and is also a company union. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., better known as Foxconn, is the largest private employer in China, with 1.4 million employees. In 2006, Foxconn workers established the first trade union in Shenzhen, China.
Similarly in India, Foxconn has signed collective agreements with managerial friendly trade unions. In contrast, Foxconn has signed collective agreements with democratic trade unions in Brazil; while in Czechia, it inherited an agreement with an existing trade union.
|Founded at||Foxconn City|
In the summer of 2006, the British, Chinese and US press reported poor working conditions in an iPod factory operated by Foxconn. :富士康科技集团工会联合会), more commonly known as Foxconn Trade Union (Chinese :富士康工会) is by and large, a company union dominated by management rather than workers.Apple promised to investigate, while Foxconn responded by suing two of the mainland journalists involved. Foxconn later dropped the lawsuit. In response to media pressure and local interventions by Shenzhen municipal state officials, Foxconn promised to form a union. However, nothing materialized as of November 2006. On the last day of that year, the Shenzhen branch of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions took the unusual step of establishing Foxconn's first union, initially with 118 members out of the more than 240,000 workers at the Longhua Science and Technology Park facility. In March 2007, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou's special personal assistant, Chen Peng, was elected as its first chair. Despite being the largest 'unionized' company in the world, with over 90% of Foxconn's 1.4 million workforce registered; the Foxconn Federation of Labour Unions (Chinese
Foxconn again made global headlines in 2010, when over a dozen workers committed suicide due to strenuous working conditions. Apple responded by bringing in the Fair Labor Association, a US based NGO as external auditor from 2012 to 2016.One of the Association's findings was that the Foxconn Trade Union failed to adequately represent workers. The Economic Policy Institute criticized the FLA report for giving Apple and Foxconn 'undue' credit, despite ongoing issues including forced overtime and the continued use of underage labour. Foxconn promised in 2013 with the help of the Fair Labor Association to prepare genuine representative union elections through an anonymous voting process to elect up to 18,000 new union committees.
In a 2017 Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) report, Jenny Chan criticized the limited worker participation inside the Foxconn Trade Union and the lack of awareness or involvement of workers in the first democratic union elections held in early 2015.
Foxconn do Brasil (Foxconn Brazil) opened its first plant in 2007 in Jundiaí, Brazil to manufacture parts for Dell, HP and Motorola. Workers are represented by the Brazilian Metalworkers' Union (Brazilian Portuguese : Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores Metalúrgicos), an affiliate of IndustriALL.
In contrast to China, at the start of the 2010s workers in Brazil had higher wages, stronger labour protection and nearly double the minimum wage. In 2012, by the time Foxconn Brazil opened a second plant, also in Jundiaí, which focused exclusively on Apple products, the local union already had experience organizing Foxconn workers at the first plant.After a 5-day strike in 2014 involving 3,700 workers, Foxconn made a collective agreement with the union to match their salaries with the better paid, non-Apple contracted Foxconn workers. A prior strike happened in February 2013 for similar demands.
Foxconn CZ s.r.o. (Foxconn Czech Republic) acquired what remained of the former state owned Tesla plants in both Pardubice and Kutná Hora, Czech Republic. As a result, it also inherited the prior existing trade union of OS KOVO,the metal workers affiliate of ČMKOS. Foxconn Czech Republic currently pays the salary of one trade union representative, while the union, using funds from property it inherited, pays for an economist.
The trade union and Foxconn Czech Republic negotiated their first collective agreement in 2000, with its first wage increase in 2002, with all future collective agreements including wage increases.
Foxconn India Ltd (Foxconn India) opened in Sriperumbudur, 50 km from Chennai, India in 2006, primarily to provide parts for Nokia India. The factory was located inside the Nokia Special Economic Zone. Between 2010 and 2013, there was a dispute between three competing trade unions to represent the 2,000 Foxconn workers. : India Thozhilalar Sangam; FIST), affiliated to the CITU of the CPM. FIST started mobilizing in 2010, after a gas leak affected some 200 workers. According to FIST, most DMK workers transferred to FIST as a result.Foxconn India initially recognized Foxconn India Thozhilalar Munnetra Sangam (FITMS) affiliated to the Labour Progressive Front union of the ruling DMK party, signing a wage pact with them. In October 2010, some 1,200 workers belong to the Foxconn India Employees Union Foxconn (Tamil
In 2013, when the AIADMK party came into power, Foxconn India made a wage pact with their respective union Panchalai Anna Thozhilalar Sangam, which was valid until 2016.
Labour laws are those that mediate the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions, and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer, and union. Individual labour law concerns employees' rights at work also through the contract for work. Employment standards are social norms for the minimum socially acceptable conditions under which employees or contractors are allowed to work. Government agencies enforce labour law.
A sweatshop or sweat factory is a crowded workplace with very poor, socially unacceptable or illegal working conditions. Some illegal working conditions include poor ventilation, little to no breaks, inadequate work space, insufficient lighting, or uncomfortably/dangerously high or low temperatures. The work may be difficult, tiresome, dangerous, climatically challenging or underpaid. Workers in sweatshops may work long hours with unfair wages, regardless of laws mandating overtime pay or a minimum wage; child labor laws may also be violated. Women make up 85 to 90% of sweatshop workers and would be forced by employers to take birth control and routine pregnancy tests to avoid supporting maternity leave or providing health benefits. The Fair Labor Association's "2006 Annual Public Report" inspected factories for FLA compliance in 18 countries including Bangladesh, El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Malaysia, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, China, India, Vietnam, Honduras, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, and the US. The U.S. Department of Labor's "2015 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor" found that "18 countries did not meet the International Labour Organization's recommendation for an adequate number of inspectors."
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at agreements to regulate working salaries, working conditions, benefits, and other aspects of workers' compensation and rights for workers. The interests of the employees are commonly presented by representatives of a trade union to which the employees belong. The collective agreements reached by these negotiations usually set out wage scales, working hours, training, health and safety, overtime, grievance mechanisms, and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs.
Terry Gou is a Taiwanese billionaire businessman who is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Foxconn. Foxconn is the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronics, with factories in several countries, mostly in mainland China where it employs 1.2 million people and is its largest private employer and exporter.
The Labour Progressive Federation is a trade union federation in Tamil Nadu, India. The LPF is politically attached to the ruling Tamil Nadu party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Hon Hai Technology Group in Taiwan, or Foxconn internationally, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer with its headquarters in Tucheng, New Taipei City, Taiwan, established in 1974. In 2021, the Group's annual revenue reached NT$5.99 trillion and was ranked 22nd in 2021 Fortune Global 500. It is now the world’s largest technology manufacturer and service provider. While headquartered in Taiwan, the company is the largest private employer in the People's Republic of China and one of the largest employers worldwide. Terry Gou is the company founder and former chairman.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) is a non-profit collaborative effort of universities, civil society organizations, and businesses.
BYD Co. Ltd. is a publicly-listed Chinese conglomerate manufacturing company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It was founded by Wang Chuanfu in February 1995. The company has two major subsidiaries, BYD Automobile and BYD Electronic. BYD Company focuses on automobiles, buses, electric bicycles, trucks, forklifts, solar panels and rechargeable batteries industries.
Sweatshop-free or sweat free is a term first used by American Apparel, a famous American clothing brand, which means coercion-free, fair-compensation for the garment workers who manufacture their products. The aim of sweatshop-free wish to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and products are made in good working conditions. Sweatshop-free standards include the right to collective bargaining, non-poverty wages, safe workplaces, back wages, and non-harassment. It has been heavily featured in American Apparel’s advertisements and become a common term in the garment industry.
Apple Inc. is a multinational American technology company which sells consumer electronics that have been claimed by critics to combine stolen and/or purchased designs that it claims are its own original creations. Criticism of Apple includes allegations of unethical business practices such as anti-competitive behavior, rash litigation, dubious tax tactics, the use of sweatshop labor, misleading warranties and insufficient data security, and concerns about environmental destruction. Additionally, it has been criticized for its alleged collaboration with U.S. surveillance program PRISM.
Pegatron Corporation is a Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company that mainly develops computing, communications and consumer electronics for branded vendors. It also develops, designs and manufactures computer peripherals and components. Pegatron's primary products include notebooks, netbook computers, desktop computers, game consoles, handheld devices, motherboards, video cards and LCD TVs, as well as broadband communication products such as smartphones, set-top boxes and cable modems.
As the Economy of China has rapidly developed, issues of labor relations have evolved. Prior to this reform, Chinese citizens were only allowed to work where they originated from. Since 1978 when China began labor force reforms the overwhelming majority of the labor force were either working at State owned enterprises or as farm workers in the rural countryside. However, over time China began to reform and by the late 90's many had moved from the countryside into the cities in hopes of higher paying jobs and more opportunities. The only connection between the countryside and the city soon became that there was a huge floating population connecting them. Independent unions are illegal in China with only the All-China Federation of Trade Unions permitted to operate. China has been the largest exporter of goods in the world since 2009. Not only that, in 2013 China became the largest trading nation in the world. As China moved away from their planned economy and more towards a market economy the government has brought on many reforms. The aim of this shift in economies was to match the international standards set by the World Trade Organization and other economic entities. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACTFU) that was established to protect the interests of national and local trade unions failed to represent the workers, but instead failed to do so leading to the 2010 crackdowns. However these strikes were centered around foreign companies.
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The Foxconn suicides were a spate of suicides linked to low pay at the Foxconn City industrial park in Shenzhen, China, that occurred alongside several additional suicides at various other Foxconn-owned locations and facilities in mainland China. The series of suicides drew media attention, and employment practices at Foxconn—one of the world's largest contract electronics manufacturers—were investigated by several of its customers, including Apple and Hewlett-Packard (HP).
SACOM, or Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour is a non-government organization founded in 2005 by a group of students and scholars from tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. SACOM monitors and publicizes the misconducts of multinational corporations through first-hand investigations in supplier factories.
The Czech Republic and Taiwan maintain unofficial relations since the recognition of the One-China policy of the People's Republic of China by Czechoslovakia from 1979. From 1931 until 1949, however, the First Czechoslovak Republic had international relations with the Republic of China and the Czech Republic maintains official relations with the People's Republic of China.
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