Less Overtime A Mixed Bag For Chinese Workers

A blog about business and economics.
March 30 2012 9:54 AM

Less Overtime A Mixed Bag For Chinese Workers

Amidst reports of forced or quasi-forced overtime and other abuses, Foxconn says it's going to cut back on how many hours it asks people to put in but less overtime also means lower incomes:

"We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important," said Chen Yamei, 25, a Foxconn worker from Hunan who said she had worked at the factory for four years.
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"We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little," she added. Chen said she now earned a bit over 4,000 yuan a month ($634).

Foxconn says that wages are going to be raised enough to hold workers' incomes steady, but workers aren't so sure.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.