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How Taiwan Businessmen dragged the Mainland back
to the era before 1949 when China was the hell for workers

1 May 2013

Two more workers from Foxconn in Henan jumped to their deaths one followed another in just four days between April 24 and April 28.

Foxconn is the biggest manufacturing business from Taiwan in the mainland, owned by Taiwan businessman Terry Tai-Ming Guo, mainly producing electronics on contract for US and Japanese companies with the products including Ipod, Ipad and Iphone.

Allegations against Foxconn regarding poor working conditions have been made from time to time, ranging from long working hours, discrimination against mainland Chinese workers by their Taiwanese employers and co-workers to sexual harassment and personal abuse. A 2012 audit performed by the Fair Labor Association found that workers were routinely demanded to work overtime with insufficient overtime pay and workplace accidents are common but under-reported due to a collective punishment system.

Frequent suicides by jumping from upper floor windows among Foxconn workers have attracted wide attention around the world. Some contributed the high suicide rate to a military style workplace management, while others point out that the way Foxconn treats its workers is just utterly inhumane, like a slave owner to his slaves.

Seven years ago when Guo's brother was ill with blood disease, the workers were ordered to undergo blood test so as to find a suitable stem cell donor for that sick man's medical treatment. After his brother died, Foxconn prohibited its workers to wear clothes in bright colour (red, yellow, pink), which means they were forced to put on mourning dress for the death of their employer's family member.

Early last year Terry Guo is reportedly said at a meeting that he would love to learn how to deal with his workers like zoo keepers managing their animals. To him, a typical businessman from Taiwan where the superficial "democratic" system could hardly swing a social convention deeply influenced by the brutal Japanese practice that Taiwan acquired during the time it was under Japanese occupation, workers are not humans but tools for him to make profit.

A young worker at Foxconn plunged to her death

Yet when his workers learned this neo-fascist remark, they were not angry but commented that "hope he can really treat us like a zoo keeper would do to his animals". Apparently the way Foxconn treats its employees is much worse than that - Terry Guo's attitudes towards his staff members is "like a pig farmer to his livestock."

Since April this year, Foxconn introduced a new regime called "Silent Mode". Under this regulation once stepping into the workplace, the workers are not allowed to talk to each other about anything that is not closely related to the work they're doing, or they will be fired, which practically means they are not even allowed to plea for help privately if they feel unwell. What a Nazi-style labour camp that a Taiwan businessman has created in the mainland China!

And he's not the only one doing so; it is a common practice among businessmen and businesswomen from Taiwan. Here is a post from a Chinese social network in which the author complains how Taiwan business people have turned "paradise under heaven" (上有天堂,下有苏杭) - Suzhou - into a hell on earth for workers:


Suzhou is the city that most Taiwan businesses congregate in the mainland China. Taiwan is part of China but Taiwan companies enjoy special privileges reserved for the foreign businesses. Yet among all the "foreign businesses", those from Taiwan are the worst in the regard of the treatment of their workers. 在苏州地区这个台资最密集的地区,台资虽然在法律意义上属外资,享受外资优惠待遇,但是确实所有外资里面最差的。估计最算是非洲来投资,待遇都比台资好。

In terms of the social security and healthcare contributions, Taiwan business would disregard the actual amount you earn but always pay minimum. As for no overtime pay, that is their standard practice. 最有代表性的就是很多台资的员工社保(公积金、医疗...)基数,都是当地政府出台的最低薪资保障数字,而不是员工的实际薪资。至于加班违规其实算是小事了,毕竟打工的都是赚钱为主,年轻人身体好,拼几年问题不大。

The worst thing is that other foreign companies would follow suit once they come here. 最坏的是,其他国家的投资公司到台资密集区以后,福利都会像台资慢慢靠拢。

All I want to say is a business who disrespects its workers will have not real future. 打了这么多字,其实就一个意思,不尊重人的公司,是不会有多大前途的。

Another point I want to make is that only in the mainland China Terry Guo can earn that much of money. In any other country, with his way of business practice, he would be lucky to remain alive, let long growing his business into a multinational. Of course, a man like him is exactly what Chinese government needs - they want someone to help them make huge profit. 郭台铭的霸业也就是在中国大陆能实现,换个国家,他有命回家不错了,就算是告也会把他告破产。当然大陆政府和郭台铭是互相利用而已。

True, Chinese government, especially the previous and the current State Councils as well as Guangdong administration led by Wang Yang, are chiefly responsible for the Foxconn problems and the death of the young peasant workers.

Terry Guo once said proudly in an interview with a Taiwan media: In the mainland, if I ask a vice minister to kneel before me, he will kneel. I'm the boss, those with master's degrees have to follow the order of me, a primary school graduate.



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