A recent string of suicides at Foxconn factories has highlighted the urgent need for China to improve labor conditions. At Foxconn¡¯s Shenzhen plant ten workers have died and three others have attempted suicide within the past year. In response, Foxconn has increased worker pay by nearly seventy percent. Several other companies have also announced wage increases amid poor working conditions.
Provincial governments have responded to poor labor conditions by increasing minimum wage. Beijing, Guangdong, Shanghai and Zhejaing have all recently raised the minimum wage. ¡°The Foxconn incidents were a likely catalyst for the wage increases,¡± commented Scott Garner, Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu Shanghai Office.
¡°These developments indicate that the era of incredibly cheap labor in manufacturing within China is beginning to come to an end,¡± said Edward E. Lehman, Managing Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu.