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Foxconn workers react to reduced hours, same pay

Friday, March 30th, 2012

In response to one of the largest investigations ever conducted of a U.S. company’s foreign partners, Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn has agreed to hire tens of thousands of new workers, eliminate illegal overtime, improve safety condition and upgrade workers’ housing and other amenities, Reuters reported on Friday. After probing three Foxconn plants and interviewing over 35,000 workers, the Fair Labor Association reported that it found serious violations of Chinese labor laws, such as illegal and unpaid overtime, and extreme hours. Foxconn plans to reduce workers’ hours to 49 per week, which includes overtime, and it does not plan to raise salaries. The company will also hire additional workers and build more housing and canteens to combat overcrowding. While some of the company’s efforts have been praised, the changes have received mixed reactions from Foxconn’s employees. Read on for more.

Chen Yamei, a 25 year old worker who has been at a Foxconn for four years, complained that her salary will drop from 4,000 yuan a month to just over 2,000 yuan, roughly $317. “We are here to work and not to play,” she told Reuters. “Our income is very important.” Another worker had a different opinion on the matter, though. “Working here is just so-so. Working conditions and the pay are all right,” said 20 year old Li Wei, who has worked at the Foxconn factory for about a year. “However there are around 100,000 people in there, so sometimes the feeling can be oppressive,” Li said.

When 23-year-old Foxconn worker Wu Jun heard the news about working hours, she was filled with worry rather than joy. “We are worried we will have less money to spend. Of course, if we work less overtime, it would mean less money,” she said.

48% of employees said that their working hours were reasonable, 34% wanted to work more to increase pay and only 18% said their hours were too long, Bloomberg reported. 91% of employees polled said there was no need for more rest days, and 94% saw no need to change shift arrangements.

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AT&T tempts FCC, promises to bring 5,000 jobs back to U.S. if T-Mobile merger is approved

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

AT&T said on Wednesday that it promises to bring 5,000 of its outsourced call center jobs back to the United States if its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA is approved by the FCC. AT&T also promised that it will not layoff any AT&T or T-Mobile call center employee who is employed at the time of the merger. In addition, AT&T will invest $8 billion in its U.S. infrastructure and the Economic Policy Institute has suggested that move could provide up to 96,000 new jobs. AT&T made its announcement hours before the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the merger. “AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the Justice Department said. AT&T responded and said that “there was no indication” from the DOJ that a lawsuit was being contemplated. “We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court,” AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Wayne Watts said, noting that AT&T will continue to fight for the merger’s approval. Read on for the full press release from AT&T.

AT&T to Bring 5,000 Call Center Jobs Back to U.S. Following T-Mobile Merger Closing

Commits Merger Will Not Result in Job Losses for Existing U.S. Wireless Call Center Employees of T-Mobile and AT&T

Largest Return of Jobs by Any U.S. Company Since 2008

DALLAS, Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today committed that after closing its proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, it will bring back 5,000 wireless call center jobs to the United States that today are outsourced to other countries.

Today’s commitment results from AT&T developing detailed analysis focused specifically on identifying opportunities with the T-Mobile merger to bring good-paying wireless call center jobs back to the United States.

In addition to bringing jobs back, AT&T committed that the merger will not result in any job losses for U.S.-based wireless call center employees of T-Mobile USA or AT&T, who are on the payroll when the merger closes.

The 5,000 new wireless call center jobs at AT&T will offer among the nation’s most highly competitive wages and benefits. AT&T, which has not yet determined where in the U.S. the new jobs will be located, is the nation’s largest employer of full-time union employees and the only unionized major U.S. wireless carrier.

“At a time when many Americans are struggling and our economy faces significant challenges, we’re pleased that the T-Mobile merger allows us to bring 5,000 jobs back to the United States and significantly increase our investment here,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “This merger and today’s commitment are good for our employees, our customers and our country.”

Today’s announcement represents the largest commitment by an individual American company to bring jobs back to the U.S. since the economic crisis began in 2008.

Also, AT&T has committed as part of the T-Mobile merger to increase its U.S. infrastructure investment by more than $8 billion.  According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute that was commissioned by the Communications Workers of America, AT&T’s increased investment is estimated to produce up to approximately 96,000 new U.S. jobs.

AT&T said today’s jobs commitment does not change its previous guidance on the expected overall merger synergies.

Beyond the jobs created, AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending exhaustion of wireless spectrum in many markets, which limits both companies’ ability to meet the ongoing explosive customer demand for mobile broadband. The uniquely complementary nature of AT&T and T-Mobile’s network assets will allow the combined company to add wireless network capacity – the functional equivalent of new spectrum – sooner than any other alternative.

This additional wireless network capacity will enable AT&T to offer better service — fewer dropped and blocked calls, and faster data speeds. Plus, the economic scale, additional spectrum and other benefits resulting from the merger will enable AT&T to deliver high-speed 4G LTE mobile broadband service to 97 percent of the U.S. population, or 55 million more Americans than it would without the merger. Reaching 97 percent of the population with LTE will create a much more extensive and robust mobile broadband platform that will fuel growth and investment throughout the country.

The benefits of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger have been recognized by numerous elected officials throughout the country, including 27 governors, more than 100 mayors, 11 state attorneys general, 79 Democratic Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and more than 150 chambers of commerce from 40 states, as well as a dozen labor unions and dozens of high-tech companies, such as Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Oracle.

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Palm Pre 2 available in UK tomorrow SIM-free

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Oh Palm/HP, why do you continue to taunt those from your home country? Two weeks ago, the Palm Pre 2 — complete with webOS 2.0 — launched on wireless provider SFR in France. Now… before any U.S. company has even gotten a sniff, HP is launching a SIM-free Pre 2 in the UK. Blog Pocket-lint is reporting that HP confirmed the unlocked, unbranded Pre 2 will be available to our friends across the pond starting tomorrow; price was not disclosed.

Rumors — that HP actually started via its Facebook page — indicated that the device would be available to developers here in the U.S. starting November 8th. Sadly, said rumors did not materialize. Looks like those here in the U.S. of A. still longing to get their hands on webOS 2.0 will just have to long a little… um, longer?

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