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    Foxconn resolves dispute with workers

    Bobby Yip/Reuters/File 2010
    Some of Foxconn’s workers in China threatened suicide over their working conditions. Above, a factory in Longua.

    SHANGHAI - Foxconn Technology, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, has resolved a pay dispute with workers at a Central China plant, following a protest in which some workers threatened to commit suicide by leaping from a factory building.

    Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft, said the dispute was resolved peacefully but 45 workers had resigned.

    Foxconn said most protesters had agreed to return to work following negotiations. Details of the agreement were not released. One worker said additional compensation had been promised.

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    Foxconn said the protest involved about 150 of its 32,000 employees in Wuhan.

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    In 2010, Foxconn was hit by a wave of suicides by distraught workers in China. The company, controlled by Hon Hai Hai Precision Industry of Taiwan, has been accused of forcing workers to endure long hours and harsh working conditions for little pay.

    Under pressure from Apple and other major brands, Foxconn has pledged to improve conditions in China. The company has hired psychiatrists to counsel workers and embarked on a program to invest in robots and to move some production to central and western China, where labor is less costly and more abundant. The company said its new campuses also allow migrant workers to live closer to their hometowns.

    There has been a rash of strikes and labor protests throughout China in recent months, partly in response to inflation and a greater awareness of labor laws. The strikes, which sometimes involve thousands of workers, often include demands for higher pay, insurance, and better working conditions.

    “The welfare of our employees is our top priority,’’ Foxconn said.