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Foxconn says needs more time to further cut workers' overtime

People walk past a closed job centre of Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua in Shenzhen, Guangdong province February 21, 2013. REUTER
People walk past a closed job centre of Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua in Shenzhen, Guangdong province February 21, 2013. REUTER

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Foxconn Technology Group said on Friday it needs more time to reduce overtime at its China factories after labor monitors appointed by top client Apple Inc said cutting workers' hours by a July 1 target would be a challenge.

Apple last year commissioned the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to investigate working conditions at the plants after Foxconn, the holding company for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, came under fire for a series of suicides and accidents since 2010.

In its third report, the FLA said Foxconn had resolved 98 percent of the issued raised in the initial investigation, including cutting working hours and overtime, improving health and safety and increasing union participation. The company employs more than one million people at its China plants.

Foxconn, however, faced the challenge of further cutting overtime hours to the standards set by Chinese law by the target date, said the report which was released on Thursday. The law stipulates a maximum of 40 working hours plus nine overtime hours a week.

"We need more time with the deadline," Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo told Reuters. "We can't say when we can meet that target now. We're trying to come up with a realistic timetable."

Many Foxconn workers, migrants from other parts of China, oppose a reduction in overtime because they want to make as much money as possible in a short time. Some workers have said they may leave the company if overtime is cut.

Hon Hai, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, draws an estimated 60 to 70 percent of its revenue from assembling gadgets and other work for Apple.

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Jonathan Standing and Miral Fahmy)

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