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Money matters

By Cai Muyuan/Joseph Catanzaro ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-05-11 16:00:25

Money matters

Lu Erfeng began working for Foxconn after he graduated from middle school and now he is betting on being able to earn more elsewhere.

Lu began working for Foxconn after he graduated from middle school, when he was 17 years old. In those days the base wage was 900 yuan a month. He says there were several across-the-board pay rises after the highly publicized string of attempted suicides among employees in 2010, but free accommodation and meals were also revoked along the way.

"I make about 3,000 yuan a month now," he says. "If there's no emergency, I can save 1,500."

With his father making a similar wage in construction back home in Henan province, and his brother making 6,000 yuan a month at a manual labor job, Lu is betting on being able to earn more elsewhere, as he doesn't see any opportunity for advancement at Foxconn.

"It's not that easy," he says. "Out of all of my friends only one has been promoted on the production line. He only makes an extra 300 yuan a month."

At the moment, Lu spends most of his day off each week watching movies on his PC. But although he tries to save as much money as he can, Lu admits his generation likes to let their hair down occasionally, and he's no exception.

"Young kids like me, when we get paid, sometimes we spend like crazy on really expensive cigarettes and stuff," he says.

Lu hopes one day to have enough money to take his entire family on a holiday, as they have never had one.

"It doesn't matter where," he says. "I just want us to all go together. That is when I will feel complete."

He admits he would also like to have a girlfriend.

Lu doesn't know exactly where he'll work next, but he's optimistic, and feels like he's in a position where he can leave Foxconn.

"I haven't thought that far ahead," he says. "Maybe I'll go home. Maybe I'll try to start a business. I don't know. All I know is I'm sick of working in a factory."

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