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Arbitrators side with Foxconn in brain-damaged worker case

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Chinese layout arbitrators have ruled against the family of the Foxconn worker who was brain-damaged in a factory accident in Shenzhen.

Zhang Tingzhen was injured while at work in October 2011 and had to have nearly half of his brain surgically removed. He has been in hospital in Shenzhen city ever since.

Problems arose between Foxconn and Zhang's family when the company started bullying them to take Zhang out of hospital for a disability assessment in Huizhou. Foxconn claimed that Zhang was hired in Huizhou so he had to go there for tests.

Huizhou's wages and compensation levels are considerably lower than Shenzhen's, where Zhang's father insists his son was hired.

In official documents seen by Reuters, the Shenzhen labour dispute arbitration committee ruled that Zhang was hired in Huizhou, saying that Foxconn had produced a contract proving that dated in August 2011. The committee said that at the time of the accident, Zhang was an employee of the Huizhou facility that had been sent to Shenzhen for training.

Hiring workers in one city were wages and compensation are low and then sending them to work in more expensive cities is common practice for big companies in China, according to labour activists, and along with excessive overtime, punishments and underage employment, is causing concern about human rights in the country. ®

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