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No respite for brain-damaged Foxconn worker

Published on Dec 7, 2012 5:15 PM
Zhang Tingzhen (centre) is given a doll to play with by his mother Wei Xiuying while sitting beside his father Zhang Guangde at a Shenzhen hospital in southern China Sept 26, 2012. The 26-year-old Zhang Tingzhen was left brain-damaged in a factory accident a year ago, which led the doctors to remove nearly half his brain surgically. He remains in hospital under close observation by doctors, unable to speak or walk properly.  -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Chinese labour arbitrators have ruled against the father of a Foxconn worker brain-damaged in a factory accident in southern China, in a case that puts more attention on the labour practices of Apple Inc's largest contract manufacturer.

The case involves Zhang Tingzhen, a 26-year-old engineer who had nearly half his brain surgically removed after surviving an electric shock in October 2011.

His plight came to light after it was reported that Taiwan firm Foxconn had sent telephone text messages to his family telling them it would cut off funds for his treatment and other expenses if they did not remove him from hospital in Shenzhen city and submit him for a disability assessment 70 km away in Huizhou, where the company says he was hired.

His father, Zhang Guangde, took Foxconn to the arbitration office in October this year insisting that his son was hired in Shenzhen and not Huizhou, where wages and compensation levels are substantially lower.

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