After quite a few articles about the way its suppliers are treating employees, Apple is working to turn things around. And things seem to be paying off, with Apple’s suppliers actually listening. Foxconn, one of the company’s most important suppliers is increasing wages by 25 percent and reducing working hours.
Apple has done quite a bit lately in order to ensure its products are being manufactured in an ethical way. It’s quite normal for it to do so, with petitions to make the next iPhone in an ethical fashion and all sorts of articles describing work conditions in factories manufacturing Apple products.
I don’t think people would stop buying iDevices if they knew they were made by people working incredibly long hours for a very bad pay. But it’s good to see that Apple is taking action and it’s even better to see that it’s actually paying off.
Apple released the Fair Labor Association to inspect its suppliers a little while ago.
Now one of the main suppliers is making efforts in the right direction, too. Foxconn, one of Apple’s main contractors, has decided to increase wages by up to 25 percent, an article in The Guardian says.
After the raise (started on February 1st), workers get 1800-2500 Yuan per month (approximately between $285-$400 per month). Work hours will also be limited, and the pay raises will compensate for reduced overtime.
BusinessWeek quotes the Foxconn press release, which says that the basic junior workers’ salaries at Foxconn are far higher than the minimum wage local governments have established.
This happens just as Apple has allowed ABC News access to the Foxconn factories. The Nightline TV special will air on Tuesday (I’m sure there will be people saying that the two pieces of information are closely related).
After a series of suicides at the factories, two more pay raises were offered in 2010.
Recently, workers assembling game consoles have got on top of a Foxconn dormitory building (some even claimed they would jump off it). It was caused by some issues regarding job transfers, but the situation calmed down.
What I find interesting is that everybody says that Apple should take measures to insure its products are assembled ethically. Now, I’m not taking sides, but Microsoft Xbox consoles, as well as Dell and Hewlett-Packard computers are also assembled by Foxconn.
Foxconn also said that it will invest in robots and automate some of the production process.
Things seem to be going in the right direction. Let’s hope we won’t have to worry in the future about the way our favorite products are being made.
Here’s a preview of what’s coming on tomorrow’s ABC News Nightline special report.