Apple is reportedly going to be directly paying Foxconn employees who are working to assemble Apple products for the Chinese manufacturing plant in Shenzhen, China. If true, this is a good step; one we called for previously.
For background –Apple, HP and Dell partner with the Foxconn plant where more than a dozen people have attempted suicide with 10 succeeding. There was also a report that a fire broke out at the plant recently and that conditions are very poor.
To help alleviate some of the stress of working for their partner, Apple is providing 1-2 percent of the profit from products assembled at the plant. The report from ZOL.com, a CBS owned Chinese news site, says that currently Apple is paying 2.3 percent of the price of an Apple iPad to the Foxconn plan. They will up that to now over 3 percent, or as ZOL estimates the cost of the aluminum casing for the iPad.
Also the Foxconn executives are saying they will be raising wages as much as 20 percent and relocating workers so they can be closer to families. Twenty percent sounds like a lot, but for the average worker it amounts to about $26 a month. It is a positive step. The hopes are this will alleviate the stress of the employees. It might also help with the PR nightmare that the reports are causing for the company and its partners. MSNBC is reporting that the companies’ shares were down 1.2% as of last Friday. They also say that Sony Erikson has joined the investigations of Apple, HP and Dell.