Apple and its overseas manufacturing partners have been taking quite a bit of heat over the last month. Reports of underage employees, 60+ hour work weeks and other poor working conditions have been constantly grabbing headlines.
But just as we have reported on the bad things, we must also report the good. It appears that in the face of criticism, Foxconn, Apple’s largest supply chain partner, has decided to substantially increase its workers’ wages…
Reuters is reporting that Foxconn announced last Friday that it has raised the wages of its factory workers by as much as 25%. Junior-level workers at its Shenzhen plant now make 1,800 yuan per month, which is about $285 USD. While that amount may sound terrible by some standards, Foxconn says that the salary of its junior workers is “far higher than the minimum wage.”
The manufacturer also said Friday that it plans to “provide more training opportunities and learning time, and will continuously enhance technology, efficiency and salary, so as to set a good example for the Chinese manufacturing industry.”
Even if Foxconn is only making changes for good press — they’re still making changes. If nothing else, it’s good to know that consumer concerns about the poor labor practices in China are no longer falling on deaf ears.
But don’t misunderstand our praise for approval. There is still much work to be done.