Some good news is finally coming out of China; Foxconn has promised to raise wages and cap overtime for all its 1.2 million employees. This news comes after the media spotlight was shone on the company for allowing its workers to work in sweat-shop like work conditions pulling up to 14 hour work shifts at a time while earning paltry wages.
The Chinese electronics manufacturer is by far the largest employer in the world and is possibly the worlds largest manufacturing concern anywhere. This size and the sheer amount of manufacturing that goes on in its various campuses has seen the electronics maker employ hundreds of thousands of immigrants who flock in from across China to find employment.
The company counts Apple among its more lucrative customers and recently Apple consumers and other concerned parties lodged a formal complaint to Apple through a petition they delivered to Apple stores across the world’s major cities. The complaint had to do with the deplorable working conditions at Foxconn and the culpability of Apple for being complicit to this issue by turning a blind eye and not doing enough to bring change to these factories.
Ironically, this same issue had been raised during the tenure of former Apple CEO, the late Steve Jobs, but little to nothing was done. The new CEO, Tom Cook, has however promised a more humane and socially responsible Apple and this is best demonstrated by the fact that after the complaints on Foxconn labour conditions were lodged, Apple nominated a non-profit rights group to independently inspect Foxconn factories and provide feedback on the same.
This is perhaps what has forced Foxconn to bring changes to its factories. The changes include a pay rise for all workers by a substantial 25%, raising their wages effectively to around $400, as well as a cap on working hours to within fair labour levels of 8-12 hours including over time.