Foxconn’s a huge PR problem for western tech companies. No matter how you slice it, or where you place the blame for the suicides, the finger’s getting pointed directly at the huge multinational corporations who encourage factories to pay as little as possible to their employees in an attempt to keep device costs down.
It doesn’t sit right with some, despite the economics of the situation (comparative advantage, yadda yadda). The pressure’s been mounting on companies like Apple, who’ve had a long standing philanthropic twinge to their company. It turns out Apple might be working on something to help Foxconn employees. A CBS subsidiary is reporting that Apple may be giving Foxconn employees between 1-2% of the device profits that they create in their factories. There aren’t many details at this time, but it could certainly help employees pay their bills, as well increase the standard of living.
We’re going to reserve judgement on the program until we see if the news is true, and how Apple plans to ensure that the money actually makes its way to employees and not fat cats at the top of the food chain. We’re also not completely sure how we feel about the monetary payout, when the problem is a lot deeper than employee wages.
Sure, the payout could be the start of something new, but it could also be the start of a tiered system in the factories where employees start fighting for time working on Apple projects over others in the factories. What happens to those people who never get a chance to work on Apple products? Wouldn’t it be smarter to work on really solving the problem instead of placing a patch on it? What happens if the Apple projects become a reward for employees who tote the company line the best? It could be a huge problem, and hopefully people advocating for Apple’s involvement in solving the situation take a long hard look at what’s actually going on in these factories before they let Apple off the hook.
Article Via 9 to 5 Mac