When you head online to look for the latest tech news it’s hard not to see Microsoft and Apple in the news on a daily, and even hourly basis. One of the biggest stories today is raising the issue of Chinese wages once again, and specifically at Foxconn.
Some of our readers would expect the upcoming iPhone 5 to have a high price when it’s released, and leave some of us wondering how this could be when the workers in Foxconn are paid so little? It’s not only Apple that use Foxconn, you’ll also find other brands like Microsoft using the Chinese factory as well.
Today we’ve seen news about a few hundred Foxconn workers threatening to jump off the roof, unless they were paid more money. You can read the details of this story in an article found here, which also has a statement from Foxconn and a few details on the suicide rate at the factory.
What do you think about the Foxconn working conditions? It’s fair to say most of us have not visited Foxconn, and can only comment from what we hear in the news or find online. One person that had visited Foxconn before he died of cancer last year was Steve Jobs, and you can watch a video below this article that shows his take on Foxconn last year.
The late Jobs explains that Foxconn is “not a sweatshop“, and in fact has swimming pools, movie theaters, restaurants and a lot more, making a real nice factory. Why are so many people committing suicide at Foxconn? When you look at the averages it seems that this is pretty close to the same amount of people committing suicide in the US, according to the video below, although this is average figures and we’re not sure if they are based on all the US or the population at work.
For an idea on how much Foxconn workers are paid, you should take a look at this article back in 2010, which explains that their wages apparently doubled and are higher than many places in China, although extremely low compared to some peoples expectations.
When looking at the iPhone 5 price, which is expected to be around the same level as the 4S, should this not help improve wages at Foxconn? Apple does carry a lot of weight, so let us know your thoughts on this. If companies can get workers for less money and they feel the working conditions are good and humane, then why shouldn’t they? There are a lot of factors outside of Apple and Microsoft’s control, and in our opinion they would never want to have their product lines tainted by bad working conditions. The cheap labour is something that companies have increased in the last few years, which includes hundreds of big brands using India, China and other countries.
You might also want to look at the iPhone 5 rumors over the last year, which seem to tell two tales.