Apple comments on Foxconn suicides; rumours of wage subsidies

Hot on the heels of a statement released by Foxconn regarding factory suicides, Apple has acknowledged and released a statement of their own

"We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn. We are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously," Apple has stated.

"A team from Apple is independently evaluating the steps they are taking to address these tragic events and we will continue our ongoing inspections of the facilities where our products are made."

Growing concerns and public backlash over the suicide rate and potentially associated poor working conditions at Foxconn's factories in China, along with Apple's statement have sparked rumours regarding wage subsidies for Foxconn workers on the iPad assembly lines. Apple already provides Foxconn with a subsidy of 2.3% of the price of an iPad, it has been said that Apple will also provide 1-2% of the device's profits back into the hands of Foxconn workers.

This translates into about a 3% payout back to Foxconn, or the cost of manufacture for the aluminium back of the device, states MIC Gadget. This subsidy potentially works out to about a 20% increase in each individual workers wage.

From a marketing perspective, the move would be pure gold for Apple and would signify the first company to provide "fair-trade" electronics.

With Apple's profit margins, it is capable of providing these subsidies, and in turn could be the first "Fair-Trade Tech Company", states ZDNet. Other competitors in the field could potentially be labelled "cheaper and less fair" much to Apple's benefit.

Even without considering the marketing potential, if the rumours are found to be substantial, then Apple has taken a good first step towards fair employee treatment in the beleaguered industry.

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Just bring all these manufacturing back to US. It will definately increase the production cost but it will also create more job opportunities for americans who will in return be able to afford bit higher price of product. By sending manufacturing to overseas we are turning north america in to consumer market and this kind of economy can not sustain forever. Many people are working here flipping burgers making minimum hourly wage and loosing job. Americans are in debt today because they can't afford to have the lifestyle which all these products are offering to them. North Americans need to wake up and see what is good for collectively overall american society rather than couple of ultra rich billionair and some shareholders.

so your solution is to bring all the american companies back, pay the workers 6 to 7 times the amount that we pay people over there, raise the prices of the products to compesate the lose off revenue, and then expect our $1200 dollar computers to sell vs their $200-$300 computers that are exactly the same. You really think american companies would survive that onslaught? then, when our american companies go under, all thats left is the companies over there, meaning not only does our money go to their production facilities, but also to their companies so not a single dime of the money spent stays in the usa..... yea thats smart.

lol cut the price of the device and make it locally and give US citizens jobs, problem solved. too bad they're profit greedy before morally and ethically responsible.

Digitalx said,
lol cut the price of the device and make it locally and give US citizens jobs, problem solved. too bad they're profit greedy before morally and ethically responsible.

you forgot something though. in the usa, we have unions that bar factory works from making less than 15 to 20 dollars an hour in most of the major industries. you really expect sony, apple, microsoft, intel, dell, hp, etc. to cut prices AND pay workers 5+ times as much to make them. the unions in the us are the ones that causes companies to go overseas in the first place. on top of the payment issue, unions dont allow workers to do more than one or two taskes in an assemble line. ie if a goodyear worker pushes button A, he cannot be overworked by having to push button B even though both buttons can be on the same machine while sitting in the same chair not having to much his hand more than half a foot. sounds stupid but thats how goodyear rolls thanks to the union that its workers are in.

"Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod, the iPad, and the iPhone for Apple Inc.; Intel-branded motherboards for Intel Corp.; various orders for American computer manufacturers Dell and Hewlett-Packard; motherboards for UK computer manufacturer Zoostorm; the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony; the Wii for Nintendo; the Xbox 360 for Microsoft, cell phones for Motorola, the Amazon Kindle, and Cisco equipment."

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn

Edited by SputnikGamer, Jun 1 2010, 6:18pm :

SputnikGamer said,

you forgot something though. in the usa, we have unions that bar factory works from making less than 15 to 20 dollars an hour in most of the major industries. you really expect sony, apple, microsoft, intel, dell, hp, etc. to cut prices AND pay workers 5+ times as much to make them. the unions in the us are the ones that causes companies to go overseas in the first place. ...

+1

SputnikGamer said,

you forgot something though. in the usa, we have unions that bar factory works from making less than 15 to 20 dollars an hour in most of the major industries. you really expect sony, apple, microsoft, intel, dell, hp, etc. to cut prices AND pay workers 5+ times as much to make them. the unions in the us are the ones that causes companies to go overseas in the first place. on top of the payment issue, unions dont allow workers to do more than one or two taskes in an assemble line. ie if a goodyear worker pushes button A, he cannot be overworked by having to push button B even though both buttons can be on the same machine while sitting in the same chair not having to much his hand more than half a foot. sounds stupid but thats how goodyear rolls thanks to the union that its workers are in.

For what the APPLE TAX is on their products they can take the hit.

PeterTHX said,

For what the APPLE TAX is on their products they can take the hit.

to move the factories to the usa? they would have to give up more money than they make on profits to have a factory in the usa. there are tons of corporations, all of which do all their factory work outside of the usa because of unions. maybe you didnt notice, but apple is giving this factory money to up the pay and standards of the workers there. every other company is just standing buy and ignoring the issue. unless you want to tell me sony and microsoft cant take the hit in which case you make yourself out to be a fanboy of those two companies or an anti apple troll.

SputnikGamer said,
to move the factories to the usa? they would have to give up more money than they make on profits to have a factory in the usa. there are tons of corporations, all of which do all their factory work outside of the usa because of unions. maybe you didnt notice, but apple is giving this factory money to up the pay and standards of the workers there. every other company is just standing buy and ignoring the issue. unless you want to tell me sony and microsoft cant take the hit in which case you make yourself out to be a fanboy of those two companies or an anti apple troll.

In fairness, it isn't just unions - the federal government taxes heavily to fund wars in Iraq/Afghanistan and the military industrial complex on which everything rests upon all because Joe Sixpack(tm) wants his cheap petrol for his gas guzzling SUV or hugely inefficient American made car. Rather than mocking PeterTHX we should look at him with sympathy given his behaviour typifies what is wrong with the US education system - the inability to coherently look at something in a logical manner as to find a solution.

rawr_boy81 said,

In fairness, it isn't just unions - the federal government taxes heavily to fund wars in Iraq/Afghanistan and the military industrial complex on which everything rests upon all because Joe Sixpack(tm) wants his cheap petrol for his gas guzzling SUV or hugely inefficient American made car. Rather than mocking PeterTHX we should look at him with sympathy given his behaviour typifies what is wrong with the US education system - the inability to coherently look at something in a logical manner as to find a solution.

Umm hmmm.
Somehow the Japanese car companies are able to make a profit while building their cars here in the USA and Canada. I drive a Honda myself.

Stop making excuses for Apple using slaves to boost their profits even more.

SputnikGamer said,

to move the factories to the usa? they would have to give up more money than they make on profits to have a factory in the usa. there are tons of corporations, all of which do all their factory work outside of the usa because of unions. maybe you didnt notice, but apple is giving this factory money to up the pay and standards of the workers there. every other company is just standing buy and ignoring the issue. unless you want to tell me sony and microsoft cant take the hit in which case you make yourself out to be a fanboy of those two companies or an anti apple troll.

PSST: you can make products without unions in the USA.
Apple apologists don't like the fact that their overpriced products keep people in working conditions that would be classified as slavery here in North America.

lodgepole said,
How did a tragic suicide get spun into good PR for Apple? :-/

Let's all take a moment.

You're not thinking "different".

lodgepole said,
How did a tragic suicide get spun into good PR for Apple? :-/

Let's all take a moment.

+1!

There's been somes suicides within several big companies in France (France Telecom, or in the automobile industry) because of companies moving their HQs around, sometimes several hundred kilometers away from employees' houses and none of those have turned out to be a "good thing". the companies just stopped moving i guess...

lodgepole said,
How did a tragic suicide get spun into good PR for Apple? :-/

Let's all take a moment.

Maybe you missed the 10x more bad PR Apple has gotten about this the past few weeks.

At least they are trying to do *something* about it. Most other companies would just ignore the issue.

They aren't required to fix their suppliers issues.

Binary said,
They aren't required to fix their suppliers issues.

Exactly, they shouldn't be the ones investigating this. Why should Apple do something about it, and not Dell or anyone else buying their hardware from Foxconn?

This is Foxconn matter.

Edited by DeKay, Jun 1 2010, 11:34am :

Binary said,

At least they are trying to do *something* about it. Most other companies would just ignore the issue.

+1
Everyone says Apple rips off its customers with outlandish prices and yet Apple is the only one of the companies below that is spending money and resources on fixing the issue.

"Foxconn produces the Mac mini, the iPod, the iPad, and the iPhone for Apple Inc.; Intel-branded motherboards for Intel Corp.; various orders for American computer manufacturers Dell and Hewlett-Packard; motherboards for UK computer manufacturer Zoostorm; the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 for Sony; the Wii for Nintendo; the Xbox 360 for Microsoft, cell phones for Motorola, the Amazon Kindle, and Cisco equipment."

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn