Foxconn chief executive Terry Gou has confirmed that Apple will use some of its cash to help improve the labor conditions for more than 1 million workers in Foxconn’s Chinese factories, where devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod are assembled.
Although Gou did not disclose the numbers, or how the bill would be split, he did reveal that Foxconn has been spending “heavily” to improve working conditions following reports of worker mistreatment in its factories. Reuters reports:
“We’ve discovered that this (improving factory conditions) is not a cost. It is a competitive strength,” Gou told reporters on Thursday after the ground-breaking ceremony for a new China headquarters in Shanghai.
“I believe Apple sees this as a competitive strength along with us, and so we will split the initial costs.”
Foxconn — which also assembles products for Sony, Microsoft, Dell, Nokia, Nintendo, and HP — has already increased workers’ wages by 16 to 25 percent, and agreed to reduce worker over time by taking on tens of thousands of new recruits to improve working conditions for its staff.
This has been a big part of Apple’s focus since Tim Cook took over as CEO last August. During his first few months in the role, Cook has already organized Foxconn audits from the Fair Labor Association, and visited Foxconn’s Chinese factories himself to meet with its workers.
I wonder whether any of those companies I mentioned above will also help out.