Apple stock plummeted recently after a rumor went around that Foxconn had instituted a hiring freeze based upon a slowdown in iPhone 5 production. Foxconn quickly and emphatically deniedthat the freeze had anything to do with the iPhone 5… but what was the cause of the hiring freeze, then?
Here’s an interesting theory: Foxconn had to freeze hirings this year because, under pressure from Apple, they are treating employees so much more nicely that workers are no longer abandoning their jobs in droves after Chinese New Year.
CNN Money’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt has more details about a theory posited by RBC’s Amit Daryanani:
Historically, according to Daryanani, 20%-30% of Chinese workers don’t bother to come back after the holidays to factory jobs where the pay is low and working conditions harsh. This year, according to his sources, return rates may have been closer to 90%.
Could that have anything to do with the fact that Foxconn, pressured by Apple and local workers rights groups, has more than doubled wages and cut overtime hours?
That’s a fantastic theory, and if it’s true, it would be a major feather in Apple’s cap: a verifiable example of their new policies in regards to worker’s rights in their supply chain actually leading to a happier way of life.
Source: CNN Money.