Did Foxconn Freeze Hiring New Workers Because Apple Made Them Treat Existing Workers Better?

Foxconn may be hiring less workers because existing workers are more willing to stay on.

Foxconn may be hiring less workers because existing workers are more willing to stay on.

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.

  • FriarNurgle

    Why not just use my headline I commented on the article yesterday:

    In other news: “Lower employee turnover results from improved working conditions at Foxconn.”

    http://www.cultofmac.com/216663/foxconn-freezes-recruitment-and-iphone-5-gets-the-blame-report/

  • rondini

    Still liking the girl 3rd from the left in that pic.

  • WXMAN2001

    Well, if that isn’t the happiest group of workers I have ever seen!

  • Koban4max

    Smart move on Foxconn…. if they want to hire less people…more people are willing to do anything to stay on. The workers can’t say much about quality environment and pay.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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