Although still lower than the national average, Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn’s worker suicide problem is becoming such a public relations nightmare, so it’s understandable that their announced plan to raise wages for about 420,000 factory workers is being seen by many as a way to mitigate worker deaths.
The pay raise is substantial: each worker will currenly earning $131 a month will get a 20% pay hike. On Foxconn’s part, they claim the pay hike has been planned for some time… but it’s hard to believe the recent publicity about worker conditions hasn’t, at the very least, pushed this plan onto the fast track.
Employees seem hopeful. “[The pay hike] may help the suicide situation, because we workers just need money and the financial pressure on us is great,” one worker said.
Will it be enough? It’s certainly nice to see more money go to the workers, but when the families of suicides get $16,000 payouts per death, Foxconn still has a problem with incentivizing self-destruction.