There's some good news coming from the beleaguered Chinese Foxconn factory this week. Following reports of employee suicides (10 since January of this year), Reuters reports today that production line workers will be receiving a 30% increase in pay, effective immediately. Hopefully this measure will address some of the troubles workers are facing.
Foxconn assembles many Apple products, and there was a rumor earlier this week that Apple would begin paying Foxconn workers a percentage of product sales, perhaps 1 to 2 percent, though that was never substantiated. Steve Jobs expressed concern over the suicides at this week's All Things D conference, saying that Apple has people specifically assigned to the case.
This factory's troubles started years ago. We first saw a report of Foxconn violating Chinese labor laws back in 2006, admitting that their employees work about 80 extra hours each month -- well beyond the 36 extra hours that Chinese law allows for. In February of this year, a Reuters employer was roughed up by factory personnel while photographing the building.
Last month, Foxconn's CEO stated that "we are not a sweatshop," and promised that the company will "soon be able to stabilize this situation."
We hope the challenges at Foxconn can be resolved soon. Our hearts go out to the families who've lost loved ones.