Apple rumored to begin paying Foxconn employees direct wages

Chinese website Zol -- which is owned by CBS Interactive -- is reporting that Apple may be moving toward a model of paying Foxconn employees direct subsidies, in the form of small percentages of the profits from whatever product line they work on. It's also interesting to note that the report claims that Apple has looked into the situation, and found that the general unhappiness of the workers and the recent spate of suicides could be attributed to low wages. The report says that Apple -- which apparently pays Foxconn 2.3 percent of the final retail price for a given product -- will pay an additional amount directly to the workers, which would give a significant boost to the roughly $132 they're currently pulling in per month. The actual payout numbers we're hearing -- around 1 to 2 percent of a retail price of the products manufactured -- don't exactly make sense so we're hoping to get clarification as to the breakdown if the rumor turns out to be true. The report also states that the iPad production line will be the first to benefit from the scheme. We have asked Apple for comment and will update if and when we hear back.