• Suicide Rash May Prompt Major Pay Hike for iPhone Makers

    In recent weeks on MMi, we've covered the unfortunate rash of suicides that have plagued a Shenzhen factory of iPhone manufacturer Foxconn. So far in 2010, at least ten individuals have died at the manufacturing complex referenced. As a a result of those deaths - half of which occurred this month - there have been multiple inquiries about working conditions at the factory as well as substandard wages - factors that may have contributed to the wave of tragic suicides.

    As a result of harsh public criticisms and ongoing investigations, there are reports this weekend that a 20% pay raise may come to iPhone makers in Shenzhen, where the minimum monthly wage is between $132 and $146. The Irish Times reports that Foxconn employees are paid a base salary of $132, that's according to data collected by China Labor Watch, a New York-based outfit that champions civil and workers rights in China. To date, those overseeing the working conditions at the factory are bitterly denying that the environment is similar to that of a “sweatshop.”

    When news of the suicides first became public, Apple issued a statement noting that “we require that our suppliers treat all workers with dignity and respect.”

    Although it appears to the outside world that extremely harsh working conditions and low pay were all but certainly major contributing factors to the suicides, Communist Party officials and other local labor union officials are still pouring over information gleaned from their May 26th on-site investigation at the factory. For now, no municipal government officials are blaming wage and working conditions on the the deaths.

    Image via New York Daily News
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