Chain Reactions

A Job to Die For

Imagine a product so much in demand that people would literally kill themselves over it. While that's not exactly what's going on with the iPad and iPhone, it's pretty close... in a very creepy kind of way.

Apparently, management practices at the Chinese plants that assemble nearly 70% of all the iPads and iPhones for Apple are so abhorrent that 10 employees have committed or attempted suicide in the first half of this year. Proving that its senior management really is tone-deaf to its employees, Foxconn has reacted in two significant ways:

1) The company has raised the monthly pay for assembly workers from $133 to $295. In case you're curious, $295 per month adds up to $3,540 per year, or roughly $1.67 per hour (that's assuming a 40-hour work week, which is probalby assuming way too low). Or to put it another way, for one of these assembly workers to purchase an iPad themselves, it would cost them roughly two months' wages.

2) Lest you think this huge increase in pay (percentage-wise, at least) was all that Foxconn did for its employees, think again. The company, sparing no expense, has installed "anti-jumping" safety nets outside of the windows and roofs of its factories and employee dormitories. Now, if somebody decides to end it all and plunge to their doom, they'll have to do it somewhere off Foxconn property.

You can read more of the details on Foxconn's managerial style here.

TAGS: Supply Chain
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