Currently, the Chinese farmer who left the family land to seek his fortune, if he doesn’t wind up getting brutally exploited in some other horrible way, will turn up at Foxconn, where he’ll get a job that pays him, oh, $346 a month or so.
If that sounds a wee bit low in light of the fact that he works, indirectly, for a company that’s valued at roughly half a trillion dollars, well, you’re not the only one to think so.
There is, however, good news on the horizon. Apparently Foxconn is, for 2013, planning to double their wages to a slightly less awful $693 a month.
The move would see Foxconn’s base factory wage in China go from the current 2,200 yuan (US$346) up to 4,400 yuan (US$693) per month. That is a 100 percent increase. Foxconn nearly doubled its China base salary in 2010 – from 1,200 yuan to 2,000 yuan – after a spate of worker suicides, and before that, it was a mere 900 yuan (US$141).
Why, after letting workers bump themselves off and accidentally blowing them up, does Foxconn suddenly care so much? Possibly because demand is rising as more workers are needed to build more tablets and smartphones.
The free market works! Sort of! Hooray?