Somehow Foxconn has convinced the world that its treatment of workers isn't that bad. Sure, we've heard the stories from those on the inside, seen workers in their natural habitats, and we know all about the suicide nets. And yet, Foxconn has managed to turn its image around, allowing us to rationalize it, Apple, and our own obsession with iThings.
Here's how Foxconn's overlords spin it:
The wages aren't as bad as the worst wages imaginable. Foxconn workers make pitiable amounts of money, even by Chinese standards. Starting wages come in at less than $10 a day -- too low for the Chinese government to collect payroll tax. But not only has Foxconn distracted us from those abysmal rates, announcing across the board 16-25 percent raises last week, the company released a statement assuring observers that rates aren't as low as we think. “We have over 75 percent of the employees in the category of earning at least 2,200 RMB ($349/month) basic compensation standard. That means they are earning 13.75 RMB ($2.18) per hour. If they work overtime on the weekend, they will earn 27 RMB ($4.28) per hour," Foxconn told ABC News.
Sure, that is two times better than we initially thought. But, those wages still amounts to not enough to tax. And, it just adds up to an empty gesture. "The pay rise is useless," a worker named Xiang told Reuters. "We just pay more for other things."