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The easy way for Apple to solve its slavery problem:

200'000 workers currently make iPhone and iPad, paid $200/month for 320hr/month of work. (according to latest NYT article)

- Apple CEO picks up the phone now today, tells Foxconn Apple wants to double salaries and halve work time requirements per worker.

400'000 workers (200k new ones are hired) are then paid $400/month for 160hr/month of work (means 8hr/day shifts, 2 days per week free, 2 extra yearly weeks paid holiday, total shift flexibility "workers choose their own shifts", other benefits such as free high-quality food, many breaks allowed, free after-work career training, healthcare, dental care, cheaper/better private housing, free public transportation etc)

Total cost for Apple: $720 Million per quarter (200'000 x $200 x 3 x 3)

With a $13 billion quarterly profit, Apple can afford to pay $720 million extra per quarter to make sure that the Chinese workers are treated with respect.

The result is Foxconn can hire twice as many workers to get the same job done for Apple (your new iPhones and iPads will be cranked out at same speed), and all of the workers are paid double to work half the current shifts.

Problem solved. Apple can come out of this controversy being the hero. Chinese workers will love Apple for it, China will love Apple for it, consumers will love Apple for it. All the other Android brands will follow suit because it's the right thing to do. Piece of cake!

It would cost Apple only 5% of their profits, only 1.6% of their revenues to completely revolutionize the Chinese manufacturing industry.

Share this calculation to your circles if you agree. Let me know if you think my calculations are correct.
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47 comments
Noze P.
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For 400bux a month apple wont need to be in china any longer. Eastern europe works for that money already. 
 
+Noze P. if Apple threatens to move manufacturing to another country, we'll know to hate Apple even more. And there is no reason for Apple to move it to another country. China has all the manufacturing infrastructure and Apple doesn't have the time to wait for these assembly processes be moved elsewhere.
 
Great idea, and one day these workers can afford an iphone, ipad, ipod.. and Apple makes even more money! See Henry Ford, who paid his workers well, so they could afford a Ford ;)
Noze P.
 
Include also that the quality of life would be bumped, within the cost of it as well. Im not for slavery at all. China is the last place on earth corporations can go to brass huger benefits, and shareholders doesnt care about other than money. A similar thing happened to renault's (dacia) workers in romania. Their salary been raised, gaining almost 3x the minimum in romania. 
 
+Holland Rhodes that's not true. The robots taking over is a lie by Foxconn CEO. There is no way robots can replace human fingers assembling these devices, no way. It's more complicated than building a robot that can take out your trash, wash your dishes, cook your food, we won't have robots that can do those things for another 15-20 years minimum.
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier - You think the job of a CEO is so simple math?

Just double salaries of the third party contractors?

Well, FoxConn pays the labour.

And FoxConn is like this evil middle man. They want to squeeze their maximum profit.

Do you think its an 80-20 relationship between FoxCon and its labour?

Sorry, its more like 20-80 so if FoxConn gets $1000 per month per worker from Apple today

FoxConn most likely gives up a fishy story to Apple and Microsoft and Samsung and its other clients saying that they cover for Labor insurance and vacation and what not and they only pay $200 out of the $1000 as cash to the labor worker.

So just doubling salary by Apple or Microsoft or Samsung or anyone else in future will not change FoxConn!
 
+Holland Rhodes no again, you are mistaken. The robots are used in all the processes before assembly. This has been the case for over 20 years. There are plenty of robots in manufacturing already. The workers we are talking about are the ones working at the assembly lines. Those can only be done by humans because assembly of consumer electronics is simply not something that can be done by a robot. And really there isn't much money to save.

Here are the costs for the iPhone:
Components (assembled, shipped, packaged mostly by robots) = $140
Assembly = $10

= Total cost of components and assembly for an iPhone is $150. $140 of that already mostly is done by robots. It's the robots that do the motherboard, do the casing, the other parts of the electronics, the screen, etc. Those are mostly done by robots. Some times the processor SoC is done in the USA even and then shipped to China where hands are needed to take that part and put it correctly and tightly into the case, glue the antennas at the right place, glue or solder the screen right, then squeeze the iPhone together etc. Then also test it before it gets shipped.
 
+Charles Vaz Foxconn makes a very little profit, nearly does not make any profit at all. The Foxconn earnings reports are public, you can find them online. Foxconn is not really evil, they just execute on the orders made to them from companies like Apple.
 
+Richard Dudley Apple CEO says it in his letter. Apple is defined by their values. And them using 200 thousand slaves to manufacture the iPhone and iPad is not a good value to have. Apple has a huge slavery problem. It's simply not worth of Apple to try to save 5% of their quarterly profits on abusing of 200 thousand Chinese slaves. It would cost Apple only 5% of their profits, only 1.6% of their revenue to completely revolutionize the Chinese manufacturing industry.
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier you call it 'slavery' but that's distorting the meaning of the word. Those workers can leave the company - and indeed many do. Foxconn has a huge staff turnover.

As regards Apple's values, I agree that outsourcing is a sign that money is boss at Apple. If they'd set up their own factory in USA that would speak volumes.
Noze P.
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Ehm noone looks at the other end tho... Bump the cost of production will be repercuted on the price of the said product in order to gain the same marge of $$$. So who exactly willing to pay even more ? Its nice to do morals on corporations but lets face it, there is a reason why we have such good quality life and why other parts of the world has people working for small bux's.
 
+Charles Vaz Which money do you think Foxconn has to pay the workers? It's Apple's money! If Apple doesn't pay Foxconn enough, there is no mathematical way in which Foxconn can pay the workers decent salaries and let them work normal shifts of 40hr/week! The numbers are right there in Foxconn's earnings reports! You think Foxconn CEO's are evil jerks who take all the money and don't want to pay their workers? Not true!!!! It's this simple: If Apple pays Foxconn more, Foxconn pays the workers more and gives them better working conditions. It's that simple math! Also, it is totally untrue that Apple cannot guarantee and make sure that if they pay 4x more for assembly that those 4x more money will for sure go to each worker. Apple has the money ergo Apple decides how the money is spent. Foxconn as a company will get more profit margins accordingly also, 4x more profits than they currently get, so they will be happy also.
 
+Richard Dudley if the workers have to choose between working at Foxconn and starving, they DO NOT have a choice. That means it is slavery. It is not fair to claim that people have a choice to starve ergo it is not slavery. You cannot take advantage of human misery to justify working them down like slaves on supposed respectable jobs.
 
+Noze P. Apple just published $13 billion official profit for a quarter. There is no need for the iPhone and iPad to become more expensive to consumers when the workers are paid more. The profit margins are absolutely gigantic. Apple can perfectly afford to spend 5% of their profit making sure the people producing all their devices aren't treated as slaves.
Noze P.
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On a sidenote some eastern europe countries work way over 40h a week for not way much more money than that.
 
+Charles Vaz Apple must be satisfied making $12 billion in quarterly profit next time. And at that same time they can sleep with a good conscience knowing that the workers building the devices that make their fortune are being paid 2x more than they were in 2011 for doing half as much work, thus having time for themselves, time for families, time for learning new jobs, thus Apple would be proud to create new opportunities for the Chinese workers instead of just using them as cattle.
Noze P.
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Tell that to shareholders as well, why having less if they can have more.

 
Yes +Nicolas Charbonnier - where was Microsoft Conscience - when M$ made 90% of the worlds computers run only Windows Operating Systems?
 
China certainly will not love it. With the proposed benefits being afforded to just Foxconn's employees, they'd have rioting on their hands from all the laborers that don't happen to work at Foxconn. It's China's responsibility, not Apple's, to raise the standard of living for all its citizens. Unfortunately, they don't want to lose our business to Vietnam and the like.
 
+Charles Vaz Bill Gates's conscience is pretty bad, that is why he decided to give more than half of his fortune away for charity since about 10 years ago. Very good on him. While Microsoft is evil, they have not directly profited from slavery as Apple has. Microsoft made their money selling software to rich people in rich countries. Sure enough, those computers mostly made by slaves. But Apple on the other hand is quite different. Apple makes its money directly from slaves work, and they make 99% of their profits only from selling those devices directly. And on the other hand, Apple and Steve Jobs have never given $1 to charity.
Noze P.
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The same place where gates foundation having it dumping monsanto's crap in afrika which generates them billions that can create a need for that foundation...@charles
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier " if the workers have to choose between working at Foxconn and starving, they DO NOT have a choice". I agree. Its a very big 'if' and I'd like to see evidence that it is indeed the case. Do you have any?
Noze P.
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Apple actually done charity. You should dig deeper into Bill gates fundations, that thing generates billions from the investments in way nastier things than giving chinese starving farmers underpayed (by our standard) jobs.
 
+Phil Romano I believe this would be progressive (although it can be implemented quite quickly) and would come into effect throughout most of China's consumer electronics manufacturing. All the other makers would essentially be forced to follow and I'm sure would be glad to follow in Apple's example. And all other consumer electronics brands can afford it. Brands that try to avoid doing this would be easily disregarded by consumers if they can be made aware by which company does ethical manufacturing and which don't.

My suggestion doubles the amount of workers to do the same work. Thus Chinese workers will be very happy about this proposition. It means more work for them, better pay, better working conditions and even free training to try to move up the ladder and try to get even better jobs elsewhere in the Chinese society.
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier " Apple and Steve Jobs have never given $1 to charity." - is this supposed to be some kind of indictment of them? I don't give to charity these days (though I have in the past). Jobs is perfectly correct when he says 'Its easier to make a dollar than to give one away'. Just look at the mess Gates is making in supposedly 'doing good' in malaria these days.
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier "Brands that try to avoid doing this would be easily disregarded by consumers" - this coming from the man who very recently claimed that 'voting with the wallet never works' - how strange :p
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier I think what you're proposing is noble, but in the wrong direction. I think ASEAN+China need to agree on labor standards all at once so that manufactures can't go elsewhere looking for a better deal. Any rational company is going to get as much as they can for the least amount of money.

I agree with you morally, but I take issue with your framing of the question in the first sentence. I contest that Apple has a problem. It doesn't seem to be affecting their profitability. Consumers don't seem to care right now. By what ethical standard are we measuring them? If it's their responsibility to their shareholders, then their use of the cheapest labor possible is completely ethical. If it's their responsibility to God (if you believe), then that depends on your religion.

I wish for labor standards to improve in many places in the world, and for employees to be paid as much as they can get, but it will take Chinese workers to demand it. And they have made some progress in this area.
 
+Phil Romano if Apple doesn't have a problem with this, their CEO wouldn't be jumping up the day after the NYT article and claiming all kinds of stuff like saying stuff like "Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us." when a CEO says stuff like that, the CEO is pretty desperate. Also, if this doesn't turn out to be a problem for Apple, it's our job, bloggers, youtubers, Google+ers, to make this an important issue and a big problem for Apple to resolve urgently.

This is not worth Apple trying to hang on to the equivalent of 1.6% of their revenues or 5% of their profits to not have this solved. Solving this would be so very benefical to Apple's brand that they can simply consider this a marketing expense and they may get that money back many times in increased revenue and profit (relative to them not doing anything about it).
Noze P.
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What would be positive about this? Every country slaving some other. Western europe slaves easterns, oversea do china and china does already afrikans. And dho exactly cares about all of them? Think about the reason behind which comes down to you and me and our lifestyle. They slave cause WE cost way too much. But when they underpay that is a lot of money in other countries. My friends are working for germans getting half salary of a german for the same job and working twice as much a week, no mention they dont even get payed vacations. But that impacts on their own country, they can afford things more expensive and life will cost more for everyone ..and back to the point where we put ppl in more crap than in what they been already. I seen this happening in my country.
 
+Richard Dudley yeah it's scandalous of Apple and Steve Jobs to never have given any money to charity. Bill Gates is doing a lot of good. Millions of people in Africa have benefited and are benefiting. Could Bill Gates do better, sure he can, he could give away all his money now instead of giving away 1% per year and only promising to give away half of it.
 
+Richard Dudley consumers would mind once Apple makes it a marketing standpoint to claim and demonstrate they can have significant improvement on the ethical manufacturing department. Consumers don't care and voting by wallet doesn't matter if big companies like Apple don't make it a part of the marketing.
Noze P.
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Bill gates is doing mainly good for buying a ticket to history. I repeat dig in that fundation further than being aweee by the fact he pulled his billions in it. People in africa doesnt want monsanto's crap, monsanto couldnt get on that market ever except when bill gates payed and imposed the monsanto grains in exchange....
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier "it's scandalous of Apple and Steve Jobs to never have given any money to charity" - evidence please of scandal. You do need to get out more and take a closer look at the effect Gates is having.
Noze P.
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Oh apple is still giving money from all RED ipod and ipad covers btw...
 
+Noze P. eventually, we'll all be doing slave jobs as part of civil service that we'll all be glad and forced to do for society. Things like taking out the trash, cleaning public toilets, manufacturing jobs, all other boring jobs should be done by all humans equally. For example everyone just needs to pick some or get some of those civil tasks and have to do them for a few hours once every few months. And failure to comply could mean tax penalty of some type. So rich people can still maybe be exempt but only if they pay a ridiculously high penalty tax for not participating. Most people will be happy to participate. But that vision is further out into the future. For now those jobs have to be jobs and people paid to do them and those people having more or less flexibility to move into other functions and not have to be stuck in doing the same boring work all the time.
 
Consumers don't care because they're rational just like any company is. They want more for less. Any charity (because that's what it would be) to China would show up in the price of goods being sold by apple. They're not in the business of lowering their profit margins.

And it's only beneficial to their brand if their brand is being negatively impacted by how the goods are produced. They're currently not having a problem in that area.

Furthermore, any CEO is going to defend his company against negative rhetoric. I don't know if you would have expected him to agree that Apple does not care about the plight of the Chinese laborer. I think they probably do care, but they care more about profits.

It's not just about money, either. The flexibility of the Chinese factory compared to one in, say, America, is unmatched. They won't ignore those benefits for charity.

I'm usually quite liberal in these matters, but I don't think paying Foxconn billions more will revolutionize anything.
 
+Noze P. I haven't studied Gates foundation much. I'm sure there are bad projects in it. And I don't think it's amazing that Gates is doing that. And if it's real good charity I think it's the minimum that he should do, given that I think Microsoft is responsible for slowing down human progress over the past 30 years, not speeding it up. If Windows 95 was free and open source or Linux based in 1995, our civilisation would have sent astronauts on the moon by now and all the worlds problems of wars and starvation would have been resolved by now.

Here are some numbers, if some are true, it's got to not only be bad:

- The $1.2 billion spent by the foundation in 2007 on global health alone rivaled the World Health Organization’s entire annual budget (some of which is, not coincidentally, itself provided by the Gates foundation).
- Three quarters of global health funding went to “HIV/AIDS, malaria, vaccine-preventable diseases, child health,
tuberculosis, and other tropical diseases and neglected diseases.”
- The 1094 grants issued from 1998 to 2007 ranged from $3,500 to $750 billion.
- Twenty organizations shared 65 percent of the foundation’s global health funding.
- As a whole, NGOs and nonprofits got $3.3 billion while Universities got $1.8 billion. The rest went to other organizations and governments.
- Administrative expenses totaled $264 million in 2007.
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier - just as a general remark - you're doing the best thing for social justice when you promote ARM, coz ARM is one of the companies that's looking out for the little guys. Preaching about 'slavery' doesn't actually achieve anything, its probably counterproductive. So keep on doing what you do best and what's obviously a lot of fun - ARM stuff. WTG!
 
+Richard Dudley ARM benefited from Apple investing in it early, launching the Newton etc. But on the other hand Apple would be nothing today, Apple might even be bankrupt today, if it wasn't for the ARM Powered iPod and iPhone.
 
+Nicolas Charbonnier I'm impressed with ARM because they personify how to run a business without greed being no.1. Warren East is on record as saying he just wants a small slice of a very big pie. To me this is social responsibility, and it shows. Its why I'm a willing slave also in promoting ARM :)
 
+Phil Romano giant manufacturing enterprises like Foxconn are very good at putting their customers money to use. So if Apple has $1 Billion to spend, and with very precise requirements how it has to be spent, then Foxconn will be glad to comply. That means workers conditions can be increased by 4x overnight if Apple wants it to. Again, for 4x more revenue, Foxconn is allowed to keep 4x more profit, that is only fair and Foxconn loves increasing revenues and profits and they surely don't mind being in a position to tell their workers that they are going to be paid more and get much better working conditions.

The only obstacle I think can maybe be the Chinese Government. I doubt it, but maybe the Chinese Government does not want its people get more pay and less work so suddenly. Maybe the Chinese Government would want to regulate the speed in which those worker condition improvements are put into effect on its land. Something to do with strategies to manage population workforce etc. I just doubt it. I think the Chinese Government surely thinks my idea is great. I am sure China wants their factory workers to make 2x more money so they can spend on more things locally, that increases spending, increases GDP, that increases the share of revenue of the industry that can stay in China. Growth is exactly what China loves to get more of all the time.
 
If they gave each worker more like $300 a month with 12 hr work days, free food and board; then they would be a lot happier.
 
"Free iMessage SMS plan for all iOS devices seamlessly among iOS devices!"

Whoopity feckin' do! ...oh, you were serious.
 
Apple and android brands could also lower retail prices further as demand would increase. Trickle down economy.
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