China manufacturer moves factories to protect low wages

According to a recent Business Insider post by Gus Lubin, High-tech manufacturer Foxconn is moving everyone except for iPhone workers to low-wage factories in China’s hinterland to keep wages low.

What is Foxconn?
According to Wikipedia, “The Foxconn Technology Group is a multinational business group and is the largest manufacturer of electronics and computer components worldwide and mainly manufactures on contract to other companies.” According to Lubin, “Foxconn Technology Group is moving hundreds of thousands of workers away from the Shenzhen factory where it doubled wages after a rash of suicides, according to China Daily.” Lubin wrote, “Looks like China will keep wage inflation at bay for awhile yet.”

Why should this matter to us?
Global manufacturing has been in a race to the bottom for a long time. At what point does it become unethical for US consumers, including our universities, to continue to support these kinds of business practices in order to get goods cheaper and cheaper?

In 1914 Henry Ford doubled the pay of his auto workers under the premise that, “since it was now possible to build inexpensive cars in volume, more of them could be sold if employees could afford to buy them.” This is the basic principle of the middle class. What hope does the middle class have in the long run as jobs are destroyed and moved to nations that institutionalize employee abuse?


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