And the hits just keep on coming.
It turns out that as companies fear the market responding to stories of sweatshop labor and inhumane factories, they are now preemptively taking steps to improve the lot of overseas workers.
It seems that American companies are wary of their reputation back home and around the world. They can’t afford to have their name synonymous with sweatshops and slave labor. So, these companies are pushing the owners of those factories to improve things:
China (Reuters) – Production line workers at Foxconn’s southern China manufacturing hub will get a 30 percent pay rise, as top customer Apple Inc called recent suicides at the plant troubling but said the site was “not a sweatshop.”
It’s such a big deal that even the CEOs of these companies are speaking out:
“It’s a difficult situation,” [Steve] Jobs [CEO of Apple] said at the All Things Digital conference in California on Tuesday. “We’re trying to understand right now, before we go in and say we know the solution.”
And life just continues to get better for the people who have, for generation after generation, been among the world’s poorest:
…young migrant workers, among the millions who leave the poor hinterlands of China for the boom towns of the south and east coastal areas in search of work and high wages.
China has a long ways to go. But day by day, life is getting better for millions upon millions of people.