Are Apple and Foxconn Cleaning Up Their Act?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Foxconn are getting serious about cleaning up their employer status in China. Foxconn announced it would double the minimum monthly salary of its workers in mainland China by the end of next year, according to local newspaper Want Daily. Chairman Terry Gou had earlier spoken of relieving his factories’ reputation of being something of sweatshops.

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The newspaper reports that Gou said at a function on May 16 that monthly salaries for workers in China should be doubled to 4,400 yuan ($690) by the end of 2013. The minimum required wage for Taiwan is 4,000 yuan ($630). If Foxconn were to raise wages, it would be the company’s fourth announced salary hike in China in the last two years and would represent a near five-fold salary increase since 2010.

In the first quarter of the year, the gross profit margin of Foxconn’s parent company, Hon Hai Precision Industry, was down 0.5 percent from the same period last year.

A study by Taiwanese job bank recently found that 54 percent of the workers had not seen a salary increase in more than three years.

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