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Rumor: Apple paying Foxconn workers directly

After all of the trouble last week at Foxconn, the Chinese factory suffering from worker suicides, rumor has it that Apple is stepping up to increase wages at the plant by paying workers directly. A Chinese website claims that Apple may eventually pay workers as a percentage of product sales, though the numbers aren't quite clear -- the website says the payout would be around 1 to 2 percent of product sales, which sounds high. The report also says that the iPad will be the first product under this plan, which is good news for the workers considering how it's selling.

This is still just a rumor at this point -- Foxconn makes products for all kinds of companies, and while it would be excellent for Apple to contribute to the low wages these workers are paid, it seems unlikely that it would step in with more money. Most likely, Apple would simply pressure Foxconn to make more changes, which is what Apple and other clients have done so far.

But obviously the suicides are a major issue, and if Apple can alleviate the problem by providing higher wages on its own, that may help. We'll have to wait and see if any officially announced plans come to light.

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