Foxconn -- China's largest private employer and the manufacturer of an estimated 40% half of the world's consumer electronic devices -- pays its assembly workers far less than American labor laws would allow. A typical salary is 2500 RMB (U.S. $400), or about $18 a day.
But pay isn't the biggest obstacle. Various economists have estimated how much an all-American labor force would add to the cost of an iPhone and come up with figures ranging from $65 to $100 per device.
The real stumbling block is speed. Unlike U.S. plants, Foxconn and other Chinese manufacturing operations house employees in dormitories and can send hundreds of thousands of workers to the assembly lines at a moment's notice. On the lines, workers are subjected to what most Americans would consider unbearably long hours and tough working conditions. Read more >>