Eco-tech firm Fairphone has announced that it will pay a living wage to its factory employees, in a move we’d like to see replicated around the industry.
The firm explained that it would pay a quarterly bonus to workers in its partner factory in China (Arima), to bridge the gap between the minimum wage and the money required to live, as currently many Chinese workers frequently work exhausting hours of overtime just in order to survive. The brand claims that this approach is “unique to the industry”, and as an incentive to consumers it claims that €1.50 for every smartphone sold will be paid directly as a bonus to workers.
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This step towards more ethical manufacturing policies is to be applauded, especially given the state of the rest of the industry. Over the last few years numerous tech firms have been accused of poor treatment of workers in developing countries. In September a list of accusations was made against Apple’s working practices in China (of which the brand claimed, vaguely, that “most were false”).
These included: workers unfairly employed on temporary contracts, workers doing “at least” 100 hours of overtime per month, unpaid bonuses, unreported workplace injuries, and non-acceptance of resignations at peak times. We’d like to see tech giants of the standing of Apple and Samsung become more transparent in their employment practices, and follow Fairphone’s lead in paying a living wage.
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The Fairphone 3 is the latest model from Fairphone, and it costs €450 direct, but is also available on a contract from Vodafone. The device has easily replaceable parts in order to be more sustainable, and the brand claims that its raw materials are more ethically sourced. The specifications are as follows: Snapdragon 632 chip, 3000mAh battery, 5.65-inch Full HD Plus display, 12-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera.