Recently, Shi Zhaokun, a 15 years old Apple worker, was found dead of Pneumonia. His death was most likely caused by his heavy workload of nearly 280 hours in a single month. Although nowadays, corporations realize the importance of corporate ethics, endless factories launching in Asia show that money is still their only concern. Most Big corporations choose China as their production base due to cheap labor force and poor working conditions. Take Apple for instance. They claimed that they have improved working conditions drastically over the past few years. However, Shi still has to work over 60 hours per week. If Apple really has an ethical sense, why don’t they switch their production headquarters to countries with a better working standards such as the United States?. The reason is simple; it is all about making more profits. Changing production base to these countries will probably increase their cost and decrease production efficiency(shorter working hours), thus, minimizing their total profits. R. Edward Freeman’s stakeholder theory explains that every stakeholder, including employees, is essential for a business to be successful. As one can see, there is still a long way to implement his idea into big enterprises.
More information on wages in China, United States and Germany(Infographic): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/average-cost-factory-worker_n_1327413.html