CUPERTINO, CALIF. — Giving new meaning to corporate social responsibility, Apple Inc. announced it is “bringing home” more than 700,000 manufacturing jobs currently held by workers in foreign countries.
“As a leading corporate citizen of the United States,” the company said in a press release, “Apple can’t help but feel some sort of responsibility to its fellow Americans. So why not start hiring them?”
Apple plans to spread the employment across ten different U.S. cities, bringing each city an average of 70,000 new jobs, all with full benefits, by the end of 2013.
“We basically just gave our outsourcing team a different task,” Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook told The OB Rag. “Instead of scouring third-world countries to find where workers come cheapest, we surveyed America to find areas where these new jobs would make the most sense.”
Currently, 12.8 million people are unemployed in the United States, a rate of 8.3%. But Apple’s plan will provide jobs to at least 700,000 Americans, slashing the rate to 7.8% and providing a needed surge to the American economy.
Apple said entry-level assembly-line jobs it was bringing to the United States would pay an average of $25 an hour, or about 10 times the rate currently earned by a typical Apple employee in China.
“When the dust settles, this might reduce Apple’s profit margins and put upward pressure on the price of Apple products,” the company’s press release said. “But honestly, Apple can afford it, and so can Apple consumers. So we’re honored to be in a position to help make America stronger.”
Wealthy consumers around the world have embraced products such as the iPhone and the iPad, drawn to their reputation for high quality and — perhaps more importantly — the social value seemingly signified by their possession.
Accordingly, Apple’s profits have soared and its stock market value has surpassed all other publicly traded companies.
With this success have come more questions about Apple’s hiring practices. A recent New York Times expose revealed the company employs only 43,000 people in the United States versus 700,000 people through sub-contractors in foreign countries with lower standards of living.
Success has also swelled Apple’s cash hoard to an incredible $98 billion.
“Frankly speaking, it’s more than we need to run the company,” CEO Tim Cook told shareholders at Apple’s recent annual meeting.
Cook acknowledged that some shareholders might prefer to see Apple pay out much of the cash in a massive one-time dividend. “This isn’t a case where 100 percent of people are going to agree with what we do,” he said.
Indeed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement condemning Apple’s plan. “Just because corporations get the rights of American citizens doesn’t mean they should be burdened by the same responsibilities,” the statement said. “For example, everyone knows people can’t kill people — but sometimes job creators like corporations need to be able to kill people, as the Supreme Court is working on right now.”
Alan Ableman, a 35-year-old former construction worker who has been unable to find work since 2008, took issue with the Chamber’s analysis.
“Job creators aren’t very helpful when the jobs aren’t in America,” Ableman said. “And then there’s the fact that leaving the jobs in China would mean continuing to hand over billions of dollars to a rival superpower that also happens to be a Communist regime.
“I mean, when you think about it, hiring workers overseas when Americans need work is not just economically short-sighted but kind of like a form of treason,” Ableman said. “So good for Apple.”
CEO Cook described Apple’s move as a long-term winner for not just the country but for Apple, too.
“Corporations get a lot of value out of America, as our massive campaign contributions indicate,” Cook said. “Accordingly, it’s in our best interests to keep the country strong.”
Ableman, who plans to apply for an Apple job, couldn’t agree more.
“I hope other executives start thinking like Apple executives,” Ableman said. “Because if America’s most valuable companies don’t start hiring Americans, what kind of an America will we all end up with?”