Foxconn Labor disputes said to disrupt iPhone production for 2nd time

“Foxconn Technology Group, the assembler of Apple Inc. iPhones, had to stop production for the second time in as many weeks after factory-line workers at one of its plants protested against increased pressure,” Bloomberg News reports. “Foxconn employs more than 1 million workers in China and has suffered in the past three years from suicides, riots and strikes. To improve working conditions, Chairman Terry Gou raised pay and allowed inspections by outside observers. The employees, who work as many as 12 hours a day, say the difficulties of meeting Apple’s demands for quality and abuse from guards set off the latest incidents.”

Bloomberg News reports, “One of the company’s factories in Zhengzhou, China, lost two shifts on Oct. 5 after workers became frustrated trying to prevent scratching on the casings of the iPhone 5, according to two people familiar with the matter. A dispute occurred between the production and quality teams at the factory, the company said. Some 3,000 to 4,000 people who walked off the job at the plant, have since returned to work, according to advocacy group China Labor Watch.”

Bloomberg News reports, “‘What happens in Foxconn’s factories shows that it needs to improve working conditions and its handling of worker relations,’ said Wang Xiangqian, former professor at the China Institute of Industrial Relations who helps the government coordinate labor relations. ‘Foxconn may have put more focus on efficiency and discipline, which is not wrong, and may have overlooked employees’ feelings as human beings.'”

“Employees were made to work through a holiday week and subject to “overly strict” product-quality demands without adequate training, China Labor Watch said in a press release dated Oct. 5. The walkout was the result of demands placed by Apple on its manufacturer to improve the quality of the iPhone 5 after customers complained that the company’s latest handset had scratches, it said,” Bloomberg News reports. “Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple, declined to comment on the stoppages at the Zhengzhou plant. Foxconn confirmed incidents occurred Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, and declined to comment on the events Oct. 5. ‘These were isolated incidents and were immediately addressed and measures taken, including providing additional staff for the lines in question,’ the company said in an e- mailed statement about the earlier events.”

Bloomberg News reports, “‘These strikes might send a signal to Apple that it has to set aside a bigger portion of its profit to satisfying these assembly plant workers,’ said Daniel Chang, an analyst with Macquarie Securities Ltd. in Taipei. ‘Apple needs Foxconn as it’s the only company out there that has the capacity and ability to amass such a big number of workers to do assembling work. For Apple, Foxconn is pretty much irreplaceable.'”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Foxconn’s 2012 plan: More robots, no layoffs, zero suicides, new factories – November 22, 2011
Foxconn to replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years – July 31, 2011

24 Comments

    1. Foxconn denied…. now that is funny! Apple stock will hit $450.00 by the end of November. Too many delays with the heat on them is not going to work out for Apple.

      The Apple resurgence which was 31 years in the making and now heading into its 6th year is about to calm down significantly. No Apple is not going broke and that is not my point. I see Apple as the Sony of the last 5+ years and in fairness to both Sony and Apple, staying on top of the tech device world is no easy task. The Foxconn situation is not what Apple needs at this moment in time as Google and MSFT are just banging away at it with a tie no prisoners approach and that will leave a dent.

      1. It seems silly to prognosticate based on the past from Sony or others. Apple is unlike any other company and when Sony was in its stride, no one could have predicted its downfall. You can’t live life by driving with the rear view mirror. Apple has a history of being forward looking and continuously innovative.

        1. Please stop with the frivolous comments! Apple is a 36 year old company on a 5 year positive run. Sony did the same in that they hung around long enough to introduce the world to the Walkman and made huge dollars with it for years. They as does Apple do other things well but nothing that even compares to the iPod which evolved to the iPhone and the Walkman which evolved to CD Walkman and MP3 Walkman the latter not being too successful thanks to the iPod.

      2. Interesting price prediction for AAPL there, Hugo. I think Apple’s earnings release at the end of this month may, um…interrupt your predicted 30% price decline.

        Let’s check back with each other in seven weeks, okay?

    2. Foxconn employs 1,000,000. Now look what I found on wiki for Suicide in the United States
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Suicide
      Suicide in the United States is the 11th leading cause of death in the country. In 2006, the total number of suicide deaths was 33,300. It was the 7th leading cause of death for males, and 16th leading cause of death for females.

    3. Considering the censorship within China, for all we know, none of these incidents happened OR they had nothing at all to do with Apple product manufacturing.

      For all we know, these stories are themselves manufactured by whiny baby Samsung as yet-another immature method of retribution for being caught red-handed stealing Apple IP.

  1. Why are people pointing at Apple?
    Apple uses Foxconn as an assembler, Foxconn is not Apple. It’s probably Foxconn that should set aside a bigger portion of its money.

      1. I don’t think so, mossman. Foxconn’s ability to pass on cost increases to its customers is contractually limited. Keep in mind that Apple prepays for materials and services in order to obtain both preferred status and pricing.

    1. These articles are pointing at Apple for one very simple reason: page hits (aka hit whoring). Page hits mean more revenue from ads. If they use the name Foxconn they will get far, far fewer hits.

    2. Because the work stoppage was due to iPhone manufacturing not other products. And these are not made-up stories. They certainly are helping to hammer down the stock price. Dropping like a rock. Apple needs some good news if there’s any out there. $629 now. Damn!

      1. According to the victim of the stories–Foxconn–they ARE made-up stories. And since almost all these stories in the past have been proven to have been fabricated, intend to believe Foxconn.

  2. Just wondering why aren’t the government concerned with IPhones produced in China? A lot of government employees use them eh

    If the IPhone production QC is hard to be achieved then surely there is a flaw in the manufacturing process.

    1. I think the government is unconcerned because the devices are designed, engineered, and tested by an American corporation. Do you think Apple’s Chinese assemblers have the time and capability to, uh, sneak in some kind of spy chip into Apple’s devices? If so, better mould an extra layer or two of tin foil into your hat, Zulkifli…

      And, by the way, the “flaw” in Apple’s manufacturing process is exacting, high precision standards. That’s a flaw I wish all manufacturers suffered from.

  3. Worked in Asia for years.

    some time ago in the first Foxconn incidents I pointed out that if Apple /Foxconn always bowed down to worker pressure (threats of mass suicides on roofs etc) for more pay and gave in they will have no end of trouble.

    Asian bosses are CUNNING, TOUGH and want MONEY
    (but outsiders don’t understand… )
    Asian WORKERS are also CUNNING, TOUGH and want MONEY too

    the idea that asian workers are sort of helpless wimps is a crazy western ultra liberal FANTASY.

    if they found out that every complaint is soothed by pay raises (as HAS happened) be prepared for UNDLESS labour unrest.
    This workers want to MAX out their earnings. (they want the money for themselves to buy stuff, get married – partners parents say no money no talk — send it home to families : “what kind of son/daughter are you that you can’t bring money home?” etc). in Asia MONEY is KING. (in some parts of Asia, big cars like Mercedes do NOT GET PARKING TICKETS. the police know that big cars are owned by powerful people. Remember the CEO of Samsung convicted of fruad , tax evasion etc and sentenced to jail was pardoned by the President of Korea). if labour disruptions is going to get them 20% pay raises Workers will go crazy.

    I said it some time ago and it is panning out.

    (please note I am NOT saying abuse workers — like Samsung — but on the other hand you cannot act like a total wimp in Asia. Companies like Proview or workers will walk all over you. I know that everybody in China today knows that Apple is a sucker and can be blackmailed. Tim Cook and gang I believe being old asian hands know this but are feeling tremedous pressure from the press, American politicians etc. )

    1. I know that everybody in China today knows that Apple is a sucker and can be blackmailed. *DING*

      Tim Cook and gang I believe being old asian hands know this but are feeling tremedous pressure from the press, American politicians etc. *DANGER! Ignorami at work!*

      Apple could save themselves soooo much grief if they’d just get the hell out of China: Criminal Nation.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.