“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.'”
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