Foxconn workers go on strike to protest working conditions while assembling the Apple iPhone 5
two-hundredths of a millimeter. According to the China Labor Watch (CLW), workers could not turn out phones that precise because of design defects with the latest version of Apple's iconic smartphone. The combination of the new standards along with Foxconn's refusal to allow workers to take vacation time during a week long holiday, led to clashes between inspectors and workers. Some of the injured required hospitalization.
190,000 people are employed at Foxconn's Zhenghou complex which was visited this past March by Apple CEO Tim Cook. CLW director Li Qiang spoke to his sources at Foxconn to confirm the strike, which was still going on at 11pm local time Friday evening (11am EDT). Foxconn's assembly lines do run 24 hours a day and it is unclear if workers from other shifts are taking part in the job action.
In late September, Foxconn had to close a factory in China for one day after a brawl broke out among 2,000 employees with 40 getting hurt. The plant reopened the next day.
1. whysoserious (Posts: 316; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
One of the thousand reasons why Apple is so pathetic.
5. eisenbricher (Posts: 971; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)
Apple undoubtedly has the power of influencing foxconn. Can't they donate just a few $$'s from the hundreds of $ they gain per phone? A simple step would magically solve everything.
13. MeoCao (unregistered)
In this case you should ask why they make iPhone in China and not US, their home country?
16. rsxl5 (Posts: 65; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)
Cost and speed.
Employing an army of 200k people in US or Canada (or let's say 50k if they manufacture slower) would made each phone much more expensive.
Not mentioning the fact that they would need to build factory/SMT/DIP/assembly lines/rework startions/WH/logistic centers/etc.
Each part manufactured in US/Canada would have better tolerance and quality but the price would be affected heavily.
25. android_hitman (Posts: 627; Member since: 07 Jul 2010)
not the price ... apple profit would be hurt... and we know who loves $$
29. darkkjedii (Posts: 11996; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Well said bro. Well said, u r obviously some one who has knowledge and not jus an apple hating big mouth. Apple is no different than Samsung moto Htc or any other mass production company. As u can see ur comment got a thumb down, that's cuz most android users just wanna hate on apple so they single them out as the poster boy. One most realize that to have a poster boy for something, there must b more than one doing the thing hats gets u posterized. Ur comment gets a thumb up from me.
56. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)
If our "government" wasn't already bought and paid for by corporate interests, this problem would be easily solved. Simply pass a 99% taxation of all electronics made outside the US, as well as CEO salaries in excess of 1 million dollars. Magically, manufacturing would return to the US. But I'm being polianish, I know.
27. darkkjedii (Posts: 11996; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
U could ask that of 1000's of companies. Samsung and Htc and Motorola r also partners of Foxconn, not just apple. There's a ton of reasons US companies outsource, most have to do with huge assembly lines, and cheap labor. I don't like some of apples business tactics, but really how different r they from most other companies? U just don't like apple so u single them out, don't b fake about it.
31. Doakie (Posts: 1281; Member since: 06 May 2009)
These other companies you've named haven't had frequent stories about their assembly lines. Worker mass suicides, anti suicide contracts forced upon their employees, etc. Quit trying to make up some moral equivalency bulls***. If we heard an equivalent amount of stories on Motorola's assembly lines, or HTC's assembly lines I'd label you something other than an Apple Apologist. But in the mean time "Apple is reaping a mind-blowing 93% margin on iPhone 5 memory." Read the story on Phone Arena. Just because all phone companies hire subcontractors to make phones does not make all manufacturers demands equivalent. Especially when a company is so hugely profitable that they don't need to demand such work from their employees to stay in the black. If an ailing manufacturer hired a sub and said "We need these phones to be churned out in X time or our company will not turn a profit..." I can see asking your workers to work through a holiday because if they don't there will be no work for them later on because the company will fail. However if you're the most profitable company in the world you have room in your profit margins to be selective about your subcontractors and find one that treats their employees fairly to not kill you in the media over mistreatment violations, or at least negotiate a contract with them that they get paid enough to treat their employees fairly. If you want Quality AND Speed you have to pay a premium. You cant have Quality, Speed, and pay nothing at the same time. Your whole mentality about rationalizing why it's okay is just plain nieve, I hate sounding like a hippy because I hate hippies. But at this point I need to sound like a grown up. I understand that I won't get through to you, because your eyes are closed to the Chinese workers plight. But at least maybe I can turn around some brainwashing you might trick the other Phone Arena kids into thinking.
43. darkkjedii (Posts: 11996; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I don't care what profit apple makes, cuz I don't work for them. Also my eyes aren't closed to the plight of anyone, I you're concerned about the plight Chinese workers then b concerned about the plight of people who suffer all around the world. Like I am
41. galokjai (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)
the answer is very simple and obvious...Apple, the people who work for them, and the people who buy their products are greedy people who only care about themselves and don't care about anyone else in the world.
45. darkkjedii (Posts: 11996; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
It's incredible that u can sit at home on the couch, and know the minds and motives of millions of people. From now on I pledge my self to your teachings. What a joke.
2. Topcat488 (Posts: 1163; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)
Not only should Apple be ashamed, but the millions of people that support Apple, or any other business, that subjects their workers to this kind of slavery. It's time that Apple bring back those jobs to the United States. Apple has profited enough from these Chinese people. Again I say to the consumers of Apple products, shame, shame, shame on you... Just my opinion.
19. DOGIEFRESH (Posts: 302; Member since: 15 Jul 2009)
Apple can ask for anything they paying for, the real problem here is the Chinese Goverment that allow this to happen
34. Doakie (Posts: 1281; Member since: 06 May 2009)
That's essentially saying "Don't hate the player hate the game." Grow up, without the players the game wouldn't exist. Just because in some countries there aren't laws against theft doesn't mean we as humans don't know that stealing from each other is wrong. Reality is, there are some people out there who don't have empathy and don't care about using other people to make money. Apple is run by a bunch of those people. In the words of Lewis Black "Piggy piggy piggy, fu** piggy piggy."
24. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3755; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Not my problem. Unless the US changes its ways I don't see that happening. Btw Samsung was also found guilty of unfair labor practices in their own factories.
28. someones4 (Posts: 619; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
At least samsung tried to rectify it and there are no brawls or any sort of unruly behaviour involved. Apple can't even keep its workforce happy.
30. darkkjedii (Posts: 11996; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Exactly and notice how u got thumbed down for that comment. Some android users r simply the animal word they use to describe iOS users. The minute u make a valid point that's not anti apple u get a thumb down, yet they claim they like freedom and choice. Yeah if that choice is android.
37. Doakie (Posts: 1281; Member since: 06 May 2009)
Quit trying to dismiss other people's opinions(thumbs) on your narrow minded comments. Have you ever considered they thumbs downed your comment because they disagree with your statement and that its not only about Android fanaticism?
And no you're free to make a choice that's any company who isn't the most greedy company out there, buy Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Bada/Tizen, webOS, Symbian, Meego, Sailfish, Firefox Mobile, whatever. Just don't buy Apple. Looking over my comment you're right, I'm very anti-Apple. I'm anti-human mistreatment. So sue me, just like your beloved company is good at.
By the way his point that Samsung does it too wasn't that valid, that's why it got thumbs down. That's the Red herring fallacy: Tu quoque ("you too", appeal to hypocrisy) – the argument states that a certain position is false or wrong and/or should be disregarded because its proponent fails to act consistently in accordance with that position. Samsung haven't had mass suicides, they haven't had anti-suicide contracts for employees to sign. There obviously is something wrong at the Foxconn/Apple plant. Look beyond rationalizing and defending your buying habits and see human mistreatment.
44. darkkjedii (Posts: 11996; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I can car less who thumbs down my comment and my comments r not narrow minded if u bother to actually read into them you'd notice that that r actually neutral and yes Samsung does it too, and so does Chevy Pepsi Sarah lee Sony Nike, and most other companies.
49. someones4 (Posts: 619; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
of course ever multinational corporation does it. the point is that almost non of them have this sort of racket even if they mistreat their employees.
This doesn't mean that i side with them. It just shows how terrible the management is at apple and foxconn and how much worse apple is when compared to other corporations
47. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1619; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Well said, too bad darkkjedii is a simpleton who cant even spell out "you" or "are" He is very narrow minded indeed and in denial his precious fruit company is one of the most greedy corporations on the planet. I think their profit margin speaks for itself. So they make all this f**king money, so what? Does it benefit mankind in anyway? No! So wake the f**k up and look at the big picture here. HUMANS ARE BEING MISTREATED TO FILL UP THE POCKETS OF APPLE BIGWIGS
40. galokjai (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)
the reason products these days are made in China is because Apple started doing this first.
3. GeekMovement (Posts: 1505; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
And they always argue that many other companies assemble their products at Foxconn, but yet all the problems happen when it's assembling Apple products... weak.
Apple down the drain.
4. eisenbricher (Posts: 971; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)
How many times, huh? That damn foxconn should better start respecting people. What do they think the workers are, Animals? Even animals are pampered well in other countries. This incident once again reveals how this all 'Profit Margin' is ruining poor workers' life.
20. eisenbricher (Posts: 971; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)
My friend works in Foxconn, in one of the IP5 plants. He's at higher position than the workers and earns pretty hefty sum. Only the workers don't.
32. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5876; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Apple is setting the QA testing criteria. I wonder how a "2/100ths of a millimeter" test criteria results in display light leakage and scratches on the outer shell?
That sounds more like sloppy construction being done to meet volume demands.
17. rsxl5 (Posts: 65; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)
Well, have you ever been on any electronic assembly line?
Speed between SMT/DIP is crucial otherwise you may end up with bad boards (not sure if Apple use copper pads but it's likely due to the cost).
It's not only Foxcon ; it's everywhere.
11. whysoserious (Posts: 316; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
Support "When the buying stops, the killing can, too" campaign.
50. samystic (Posts: 191; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)
@darkkjedii not loving it fanboy? look in layman's terms 'Apple picked up things from other manufacturers who were sleeping on potential business making devices / technologies. Apple picked up the 'recipe' and added some garnishing and now is shouting that we are unique, genius, innovative, and all self praising adjectives'. it is killing others' businesses... not good...
7. kach22 (Posts: 116; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
The dark side of the "apple" Moon. But wait; the moon has only one dark side.
8. Sniggly (Posts: 7122; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
Hot damn. As if there weren't already enough delays over production of the phone.
I feel bad for the workers. Foxconn is really shooting itself in the foot here, and I don't doubt that if Apple is threatened badly enough, they'll pull their contract and find another factory chain to do the assembly for the iPhones.
15. remixfa (Posts: 13942; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
yea.. like whom exactly? lol. Same reason it's taking them forever to get away from Samsung. There isnt exactly a ton of other companies large enough with enough spare capacity and workers to keep up with the demand.
Apple just needs to quit being a money hungry beotch and treat their supply workers better.
33. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5876; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Another part of the QA/QC problem (high reject rates) could be the manufacturing tolerances demanded are not able to be met in volume with current manufacturing technology being used at Foxconn or the parts manufacturers. Display light leakage is one example.
Scratched cases are more a factor of sloppy assembly, which could be due to worker carelessness. Or production lines being run too fast. Or, coating that is too thin for production line handling. Regardless, root cause analysis needs to figure where the problem is occurring and fix it.
Otherwise, Apple is going to have a problem on their hands that makes the problems with iMaps look like a minor bump in the road.
10. JunkCreek (Posts: 404; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
after the suing over used, now the iphone 5 are over produced, over precised... over... hope not over. but SUING MUST OVER!
12. someones4 (Posts: 619; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
what the hell is wrong with foxconn? is the management of foxconn and apple so catastrophic? I don't hear problems from other OEMs. Apple can't even keep the hired workforce in line, let alone innovate.
18. rsxl5 (Posts: 65; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)
Foxcon workers know that Apple needs iPhones 5 and they are using it to get rise. If they stop line for 2-3 days Foxcon management will have to agree to give them more money.
Smart move of Foxcon is that they already started replacing workers with robots. In short term workers are winning by getting more money ; in a long term Foxcon is to be a winner when they reduce human work force by 40-60%.
I know, I hate taking jobs from people as well but I do have some experience in manufacturing in China and basing on what I've seen it's inevitable and desirable way. The way that simple workers on the line sometimes were treating boards/final product when nobody was supposed to watch was 'unacceptable' (to be polite),
26. someones4 (Posts: 619; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
i simply wonder why apple did not have their own plant like samsung? they certainly have the cash for it.
What i speculate is that they do not want to shoulder the blame if there are physical defects in the end product. They can always blame the workforce or consumers if anything goes wrong.
42. Aeires (unregistered)
Wrong, they'll just replace them from the thousands who stood in line and paid to be interviewed.
14. Peter27 (Posts: 233; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Chinese are one of the hardest working people that I know, so imagine how badly bullied they must be, and how much expectations there must be at the Foxconn if they are still not meeting their standards.
36. infinitemethod (Posts: 135; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)
They only make 93% on memory alone. Seems like they could py those poor people more money. It wouldn't raise the cost of the phone since they already charge insane amounts for it. $100 extra for 16GB and $200 for 48GB. Greedy ass company. I've enjoyed watching Apples stock price start to plummet.
38. wolstenbeast (Posts: 25; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)
Foxcon is part of the problem, well to be exact their dependence upon Apple as one of their major clients, is the issue.
Apple uses its Economic Stranglehold to force production costs and quotas onto Foxcon This leads to the lowest wages in ANY FOXCON PRODUCTION facility, combined with the longest shifts and the least feasible production standards.
All the above are forced by Apple' s contractual terms.
Yes other manufacturers use Foxcon but these factories have much better working conditions in comparison to the Apple plants. Look at the reports on these factories in comparison to the Foxcon Samsung factories.
39. galokjai (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)
For the people who are saying China and Foxconn are the reason or part of the reason for these riots, deaths, and conditions. Are you telling me they black mailed Apple to make their products in China instead of the USA? LMAO. I love people who deny and cannot handle the truth. This is the reason why this world is messed up. Because of people who like Apple products.
51. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Ploy to cause scarcity to kick up sales which isn;t as good as analysts had wanted it to be? Perhaps this is a game. Majority of the time whny is it that FOX is having CON(nish) problems? :)
53. RomeoJDR (Posts: 237; Member since: 09 Dec 2011)
Suprised strikes can happen in China. Hopefully they dont roll in the tanks.
54. mrochester (unregistered)
As per usual, pretty much every comment completely misses the finer points of the issue at hand. The labour market in China simply does not warrant the sort of wages that many of you are expecting Apple to pay. Likewise, Apple pulling out of China would put millions of Chinese people out of work and doom them to a life of poverty. The sky high demand for products like the iPhone is precisely what is making the lives of Chinese people better.
Additionally, if Apple were to use some of their profit margin to subsidise employee's wages, you'd then end up with pay disparity between 2 people doing the same job. The people who were being paid less to put together Samsung et als products would then be the ones striking for better pay. For those companies who operate on razor thin profit margins, that could spell the difference between profit and loss. Apple could effectively wipe out a good chunk of it's competition by artificially raising the cost of labour. However, I suspect that would be highly illegal and anti-competitive, although some of you appear to be positively encouraging Apple to do just that.
My main point is that the issue is just so much more complicated and subtle than many of the passing commentators seem to appreciate; it's almost like people don't think before posting.