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Foxconn workers go on strike to protest working conditions while assembling the Apple iPhone 5

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Foxconn workers go on strike to protest working conditions while assembling the Apple iPhone 5
After management at Foxconn enacted new, strict demands on the production of the Apple iPhone 5, thousands of Foxconn workers went on strike. This comes from a report by an independent workers' rights organization. The workers at the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China started walking off the job at 1pm local time on Friday (1am EDT). Most of the workers involved deal with on-site quality control for the Apple iPhone 5. The strike continued to affect production well into Friday evening as the job action paralyzed the assembly lines at the plant.

A Foxconn factory worker

A Foxconn factory worker

Under the new guidelines, workers now have stricter standards that might seem nearly impossible to achieve. Those working on the Apple iPhone 5 must be precise within 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.

source: CNN

56 Comments
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posted on 06 Oct 2012, 01:44 33

1. whysoserious (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


One of the thousand reasons why Apple is so pathetic.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 02:09 23

5. eisenbricher (Posts: 973; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 03:26 16

13. MeoCao (unregistered)


In this case you should ask why they make iPhone in China and not US, their home country?

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 04:03 3

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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 06:56 4

25. android_hitman (unregistered)


not the price ... apple profit would be hurt... and we know who loves $$

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 08:37 2

29. darkkjedii (Posts: 22046; 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.

posted on 08 Oct 2012, 10:50

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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 08:31 2

27. darkkjedii (Posts: 22046; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 09:38 3

31. Doakie (Posts: 2107; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 14:12

43. darkkjedii (Posts: 22046; 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

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 10:56

41. galokjai (Posts: 36; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 14:40 1

45. darkkjedii (Posts: 22046; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 06:33

22. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14180; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Apple or the comment?

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 10:10 2

35. whysoserious (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


Yes, your comment.

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 21:42

55. quakan (Posts: 1381; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


Apple isn't Foxconn's only customer...

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 01:57 8

2. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 04:31 1

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

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 09:53 1

34. Doakie (Posts: 2107; 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."

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 06:36 2

24. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14180; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 08:33 4

28. someones4 (Posts: 625; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 08:41 1

30. darkkjedii (Posts: 22046; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 10:22 4

37. Doakie (Posts: 2107; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 14:16

44. darkkjedii (Posts: 22046; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 20:33

49. someones4 (Posts: 625; 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

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 15:44

47. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1719; 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

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 10:49

40. galokjai (Posts: 36; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


the reason products these days are made in China is because Apple started doing this first.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 02:04 7

3. GeekMovement (Posts: 2156; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 02:06 8

4. eisenbricher (Posts: 973; 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.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 02:49 8

9. PowTheBowl (Posts: 86; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)


It's not Foxconn's fault, it's Apple's.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 05:20 1

20. eisenbricher (Posts: 973; 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.

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